Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Part L improvements comes into force

The water treatment industry has accused the Government of not doing enough to ensure installers are kept up to date with or are complying with Part L of the Building Regulations. The comments were made in light of The Domestic Heating Compliance Guide, published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) in May 2006. Although changes to Part L of the Building Regulations were made available last year, the industry was given an eleven-month interim period to become familiar with the revisions before they became mandatory earlier this month. Harvey Bowden, UK Water Treatment Association director, said the organisation was receiving feedback to suggest that many installers were unaware of the revisions. It had received complaints from consumers experiencing problems with lime scale in recently installed condensing boilers. “Compliance with the revised Building Regulations is an issue for the industry,” he said. “It’s far easier to police with new buildings because every time a new building is constructed an inspector has to make sure it conforms to the Building Regulations. “With regards to existing buildings the enforcement is very weak, and installers don’t really bother to comply. Having weaker enforcement for existing properties makes it harder for the Government to reach its energy efficiency targets.” He added: “The Government does not yet have the resources in place to enforce compliance with existing properties. I believe that in the near future performance standards for water treatment devices will be introduced and included in the Building Regulations [which should make non-compliance harder].” Kelly Butler, Domestic Water Treatment Association director, said the Government was partly responsible for non-compliance. “This Government is very good at developing and implementing policies and initiatives and we operate in a very complex regulatory environment,” he said. “However, it is very poor at communicating the precise details of what you need to do to comply with these policies, particularly building regulations, and at making all the compliance documentation freely available and easily accessible.”  Mr Butler said installers required access to free training and comprehensive information packs incorporating all the vital compliance information regarding building regulations. “You could argue that this is the role of the trade associations, but the associations don’t get financial or much in kind support from Government for all the training and the work that they do to keep their members - and their members’ customers - informed.  “When regulations are revised a sizeable government budget should be made available for communication and dissemination and a lot less faith should be put into trusting installers to check Government department websites on a daily basis,” he argued. The Department for Communities and Local Government spokesperson refuted the claims. “There have been a number of training and dissemination initiatives, new publications and new and more comprehensive competent person schemes that enable contractors to self-certify their work.”