With the new version of Part L of the Building Regulations now in force, much of the focus has been on the aim to reduce carbon emissions from new buildings by 25 per cent.
But, according to Colin Timmins, director of BEAMA's UK controls manufacturers' association TACMA, a less-heralded feature of Part L shows Government is serious about reducing energy costs by taking a significant step towards more efficient heating systems.
He said: 'Heating and hot water controls have been required for new and replacement heating systems since 1995, but since then these requirements have barely changed. From this month we see a tightening up of the regulations so that heating zones in new systems are each required to have a zone valve and a room thermostat, and radiators in all cases should have thermostatic radiator valves fitted.'
The addition of zone valves ensures that no hot water is supplied to a zone not requiring heating, reducing the amount of time that the boiler will operate. However, it also means that time control can be added for each zone at a relatively small cost; something usually restricted to larger buildings, but providing great flexibility for occupants, explained TACMA.
'People forget that controls play an essential role in making sure the heating system operates efficiently, and in allowing householders to make behavioural changes which further reduce their energy,' added Timmins.