Pump industry urges government clampdown on ‘swarm’ of non-compliant central heating pumps

Pump compliance - real and fake logos
Pump compliance - real and fake logos

Pump industry leaders are calling on the government to clamp down on the ‘swarm’ of non-compliant central heating pumps being imported into the UK potentially costing consumers hundreds of pounds every year.

The appeal is being driven by increasing concerns that Far Eastern exporters have penetrated the traditional merchant distribution channels to target the UK, with more than 100,000 non-compliant pumps being sold in the UK every year.

Steve Schofield, Chief Executive of the British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) says the UK is being swarmed by non-compliant pumps. “We estimate that circa 10% of the one million central heating pumps, technically known as circulators, being brought into the UK are non-compliant. It is a swarm; it is blatant and it is now over-the-counter. Once fitted, they are costing consumers hundreds of pounds every year on their heating bills, and it is seriously impacting the UK’s ability to meet its net zero obligations.”

The situation has deteriorated since April 2022 when the global microchip supply crisis was at its height, according to Mr Schofield. “The imported pumps use old-style AC motors that are less than half the price of permanent magnet motors equipped with microchips to vary the speed of the pump to reduce energy consumption. The non-compliant 3-speed pumps use circa 100 watts of energy compared to 30 watts for the permanent magnet design.”

Mr Schofield says supply restrictions encouraged wholesalers to source non-compliant products. “Supply chain issues, specifically problems with microchips, has brought the problem into the mainstream heating product distribution channels, with Far Eastern exporters taking advantage of high levels of demand and insufficient supply.”

"More than 100,000 non-compliant pumps"

The appeal is being driven by increasing concerns that Far Eastern exporters have penetrated the traditional merchant distribution channels to target the UK, with more than 100,000 non-compliant pumps being sold in the UK every year.

Steve Schofield, Chief Executive of the British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) says the UK is being swarmed by non-compliant pumps. “We estimate that circa 10% of the one million central heating pumps, technically known as circulators, being brought into the UK are non-compliant. It is a swarm; it is blatant and it is now over-the-counter. Once fitted, they are costing consumers hundreds of pounds every year on their heating bills, and it is seriously impacting the UK’s ability to meet its net zero obligations.”

The situation has deteriorated since April 2022 when the global microchip supply crisis was at its height, according to Mr Schofield. “The imported pumps use old-style AC motors that are less than half the price of permanent magnet motors equipped with microchips to vary the speed of the pump to reduce energy consumption. The non-compliant 3-speed pumps use circa 100 watts of energy compared to 30 watts for the permanent magnet design.”

Mr Schofield says supply restrictions encouraged wholesalers to source non-compliant products. “Supply chain issues, specifically problems with microchips, has brought the problem into the mainstream heating product distribution channels, with Far Eastern exporters taking advantage of high levels of demand and insufficient supply.”

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