Stop SAP penalising domestic users of biomass boilers
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 24 October 2014 at 12:09 pm
In an ideal world government departments would speak to each other and harmonise what they are doing. Sadly, those of us who've been around renewable energy for any time know that's often not the case.
We've just had an email that beautifully illustrates the way one department's intransigence can scupper another's good ideas. Dr Neil Ridgway has a biomass boiler. To make his home even greener, he wanted to add solar PV panels. But when he got the obligatory energy performance certificate (EPC) he found that it did not achieve the required level of D - although it would have if he'd had an oil or gas boiler.
"I discovered that because the (RdSAP) software which produces the EPC is not integrated with the MCS/Hetas biomass boiler list, my 93.5% efficient biomass boiler was massively underrated," he said. As a result my EPC rating came out so low that I could not get the higher level of [feed-in tariff] for the PV. I could not go ahead - it simply was not worth the cost."
However, Dr Ridgway hasn't taken this setback lying down. He has set up an epetition calling for there to be one single accurate database. You can sign it here (I have already signed).
He asks: "How is it possible that the EPC energy efficiency rating of oil / gas boilers is better (higher band / score) than biomass boilers, which are considerably more efficient (>90%) & more environmentally friendly (less pollution / less carbon dioxide per year)?"
1) Someone within a government department decided that wood pellets will be more expensive than oil & gas. It has been shown that wood pellets are considerably cheaper and the cost of oil & gas is steadily going up in price, whilst wood pellets are not.
2) The software used to generate SAP EPCs has significant problems. Hetas & the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) have a detailed database of recommended renewable appliances with their tested efficiencies. SAP has it own separate databases, the PCDB for RdSAP EPCs & the SAP Appendix Q database for full EPCs. Hetas & MCS approved biomass boilers are not on the SAP databases & can not be used in generating EPCs - hence incorrect EPCs.
His very simple solution: "Just use one database!"
It makes sense to us. If you agree please sign the petition too.
More information about Biomass Boilers on YouGen.
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By Cathy Debenham
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