Last week was cold, glad boilers are keeping us warm.

4th Feb 2019


OK, it wasn’t a Polar Vortex, more a typical cold snap to be expected when you live in the northern part of the hemisphere, but the vast majority of the country was kept warm by boilers

It’s hardly news, the other ‘B’ word dominates that, but it’s a fair assumption to make that even the most ardent Brexiteer or Remainer is kept warm by a boiler.

So what is the news on boilers?

Well the English Housing Survey was published last week and this made for some interesting reading. They reported that 92 per cent of English homes now have central heating systems fitted. There has been a sea change in the efficiency of boilers fitted too. In 2005, when the regulations mandating condensing boilers was introduced, only 5 per cent of boilers were condensing – now that figure is 74 per cent. In the space of twelve years (the data only goes to 2017) the heating industry has quietly, without fuss, transformed the domestic heating and hot water landscape. This hasn’t made the news but it should have done.

Simple, well-meaning regulation protecting the consumer but working with the industry, it is the gold-standard of government in practice. But what has been the impact for consumers?

Some benefits are hard to measure or value – coming from work into a warm home; having hot water on demand; a comfortable house to live in – all modern day essentials. But we do have data on energy usage and bills.

According to BEIS (their National Energy Efficiency Data-Framework), all-dwelling median gas consumption has fallen from 17700 kWhs a year in 2005 to just 12300 kWhs in 2016. That’s a reduction of 5400 kWhs or over 30 per cent. Based on a typical tariff currently offered at 4.3 pence per kWh, this means the average household is paying over £230 a year less for their gas than they would have been.

Government gives each house an extra £230 a year to spend would make news.