How does Infrared affect my home energy assessment? SAP Assessments
SAP10 is coming and the future is electric.
SAP10 is the UK’s Home energy assessment regulation, which sets the benchmark for many other countries with similar climates and energy sources in Europe and the world. The proposed introduction of SAP10 has significant implications for electric heating given the revision of emission factors which are currently out of date.
Overview of current methodology SAP2012
SAP is the Standard (buildings) Assessment Procedure and it is used for new builds and home sales in order to accurately assess the energy needs of a house and grade it in terms of its energy efficiency and Eco-cleanliness. For heating the specific certification is L1a: Conservation of fuel and power.
At present, the SAP assessment methods assume a much higher carbon intensity in electrical supply than they do for gas. As a consequence, a house heated with electricity will have a worse energy performance certification result than an otherwise identical house heated by gas.
Nevertheless in off-gas areas and in other circumstances too (e.g. High Rise blocks of flats), electric heating is the only solution available and it is important to clarify the SAP position where this is the case.
1. Infrared Heating is presently categorised as Type 1 (100% efficient) Direct Response heaters. (There is not “No SAP Category” as is sometimes mis-stated about Infrared);
2. Type 1 heaters are a mandatory addition to home Energy Performance Assessments when:
- Primary heating with Gas, Oil or Heat Pumps is insufficient to meet home heating requirements. The Type 1 addition in such circumstances is a minimum 10% or higher (to meet the shortfall from the main system);
- Any solution using E7 (whether it’s Storage or Underfloor heating) requires a minimum 10% additional Type 1 heating;
- Any Storage Heating solution requires a minimum 10% Type 1 addition (Storage with no fan requires a minimum 15%);
3. Any energy performance assessment can be improved in terms of the energy efficiency of the house. The biggest improvements that yield the most significant results are in improvement of levels of insulation & glazing.
4. Addition of a modest Solar installation (1.8 kWp or 7-8 panels for a 3 bedroom house) would be sufficient to pass L1a and is optimal for use with Infrared. (Typical Domestic Solar installations are 4kWp).
5. Carry out a full SAP, which will more comprehensively assess the construction details than the limited version conducted for home sales. It will cost more, but is likely to yield an improved result.