After an episode of ‘This Week’ on the BBC, which featured Martin Lewis, a financial journalist, I want to take this time to understand the thoughts of others about energy labels that are misleading, when looking into the efficiency of boilers for hot water and heating. There have been pressures in the UK consumers, since 2005, to buy ‘A-rated’ boilers but recently they have been downgraded to a B. On closer inspection, these boilers are actually a C, with just a 75% efficiency rating, compared to be belief of 92%.
Because of this, over three years, £1bn has been wasted on bills and this is completely unnecessary. Too many governments have misled consumers deliberately while energy prices continually rise. This problem has to be resolved, especially now that it looks as though more people in the UK will suffer from fuel poverty.
Many European governments have introduced legislation for carbon saving but this does not equate to energy saving. Carbon saving is produced by selling products that are labelled with energy saving ratings, such as the ‘A-rated’ boilers. The carbon savings are based on test results that are ideal but not realistically achieved.
Just one example is how condensing boilers are mandated by government but UK Building Regulations penalise the use of them due to the condensing nature. Condensing produces lukewarm water, which becomes waste since it isn’t possible to heat a home or shower with warm water.
Instead, £400m per year could be saved on gas if GasSaver technology was used instead. This would be fitted into the boilers during installation. This leads to over £1bn over three years, enough for running a power station in the UK.
The problem comes to the regulations that government has agreed on with the gas industry. According to OFGEM’s head of energy efficiency, this GasSaver technology will lead to too much money being saved on gas. The industry is put before the British families and until this changes, consumer energy bills will never fall. However, this has led to energy being wasted unnecessarily and energy bills being too high.
After a meeting at Portcullis House in Westminster, a senior politician admitted that the promotion of using renewable technologies was not about the energy savings that are claimed but to push the energy industry to create products that would help with saving energy. Zenex Technologies has created this – “you’re the only one and we won’t promote that” is the reason for it not being used.
Think of it this way, if government gave you a grant to buy an old vacuum cleaner model and said that it was 91% efficient, would you buy a Dyson? Probably not.
Due to idealistic testing of the various hot water and heating boilers, 20% efficiency is added to them. A senior DECC official states that this is so companies are not placed “under too much pressure” but it leads to consumers unable to prioritise savings on gas or water by buying energy efficient products and all they need to know about is GasSaver technology.
To reduce energy bills for the public, regulations need to be introduced based on demand and seasons, which could lead to new legislation. The Longitude Act of 1714 is about creating solutions for accurate navigation while at sea, which meant that more lives were saved and the ships were more successful for the British economy. The government needs to stop following Europe and its policies for labelling to protect businesses and help innovators who will be able to improve efficiency in energy.
This isn’t possible at the moment. Even after patenting technology to help save energy, this undermines any labelling schemes available. Consumers continue to be misled into products and will end up paying an extra £150 every year than they really need to if they knew more.
How can that be justified?
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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4622744414/