10 Ways Part L 2021 is Boosting Energy Efficiency in Homes - Viva Training Centre

According to the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) Sixth Carbon Budget, heat demand in buildings needs to fall by 25% by 2035 (based on 2019 levels).

Swift action is required to boost energy efficiency and this year, the government updated Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations with measures designed to reduce carbon emissions from new builds by 30%.

Under Part L 2021, gas engineers and heating installers who work on new builds and existing properties (where a heating system is being fully replaced) will have to comply with new minimum standards to ensure that fixed building services are energy efficient and have adequate controls, leading to a reduction in carbon emissions and running costs.

10 Part L 2021 is improving the energy efficiency of homes in England:

  1. Low-flow temperature requirements – New heating systems must be designed with a maximum flow temperature of 55°C, down from 80°C under the 2013 regulations.

  3. Minimum efficiencies for gas-fired heating system – high efficiency condensing gas boiler must have a minimum efficiency of 92% ErP. In most cases, gas boilers will meet the new standards when combined with additional energy efficiency measures, including things like solar PV, wastewater heat recovery and flue gas heat recovery.

  5. Providing a step-up to heat pumps – an air source heat pump will easily achieve new energy efficiency requirements and must have a minimum coefficient performance (COP) of 3.0 when providing space heating.

  7. Inclusion of replacement systems – the previous edition related to new build homes only, however, Part L 2021 also covers whole system replacements in existing buildings, including boilers, radiators and pipework.

  9. Stipulated heating controls – Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) are now required in new dwellings and in existing homes when a boiler (note: not full system) is replaced. Many gas engineers have been installing individual room temperature controls as standard for many years, but Part L 2021 makes it a legal requirement.

  11. Change from whole house to room-by-room heat loss calculations – room-by-room heat loss calculations have been standard for heat pump installations but not for gas heating systems, until now.

  13. Preventing oversizing – Most gas heating systems are oversized to ensure they more than meet the customers heating demands. However, the new regulations require boilers and heat emitters to be specified as closely as possible to the calculated heat loss.

  15. Adoption of SAP10 – building developers will have to comply with updated methodology and testing procedures, covering things like insulation, heat loss, controls and airtightness.

  17. Better thermal performance – improvements in external wall U-values, down to 0.18W/m2K. Under the new Approved Document L, solar PV does not significantly offset poor U-values as it did before which should increase the thickness and insulation levels of external walls.

  19. Reduced time delays – Transitional arrangements are in place to ensure projects in the planning phase will have to comply with Part L 2021 from June 2023.


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