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Earlier this year, the UK Government announced updates to its energy efficiency scheme, Energy Company Obligation (ECO). Starting in April 2013, ECO continues to evolve and the latest amendments came into force from 1st April 2017. Part of meeting the requirements includes selecting the appropriate boiler, and this is where we can help.
The announcement of ECO2t followed last year’s ECO: Help to Heat consultation, where stakeholders agreed to focus the scheme more on installations that made the most impact on reducing fuel poverty. It was decided to extend ECO2 by 18 months, resulting in what is now called ECO2t, which reflects moving from ECO2 to ECO3. The transition period is between 1st April 2017 and 30th September 2018 so now over the next year there will be an even bigger push on heating systems that help to reduce carbon emissions, increase the energy efficiency of buildings and tackle fuel poverty.
So, how can we help? We pride ourselves on creatin
Nothing creeps up on us quite like winter. It has been reported that one in five boilers will break down throughout the cold months of the year, with an average repair cost of £270. So, how can your customers have a cosy and contented season and avoid that cold shower on a freezing December morning?
Firstly, remind your customers to test their boilers in the autumn, ahead of time. While the weather is still mild, they should turn it on briefly and test their radiators, just to check the system is still working effectively. If they leave it too late, it may prove difficult to get a prompt repair before you get booked up in the chillier months. What’s more, you should recommend that they should switch on their heater for a few minutes in June, July and August. This will not only help reduce the risk of having a problem in the winter rush, but will also increase the system’s efficiency, ensuring all parts inside are working to the expected standard.
Here at Alpha we are proud to be joining businesses and organisations from across the industry to support Gas Safety Week. The annual event, now in its seventh year, aims to highlight the issues surrounding gas safety and promote best practice.
As in previous years, Gas Safety Week 2017 is raising awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning including highlighting the stories of people who have been affected by unsafe gas appliances. Gas Safe Register, who organises Gas Safety Week, is also once again promoting the importance of engineers showing their Gas Safe ID card whenever work is carried out. Just as important is reminding customers that they should always ask to see it – a good way to avoid unqualified tradespeople.
To help spread the word about improving gas safety, here is some great advice to share with your customers:
Customer service should go beyond answering the phone to queries and complaints. We need to also support and incentivise installers to keep on top of industry changes, especially now that customers can easily access a wealth of information online and have become more inquisitive about the products they purchase. Alpha therefore supports installers with training and a loyalty scheme to reward them for their hard work.
Installing boilers efficiently and correctly will mean less follow-up jobs to fix mistakes, but customers will also feel more confident in your abilities. With a wealth of free resources available for installers at all levels – from magazines and journals to trade shows – there are lots of ways to stay up to date with the latest technologies and changes to regulation. Being informed will give you the confidence to provide an excellent service to your customer, which is why we have invested in our customer relations team and training to ensure we ar
For the majority of homes, a combination boiler is the most energy efficient option, as it does not require a permanent store of hot water and only heats the water when there is a demand. However, for larger properties or households with above average hot water requirements a different approach is necessary.
In these situations, a combination boiler is often unable to provide the required flow rate of hot water. The traditional solution is to install a conventional boiler and hot water cylinder. However, because this type of system heats large amounts of water that may not be used, it is not the most efficient choice.
The innovative Alpha FlowSmart provides a solution to this problem. The complete system incorporating a flue gas heat recovery unit and thermal store, enables a combination boiler to meet the higher levels of demand and achieve a sustained flow rate of up to 18 litres per minute above 50°C – easily surpassing the performance of a 200 litre un
The experts at Calor explain how encouraging the switch from oil to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) can not only benefit homeowners, but help rural installers cash in too.
Currently, around four million homes in the UK do not have access to mains gas, and so rely on alternatives such as oil, electricity and solid fuel for heating and hot water. These systems are often inherited with a property and are usually replaced like-for-like when the original comes to the end of its lifecycle.
However, when an existing boiler breaks down in one of these ‘off-grid’ homes, installers are presented with a unique and lucrative opportunity to offer a cleaner, more environmentally friendly option to their customers – LPG.
The Popular Choice
LPG is fast becoming one of the most popular fuel choices for rural properties, with the benefits for both homeowners and installers often outstripping those of other fuels.
Offering all o
By Darran Smith, Technical Manager at Alpha Heating Innovation
When a boiler comes to the end of its life, a lot of homeowners will ask their installers to simply replace it like-for-like. However, there could be other options to consider if you are keen to reduce your energy bills.
Typically, combination boilers (combis) are considered the best choice for home with average hot water demands. Unlike old systems using a hot water tank, often stored in the loft, combis only provide hot water when you need it rather than storing water permanently. This means there is less energy wasted heating water that may not be used, resulting in a healthier bank balance! Combi boilers also have a smaller footprint, so it’s a great option if you are looking to save some space.
Before you settle on a new boiler, consider the infrastructure of the house. Has it had extensions or more bathrooms added since the previous boiler was installed? If so, the o
By Rob Morris, Regional Service Engineer at Alpha Heating Innovation
It’s important to treat your heating system as you would other utilities, such as a car. Boilers also need an annual service to identify potential issues, maintain warranties, and keep the system running efficiently and safely.
As part of a service, the engineer will check for faults, inspect all areas of the boiler and replace parts as necessary, meaning you can have peace of mind that the boiler is operating correctly and efficiently. Most importantly the engineer will carry out a combustion analysis to check the boiler is operating safely, helping to avoid any concerns with carbon monoxide gas.
As well as extending its life, regular maintenance, helps avoid unexpected boiler breakdowns and can help reduce overall energy savings – so it’s good news all round!
Flushing the heating system to reduce sludge can also prove beneficial to your heating sy
By Jonathan Kidner, Product Engineer at Alpha Heating Innovation
When installing a boiler or heating system for a customer, at what point do thoughts turn to heating controls (if at all), and what influences your recommendation? There are some factors to consider for making your (and our customer’s) life easier…
Installing a domestic heating system goes beyond simply fitting a boiler. Of course, the boiler is important – vital in fact - but it is useless to the customer without the means to not only control its operation, but also ensure optimised productivity and energy efficiency (leading to the universally welcomed reduction in energy bills).
To provide some context to the significance of a well thought out heating system, I refer to a study carried out by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) between 2010 and 2015. It was discovered that domestic buildings account for about 30% of final UK energy consu