We have had a lot of questions over the last few weeks around the recent changes to the heating standard. There seems to be quite a bit of confusion in the market around what these changes mean in the real world. Below is a summary of six key points that you need to be aware of.
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The MBIE heating formula has been changed to allow smaller heat pumps to be installed in homes built to the 2008 building code for insulation and glazing. These changes also allow smaller heat pumps to be installed in apartments of at least 3 stories and 6 units or more.
A revised deadline of 12th February 2023 for the heating standard now applies to those properties that meet the above criteria. In other words, if you have signed a new tenancy agreement for the property in the last 6 months, you do not need to comply with the Heating portion of the standard until the 12th of February.
Where a heat pump or wood burner has been installed prior to 1st July 2019, the ‘top up’ allowance has changed from 1.5kw to 2.4kw.
Example: your property has a 5kw heat pump installed before 1 July 2019, but the required heating capacity is 7.4kw. You can now use a 2.4kw panel heater to ‘top-up the heat pump and meet the heating requirement.
The trigger point for requiring a top up heater has changed from 90% of the required heating capacity, to only 80%. In practical terms this means that you have more leeway if the existing heat pump or wood burner is undersized.
If the property has a geothermal heater that heats the main living room, and you cannot identify its heating output, then that heater meets the standard.
There is a new way to comply with the heating standard for developers. Property builders/developers can now utilise a heating specialist/designer to ensure the home meets the standard. This clause will not apply to anything other then new build properties where a designer can prove (using design drawings and calculations) that the living area can be heated to 18 degrees.