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Heating and Hot Water: key facts

Most of us think of central heating as a modern invention, but in fact dates back to a warm air system  developed in the Roman times.  In about the 1970s, gas boiler generated central heating began to take off and by the early 1980s, it was regarded as a basic requirement in homes in the UK.  Boilers have come a very long way since then.  Advances in technology and chances to regulations mean that they are now far more energy-efficient and much more suited to a variety of homes and lifestyles.  

A leap in efficiency

Given that boilers account for about 60% of a households annual energy costs, how efficient they are has a huge impact on your bills.  With older gas boilers, a considerable amount of heat that could be used to generate heating and hot water is lost.  Generally, the older they are the more heat they lose, making them increasingly more expensive to run.  Some very old boilers can only achieve 60% efficiency and even relatively newer ones are around 70-75% efficient - all this means that a much as 30% of your heating and hot water fuel needs could be wasted.  Additionally, many of the older boiler types have no proper controls meaning less and less boiler efficiency.

In the last few years, new ‘condensing technology’ has been incorporated into boilers.  This enables some of the heat that would be normally escape from the boiler system, to be captured and re-used.  Usually, the better the quality of the boiler, the more it captures.  As an example the Worcester Greenstar condensing boilers are more than 90% efficient, this results in more than 90p in every £1 you spend on fuel for your boiler is used for heating and hot water.  In addition to this,  intelligent controls can also make a difference by enabling much smarter, most cost-effective management of your heating and hot water system.  

Making it official

To ensure that everyone benefits from boiler efficiency, including the environment, regulations were introduced in 2005 making it compulsory for almost every new gas boiler installation to be a condensing design - typically C-Rated or above.  This changed again in 2010 as all boilers must be A-Rated which are the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly.