I have a confession to make, my boiler is over 15 years old and spectacularly inefficient. Not a very good thing for Ecoalex. According to SEDBUK the database of boilers it operates at about 65% efficiency. A new condensing boiler could work at about 90% efficiency. I have known this anecdotally for about 3 years and done nothing about it. This time last year I was training to deliver Home Energy Masterplans for Parity Projects and had to survey my flat as part of the training. This means I have known exactly how inefficient my boiler is for over a year. Yet still I haven’t replaced the boiler, why?
I guess there are a number of reasons why I haven’t changed it yet, none of them really valid. For instance fear of tradesmen, even though I work with a number of good builders who help me deliver energy efficiency savings I am still wary of hiring someone in case they rip me off. Then I have been given worries about reliability, when I did get someone round to look at replacing the boiler there was some tutting and sucking of teeth. New boilers are unreliable I was told, you will have the repair man out twice a week. My old boiler is very reliable, it might waste loads of gas but it will work forever apparently.
I think the main reason I haven’t replaced it yet though is procrastination. I am planning to replace the kitchen soon so maybe I should wait until then? It’s starting to get cold again so maybe I shouldn’t mess with the heating at the moment. Do I have £2,000 lying around to spend on replacing something that works alright? I am sure you can think of more reasons of your own that fit your circumstances.
When writing this piece I decided to check out my last gas bill and see how much this boiler is actually costing me. My gas bill for the last year was £430, apart from the boiler the only other gas appliance I have is a hob so nearly all the gas is used by the boiler. So if I can improve the efficiency of my boiler by 25% I can save £100 a year. Prices are going up by nearly 10% soon so this will be £110 next year. Also changes in my home life mean we will probably be using the boiler more in the next year so I could expect to save £150 in the next year alone changing the boiler. Who knows what price changes are coming in fuel prices but I am sure they are only going up.
This saving may seem fairly modest on an outlay of £2,000 but the gas bill for my double glazed, well insulated two bedroom flat is probably considerably lower than yours. Savings on an £800 bill for heating and hot water would be about £200 and the installation costs about the same. There I think I am convinced that everyone else should change their boilers, just not sure I have convinced myself yet, maybe I have a little more procrastination in me.