NOx Regulations 2018

Contractors encouraged to act now in response to forthcoming ErP regulations.

With air pollution in many UK cities and towns exceeding World Health Organisation guidelines, Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions are under scrutiny. Poor air quality exposes us all to serious health risks, with pollution from NOx emissions linked to respiratory and pulmonary diseases. This is a particular problem in highly populated cities.  London, for example, breached its annual air pollution limit for 2017 in just five days. 

Emissions are a hot topic in the media at the moment, but coverage has been heavily focused on vehicles. However, buildings – and their heating systems – also emit significant levels of NOx; for example, 33% of NOx emissions in Central London are related to non-domestic gas combustion. Coinciding with health concerns mounting around the effects of these gases, from 1 January 2018, further ErP legislation regarding boilers will come into effect. The industry needs to be prepared for the change.

The aim of the new regulation is to ensure only energy-efficient, low NOx heating products are manufactured, specified and installed in the UK. Previous regulation in 2015 introduced mandatory NOx requirements for all boilers up to and including 400 kW which essentially meant that all new boilers had to be condensing. However, standard efficiency pressure jet oil and blown gas boiler bodies can still be purchased for like-for-like replacement scenarios.  The new regulation stops these boilers from being manufactured and sold. This is an opportunity for contractors and installers to move away from older, less environmentally friendly heating systems and introduce newer solutions that cut emissions and costs.

Make the move 
Older units still in use are inefficient in comparison to the latest models. Newer condensing boilers achieve energy efficiencies of over 90 per cent which standard efficiency boilers cannot match. Although there is still sometime before the deadline, this new regulation is an opportunity for contractors and installers to talk with their customers about new technologies. Even if a pressure jet oil or blown gas boiler is still the preferred option, condensing versions, such as Ideal Commercial’s Evojet range, are available.

Act now ahead of the January deadline
Any requirement for products affected by the directive need to be acted on quickly. Like-for-like replacements boilers will need to be purchased ahead of the 1 January  2018 deadline.

This article first appeared in HVR magazine, September 2017.