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Utilities struggle to hit targets via heating

Latest figures for the Energy Efficiency Commitment 2005-2008 (EEC2) show the UK’s eight energy suppliers exceeded their overall targets, thanks to massive insulation programmes.

A review by regulator Ofgem showed EEC2 had resulted in the installation of more than 2 million boilers, 2.2 million heating controls, 2,900 ‘innovative heating’ schemes and 200,000 other heating measures while also helping 70,000 households switch fuel.

Despite this activity only British Gas beat its own target on securing energy savings through improvements to heating systems.

According to the EEC Annual Report 2008 the other companies struggled to meet their proposed energy savings for heating and focussed most of their efforts on insulation. This meant that, instead of securing 10 per cent of savings from heating measures as proposed, only 7 per cent came from this source.

British Gas bucked the trend as a result of developing links with boiler manufacturers, although this activity was largely concentrated in non-priority groups, the report said.

It continued: “Energy savings from heating measures account for 15 per cent of British Gas’ activity to target.This is by far the largest share of the achieved energy savings from heating measures for any of the suppliers and is a result of a successful partnership with boiler manufacturers.

“A large share of energy savings from heating was also delivered through British Gas’ central heating programme and through work with social housing providers. Uptake of A-rated boilers through the manufacturer partnerships resulted in a threefold increase in the achieved energy savings from heating in the third year, in comparison with the activity in the first year of the obligation.”

Overall the suppliers achieved savings of 187 TWh (terawatt/hours) compared to a target of 130 TWh with nearly 60 per cent of this saving coming from insulation.