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  • FIRST POST
    • marshall009
    • By marshall009 15th Jun 17, 4:19 PM
    • 9Posts
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    marshall009
    Eco-tec add-on to existing boiler - worthwhile?
    • #1
    • 15th Jun 17, 4:19 PM
    Eco-tec add-on to existing boiler - worthwhile? 15th Jun 17 at 4:19 PM
    We have been offered an Eco-tec add-on to our existing 15 year old boiler. Apparently this reduces the workload on the boiler and saves 25% or more on the gas bill (at an installation cost of £1400).

    It seems to be a reputable offer but I'm struggling to find any reviews (all seem to relate to Vailant boilers pre-fitted with this wheras my boiler is not Vailant and it is a retro-fit)

    Has anyone had experience of the Eco-tec system as a retro-fit?
Page 1
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 15th Jun 17, 4:44 PM
    • 3,082 Posts
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    matelodave
    • #2
    • 15th Jun 17, 4:44 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jun 17, 4:44 PM
    £1400 is a lot of money and you could probably get a brand new boiler installed for not a lot more than that. You'd also have a warranty.

    The last thing I'd do is spend that sort of money on a 15year old boiler and then find that the boiler died after a year or so.

    I'd also be very sceptical about saving 25%. I dunno what your gas bill is but even if it was £800 a year, 25% = £200 which would take at least seven years to pay back and you'd be lucky if your old boiler was going to last another seven years.

    I'd be more inclined to put £50 a month away in a piggy bank ready for the day when the boiler does eventually die.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • marshall009
    • By marshall009 15th Jun 17, 5:36 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    marshall009
    • #3
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:36 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:36 PM
    hmmmm... thanks for your response. Well, our bill is actually £900pa on gas and although we were quoted 25% savings this is allegedly a minimum and it is typically around £30% (which is why I'm asking around to see if anyone has experience of these systems)

    I do believe the Eco-tec is a reputable system as Worcester Bosch boilers now come with it pre-installed.

    I understand that a (decent, not cheapo) new boiler would be around £2500 installed so if I can make this one last a few more years I would prefer to do so. When I do get around to a new boiler, this system can be incorporated into it, so it continues to reduce the gas bill even then
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 15th Jun 17, 7:40 PM
    • 4,541 Posts
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    Hengus
    • #4
    • 15th Jun 17, 7:40 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Jun 17, 7:40 PM
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545245/PFGHR_Report_-_FINAL__1_.pdf

    Be wary of men citing statistical savings. It is not 30% off your gas bill as standing charges are fixed. Moreover, the biggest savings in gas usage are in households that use a lot of DHW when the gas flue heat recovery system has a thermal store.
    • marshall009
    • By marshall009 15th Jun 17, 7:54 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    marshall009
    • #5
    • 15th Jun 17, 7:54 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Jun 17, 7:54 PM
    Thank you Hengus, the system I have been offered is not a heat-recovery system but a method of preventing the boiler from firing up on every cycle when the temp of the water in the system is still high enough to be used in another cycle without being heated again.

    I have been googling for 'Eco-tec' but not getting useful results as a retro-fit

    Mike
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 15th Jun 17, 8:18 PM
    • 2,899 Posts
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    EachPenny
    • #6
    • 15th Jun 17, 8:18 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Jun 17, 8:18 PM
    I remember something that sounds a bit like this from many years ago. It was a timer which inhibited further firing of the boiler for a set period of time, rather than just relying on the circulating water thermostat determining the need for firing. The system would still alow the system temperature to reach the maximum, but would allow it to drop a lot further than the point where the system thermostat would normally start firing again.

    Not surprisingly, if the boiler fires for less time it uses less energy - but that came at the expense of possibly running the heating system for longer overall in order to achieve the required heat levels.

    No doubt something similar is on the market today - and probably far more sophisticated.

    What kind of boiler do you have marshall009? If it is a combi then I'd be interested to hear how this device works, as the hot water demand is likely to result in far more frequent firing than the system of old would want to allow - I'm not sure the operating principles would be compatible.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 15th Jun 17, 8:22 PM
    • 4,541 Posts
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    Hengus
    • #7
    • 15th Jun 17, 8:22 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Jun 17, 8:22 PM
    Smart heating controls are advertised as being able to achieve savings of up to 40%; however, this figure is based on a house that has no heating controls (e.g. Timer, or thermostat). Most modern controls use what is known as TPI to aggregate the total heating demand to better inform how long the boiler needs to be on. Basic thermostats are nothing more than an on/off switch which results in un-necessary boiler cycling. I have a Honeywell Evohome control system which has reduced my annual gas usage by 20%.

