The purchase price of a new boiler is a very small part of the overall lifetime cost of a boiler. The cost of gas consumed over the 15 plus years that you will use the boiler could be in the region of £5000 to £8000 and a 10% or more energy efficiency improvement could be very valuable.

Identifying the most energy efficient boilers is now easy as the manufacturers publish boiler efficiency statistics and these are recorded in the government endorsed SEDBUK database.

The table below is reproduced from the SEDBUK site and shows the cost variation, resulting from changes in boiler efficiency, on annual running costs for typical domestic properties in the UK. The analysis is for household central heating and a gas boiler.

The costs outlined in the table are an average and represent those typically experienced for the type of property. It should be noted that there will always be variations on these figures caused by variations in climate (do you live in the north or south of the country), exposure (is the property exposed to the wind or in the middle of a city center), occupancy patterns ( sole occupancy or family) , heating controls ( modern, trv’s used etc), insulation ( loft and cavity wall), and other factors.

Typical Annual Boiler Fuel Costs
  Seasonal efficiency Flat Bungalow Terraced Semi-detached Detached
Old boiler (heavy weight) 55% £267 £341 £354 £397 £550
Old boiler (light weight) 65% £231 £293 £304 £340 £470
New boiler (non-condensing) 78% £197 £249 £258 £289 £396
New boiler (condensing) 88% £178 £224 £232 £259 £355

In the worst case scenario the 15 year heating costs for an old boiler with 55% efficiency in a detached house exceed £8000. These typically reduce to £5000, a saving of £3000, following the adoption of a modern condensing boiler with 88% efficiency.

This whole life calculation demonstrates that householders should factor boiler efficiency into their purchase considerations and not focus on finding the lowest price replacement boiler.

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