Pump industry lobbying has forced a U-turn by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) with circulator pumps set to be finally included in the government’s Green Deal programme.
Circulator pumps were initially excluded from the list of approved technologies for the Green Deal, due to the use of inaccurate SAP ratings which failed to take into account the enormous advances in circulator pump technology and efficiency made over the last decade.
However, the British Pump Manufacturer’s Association was informed in early November that circulator pumps were due to be added to the Green Deal options.
Gary Wilde of Xylem Water Solutions UK, who sits on the British Pump Manufacturer’s Association circulator pump group, has been at the forefront of the lobbying efforts. He believes the decision is a victory for pump manufacturers, installers and homeowners.
He said: “As an industry we have made strenuous efforts to convince the BRE of the merits of including circulator pumps within the Green Deal. For a long time it looked as if our efforts would continue to be blocked, but it is clear that, over time, the weight of our arguments have won the day.”
Approximately one million domestic circulator pumps are sold in the UK every year, both standalone and those which are integrated within boilers by the original equipment manufacturer sector. Mr Wilde believes modern circulator pumps could provide a quick win for homeowners saving on average of between £63 and £89 annual savings.
“With the seemingly endless rise in energy prices we are convinced that replacement of inefficient circulator pumps could help insulate homeowners from price increases,” said Mr Wilde.
“A traditional fixed three-speed circulator with an induction motor would require 65W of power. However, modern circulator pumps follow the system curve much more efficiently. A new electronic circulator does not put power into the motor to rotate the shaft and can therefore reduce the maximum power to between four and 35W.”
He continued: “Modern circulators are also equipped with in-built software which can sense when a thermostatic radiator valve has been closed down and will automatically slow the pump down. In effect, the pump recognises that there is less resistance in the pipework and therefore needs less power which saves energy and money.”
Mr Wilde says that the inclusion of circulator pumps is recognition by the BRE of the vital role that circulators can play in a modern central heating system. “The exclusion of circulator pumps left a gaping hole in the Green Deal programme. Without circulator pumps a complete system approach to home energy efficiency, including boiler, heating controls and insulation, is impossible. We believe their inclusion will make a significant contribution to the upgrading of the UK’s housing stock and the governments C02 targets,” he concluded.