    Eco- Tec is just a term that Valliant uses for some of its boilers. Reco - Flue is their flue recovery system. Their TPI control system is called vSmart.

    http://www.honeywelluk.com/documents/All/pdf/TPI%20Functionality%20explained.pdf
    Last edited by Hengus; 15-06-2017 at 8:39 PM. Reason: Correction
    • marshall009
    • By marshall009 15th Jun 17, 9:42 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    marshall009
    • #8
    • 15th Jun 17, 9:42 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Jun 17, 9:42 PM
    This is the Eco-Tec I have been offered midlandsrenewables.co.uk/ecotec (I am not allowed to post a link
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 16th Jun 17, 8:20 AM
    • 1,391 Posts
    • 1,182 Thanks
    StopIt
    • #9
    • 16th Jun 17, 8:20 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Jun 17, 8:20 AM
    This is the Eco-Tec I have been offered midlandsrenewables.co.uk/ecotec (I am not allowed to post a link
    Originally posted by marshall009

    I would take that 25% saving figure and throw it straight in the bin.


    Our boiler has a feature like this, and yes, there are times when it does do exactly as intended. However, a decent wireless thermostat controller can produce similar results for much cheaper. For that cost, I'll be putting the amount towards a new boiler entirely, getting a more efficient system to start with AND this functionality too.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 16th Jun 17, 8:50 AM
    • 4,541 Posts
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    Hengus
    Have a read of this article and then ask the person offering you ecoTec to show you its Erp rating and the calculations that underpin the projected savings. FWiW, if you did buy this piece of kit and then connected it to a new condensing boiler then you would probably invalidate the boiler warranty. I have a modern condensing boiler with a 5:1 gas valve modulation ratio (that is, the boiler varies its output from the full 24.8kWs down to 5kWs depending on heat demand) that talks to my control system via a manufacturer approved OpenTherm connection. Together, the controller and the boiler determine the boiler firing rate and gas valve position to achieve maximum efficiency. The bit that worried me a lot in the link was the reference to 'steam'. Modern boilers are designed to 'steam' (that is; eject water condensation) as removing the heat from the flue gases is a key part of the energy efficiency process as is getting the return flow to a temperature which allows condensation (below approx 55C) to occur.

    http://www.sunvic.co.uk/blog/posts/2013/august/what-is-the-erp-directive/
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 16th Jun 17, 1:05 PM
    • 3,082 Posts
    • 1,814 Thanks
    matelodave
    Reading the Eco-Tec info I'm guessing that for £1400 you get something like this https://www.amazon.com/Differential-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat-Fahrenheit/dp/B01ETRIZUG which strikes me a a rather large mark up.

    I reckon it just over-rides the internal boiler stat and only allows the boiler to run when there's a preset temperature difference between the incoming and out going water. Although it probably needs the pump to run to work properly.

    You'd be a lot better off splashing out a few bob on a wireless programmable thermostat so you can adjust the the temperatures and times that the heating comes on to suit your lifestyle a bit better, cost around £100 installed.

    Reduce the temperature of yor hot water and if you've got a tank, make sure it's properly insulated - add another jacket to it and optimise when you heat it - ideally for an hour or so before you get up for morning ablutions and if necessary an hour before bedtime if there's not enough hot water left. There's no advantage it keeping the tank hot all night or all day if you aren't using it.

    Do other stuff like reducing the amount of hot water you use/waste and make sure you've got sufficient insulation in your loft. A bit of draught proofing might help as well.

