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Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is coming up short

Members of the Manufacturers Association of Radiators and Convectors (MARC) are somewhat dismayed that the Government have yet again ignored the cost savings afforded by replacing old radiators.

Some 70% of the UK housing stock of 2050 is already in place, meaning that the greatest opportunity for improving the eco standards of this country's homes lays in retro-fitting these existing properties.

While the measures covered by the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund can all play a part in making a home greener, MARC believe the programme ignores the fact that radiators are already in place in 23.6 million UK homes and are easily replaceable when they reach the end of their lifespan, which is usually in excess of 30 years.

Research conducted by MARC suggests the energy efficiency of millions of homes across the UK can be improved simply by replacing their existing radiators.

A survey conducted on behalf of MARC in 2012 indicated that one in five of home owners still have radiators in their homes which do not have convectors.

Radiator manufacturers began attaching convectors to their products in the 1980s, following innovations in the welding process developed by workers within the industry. The convectors allow greater heat emission from the radiators, and, therefore, the generators of the heat, such as boilers, are able to operate more efficiently.

MARC chairman John Colling said: "Improved household energy efficiency could be achieved without having to do anything other than replace old steel panel radiators with new.

Radiators cost tens, rather than hundreds or thousands of pounds to purchase and are being installed easily as like-for-like replacements to the existing 190 million products already in place.

When an option such as this is available, making it possible for home owners to make positive environmental improvements for less money and with less disruption to their homes and lives, it seems ill-advised of those leading the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund to have ignored it.

While the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund focuses on other product areas, radiators are still as efficient, if not more so, than other emitters on the market, and, with these products already installed in an estimated 23.6 million of the 26.3 million homes in the UK, changing them and making a difference to the environment couldn't be easier, or cheaper."

There is a school of thought that radiators aren't suitably 'green' products. However, research conducted by leading heating experts and academics on the continent have dispelled this myth, showing that steel panel products can be as, if not more, efficient than other emitters when used with low water temperatures.

In 2011, MARC launched a report, compiled by industry and academic experts from across Europe, showing that modern steel panel radiators were efficient heat emitters with low water temperature systems.

John Colling added; "The modern technology we now have within the radiator industry supports the needs of carbon reduction, conforms to the standards set by the Government, and meets homeowners' needs. No other heat emitter can offer such adaptability, control and renewable credentials.


The humble radiator has come a long way from its beginnings, but it is still the most effective, easy to install and reliable source of heat within the home. The Government have missed an opportunity by ignoring the potential savings available from replacing radiators."

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