JULY 2013
TACMA Research supports the energy saving benefits of installing controls

New figures released today by our Controls Association detail the savings that can be made by installing a full set of heating controls. They show that a home owner can save up to 40% (up to £409.86) on their heating costs by installing a room thermostat and TRV’s and can expect to recoup installation costs in 15 months or under.

The key messages about these new figures was announced to the Trade press by TACMA today and the following are the main points from the press release


New research carried out for TACMA, the controls association within BEAMA, shows that the installation of effective temperature controls on home heating systems has a far more significant effect on minimising energy use than previously predicted.

Tests in a typical UK house, built within an environmental chamber, show that energy consumption by the heating systems can be reduced by up to 40% through the installation of a room thermostat and TRVs, with installation costs recovered in a year or less.

Carried out by the University of Salford, the tests also showed how the application of TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves), providing independent temperature control in every room, can significantly improve comfort for householders by providing satisfactory heat distribution around a dwelling. The tests show this is not achieved without TRVs, even if the system is balanced


The following are the statements in the Press release that you can use with customers:

Conclusions: On highlighting the conclusions from the research Colin Timmins said: "The potential savings from the installation of heating controls (room thermostat and TRVs) is over 40% of the heating costs - far greater than previously assumed.

“The use of controls also improves comfort for householders by providing satisfactory heat distribution around a dwelling – tests show this is not achieved without TRVs, even if the system is balanced.

“Temperature controls offer a quick payback of typically around a year and payback is even quicker when done at the time of a boiler replacement. Installers will benefit by ensuring that all households have a room thermostat and a full set of TRVs to ensure that the UK has homes that are both comfortable and affordably warm.” 

Information regarding how the tests were carried out:

TACMA commissioned the University of Salford to carry out some independent tests on the performance of heating controls in their Energy House facility.  Consisting of a full size house built within an environmental chamber, the facility is designed to assess the effectiveness of new and existing technologies in reducing energy use and waste.

The Energy House at Salford University was opened during Spring 2012 and is the only facility of its kind in the world.  A representative pre 1910, Victorian-style terrace was reconstructed within an environmentally controllable chamber, in which levels of heat, light humidity and rain can be simulated. The facility monitors energy consumption to assess the effect of different ways to sustainably retrofit the existing housing stock. The house is representative of over 5 million of the current UK housing stock and is fully furnished and fitted as a typical working home with a conventional heating system with an A-rated condensing boiler and radiators.


TACMA have produced figures showing estimated annual fuel cost savings and also estimated pay back times for various controls installations:

The top line results from the tests are shown in the table below. These have also been used to estimate the annual cost, and therefore the cost effectiveness of installing heating controls where they are not currently present:



Test results

Estimated cost effectiveness of controls[1] 

Tests carried out

24 hr heating cost[2] 

Reduced cost from controls

Type of upgrade

Potential annual saving[3] 

Estimated payback

1 - No temperature control






2 – Control by room thermostat only



Install a room thermostat


18 months

3 – Control by room thermostat + TRVs



Install a room thermostat and TRVs



15 months

Install TRVs to a system with an existing room thermostat



14 months

Install TRVs when replacing boiler (in addition to a room thermostat)



9 months


[1] Based on savings in the test house and cost of measures if installed into a similar house.

[2] Based on British Gas Clear & Simple cash / card payment (4.274p per kWh gas, 12.797p per kWh electric) not including standing charge (24.439per day gas, 15.979p per day electric) - Prices taken on 07/05/2013

from: http://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/gas-and-electricity/our-energy-tariffs/clear-and- sim ple/clear-and-simple-rates.html

[3] Figures are based on a heating season of 243 days, with 75% of the savings in March, April, November and 50% in October and September. Paybacks are calculated using installation costs calculated by TACMA for the Green deal call for evidence in March 2011. The measure ‘TRVs at time of boiler replacement’ assumes that the system is already drained down.