    TRV's on your rads are also worth considering and nowadays you can get programmable sensor heads which will turn the valve on & off at preset times/temperatures to give you a bit more control - they'll even fit your existing TRV's https://www.victorianplumbing.co.uk/terrier-i-temp-programmable-thermostatic-radiator-valve?campaign=googlebase&PS2PVV1=1739&gclid=Cj0KE Qjwg47KBRDk7LSu4LTD8eEBEiQAO4O6r5VL9iJTTYR80v_Ljn8 gc4U765rA4yGTWXmHFPZ9iwUaAoc-8P8HAQ

    All of that will probably cost you less than a couple of hundred quid and could easily save you 20%
    Last edited by matelodave; 16-06-2017 at 1:25 PM.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • marshall009
    • By marshall009 16th Jun 17, 2:29 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    marshall009
    I remember something that sounds a bit like this from many years ago. It was a timer which inhibited further firing of the boiler for a set period of time, rather than just relying on the circulating water thermostat determining the need for firing. The system would still alow the system temperature to reach the maximum, but would allow it to drop a lot further than the point where the system thermostat would normally start firing again.

    Not surprisingly, if the boiler fires for less time it uses less energy - but that came at the expense of possibly running the heating system for longer overall in order to achieve the required heat levels.

    No doubt something similar is on the market today - and probably far more sophisticated.

    What kind of boiler do you have marshall009? If it is a combi then I'd be interested to hear how this device works, as the hot water demand is likely to result in far more frequent firing than the system of old would want to allow - I'm not sure the operating principles would be compatible.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    EachPenny, mine is a Sime combi-boiler and the eco-tec system is offered by Midlands renewables, the relevant website (disguised as I'm not permitted to post a link) is vvv,midlandsrenewables.co.uk/ecotec

    thanks, mike
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 16th Jun 17, 3:00 PM
    • 3,082 Posts
    • 1,814 Thanks
    matelodave
    A brand new shiny Sime combi boiler from Plumbase is around £520 plus VAT and has 5 years warranty. Is it really worth adding a £1400 piece of "magic" on the front of it to save a possible £200 a year.

    Entirely up to you of course but it does sound as though you've been brainwashed a bit
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 16th Jun 17, 3:06 PM
    • 4,541 Posts
    • 2,709 Thanks
    Hengus
    EachPenny, mine is a Sime combi-boiler and the eco-tec system is offered by Midlands renewables, the relevant website (disguised as I'm not permitted to post a link) is vvv,midlandsrenewables.co.uk/ecotec

    thanks, mike
    Originally posted by marshall009
    The problem is - and I have posted your question on the Automated Home website - is that nobody has ever heard of this type of energy-saving kit. Given the number of old boilers that are still plodding on, one would think that anything that could save a homeowner 30% in heating bills would be flying off the shelves.

    Here is a link:

    http://www.midlandsrenewables.co.uk/ecotec

    The only company that appears to be selling this clever box of tricks is Midland Renewables. I would look at Company House for information about the business.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 16th Jun 17, 3:44 PM
    • 8,517 Posts
    • 5,046 Thanks
    teddysmum
    Buying the setup would be a waste of money, as it won't be used with the next boiler as that boiler will have it as part of its spec.


    We leave ours on ,after I asked the installer about switching it off to save gas and he said the amount of gas involved was so small that we may as well leave it on.


    Leaving it on means we have hot water after about 300ml of water have left the tap, then a burst of cooler water, before the boiler gives a stream of hot water. The small amount is actually sufficient for a hand wash or rinsing a cup out, so no need for the boiler to kick in and heat water that will just cool in the pipes.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 16th Jun 17, 4:46 PM
    • 4,541 Posts
    • 2,709 Thanks
    Hengus
    Just to make one final point. If you want to spend £1400 to reduce your heating bills, then that amount of money will buy you a lot of Honeywell Evohome Kit which is not boiler dependent. This will allow you to zone your house with electronic TRVs controlling the temperatures in each room. I have had it installed now for over 3 years and my records show a 20% gas saving compared to the 2013/14 annual usage figure with much improved comfort. You can have heat in rooms when and where you want it. Moreover, the system is supported by an excellent technical team at Honeywell. Alternatively, consider something like Hive, Nest or Tado. They are all TPI-based control systems.

    With the heating turned down at the moment, my daily gas cost (250L HW cylinder maintained in the temperature range 57 to 60C; 2 people and gas hob cooking) is 35p/day including standing charge and VAT. This time last year with an old cast iron boiler, the cost was 45p/day. It was a lot more before Evohome. Yes, we do shower and eat.

    The Evohome controller does all the clever calculations to get maximum efficiency out of each boiler cycle. Details here:

    https://getconnected.honeywell.com/en/evohome?gclid=CO7m_vTZwtQCFW4R0wod98MKEg

    It's not perfect and it has to be installed properly but it is undoubtedly the most capable smart heating system on the market today.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 16th Jun 17, 10:18 PM
    • 2,899 Posts
    • 5,252 Thanks
    EachPenny
    EachPenny, mine is a Sime combi-boiler and the eco-tec system is offered by Midlands renewables, the relevant website (disguised as I'm not permitted to post a link) is vvv,midlandsrenewables.co.uk/ecotec
    Originally posted by marshall009
    It does sound similar to the kind of device I was thinking of, but upgraded and quite a bit more complex.

    As you have a combi boiler unless you use hot water very infrequently then the boiler is going to be firing quite often just for hot water needs. These firings cannot be inhibited by any kind of add-on device, otherwise you'll have cold water coming out of your hot taps. Therefore I am sceptical about the potential savings you can make - if you had an old traditional style boiler heating a hot water cylinder then the situation might be different.

    So I would agree with the wise people who have already offered you their advice. It is a lot of money to spend on a device to achieve a relatively small annual saving. The energy consumption reduction measures suggested by the others are all very sensible and more likely to provide you with a positive return on your investment.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • reeac
    • By reeac 17th Jun 17, 11:05 AM
    • 1,111 Posts
    • 446 Thanks
    reeac
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545245/PFGHR_Report_-_FINAL__1_.pdf

    Be wary of men citing statistical savings. It is not 30% off your gas bill as standing charges are fixed. Moreover, the biggest savings in gas usage are in households that use a lot of DHW when the gas flue heat recovery system has a thermal store.
    Originally posted by Hengus
    This is the Eco-Tec I have been offered midlandsrenewables.co.uk/ecotec (I am not allowed to post a link
    Originally posted by marshall009
    I see from their website that midlandsrenewables is situated next to a district called Botany Bay but don't let that put you off.
    • marshall009
    • By marshall009 17th Jun 17, 2:08 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    marshall009
    I reckon it just over-rides the internal boiler stat and only allows the boiler to run when there's a preset temperature difference between the incoming and out going water. Although it probably needs the pump to run to work properly.

    You'd be a lot better off splashing out a few bob on a wireless programmable thermostat so you can adjust the the temperatures and times that the heating comes on to suit your lifestyle a bit better, cost around £100 installed.

    Reduce the temperature of yor hot water and if you've got a tank, make sure it's properly insulated - add another jacket to it and optimise when you heat it - ideally for an hour or so before you get up for morning ablutions and if necessary an hour before bedtime if there's not enough hot water left. There's no advantage it keeping the tank hot all night or all day if you aren't using it.

    Do other stuff like reducing the amount of hot water you use/waste and make sure you've got sufficient insulation in your loft. A bit of draught proofing might help as well.

    TRV's on your rads are also worth considering and nowadays you can get programmable sensor heads which will turn the valve on & off at preset times/temperatures to give you a bit more control - they'll even fit your existing TRV's

    All of that will probably cost you less than a couple of hundred quid and could easily save you 20%[/QUOTE]
    Thanks Matelodave, the consensus is agains the eco-wotsit so I will not be going ahead with that.
    mine is a combi-boiler so no tank to worry about. My radiators are single-panel with fins and do not heat the house enough in winter so I will probably invest in new double rads, and yes, they will have thermostatic valves though I hope modern ones work!
    I have valves on most of my current radiators and they have never really worked - I can turn them right down yet the radiator remains hot
    • marshall009
    • By marshall009 18th Jun 17, 11:39 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    marshall009
    My response got a bit messed up trying to quote the previous so I'll repeat the relevant bit here:

    Thanks Matelodave, the consensus is against the eco-wotsit so I will not be going ahead with that.
    mine is a combi-boiler so no tank to worry about. My radiators are single-panel with fins and do not heat the house enough in winter so I will probably invest in new double rads, and yes, they will have thermostatic valves though I hope modern ones work!
    I have valves on most of my current radiators and they have never really worked - I can turn them right down yet the radiator remains hot
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