Last edited 01 May 2018

Domestic building services compliance guide

The Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide is a government publication that provides guidance on the installation of building services in new and existing properties to assist in complying with the energy efficiency requirements of the Building Regulations.

It provides more detailed information on the guidance contained in Approved Document L1A: Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings, and Approved Document L1B: Conservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings.

The Domestic Building Services Compliance guide 2013 edition (incorporating 2018 amendments) came into effect on 6 April 2018.

The guide is concerned with the installation of:

It sets out recommended minimum energy efficiency standards for components of building services systems, including controls. For systems installed in new buildings, the standards are design limits. For new or replacement systems and components installed in existing buildings, the standards represent reasonable provision for complying with the building regulations.

It also provides supplementary information regarding good practice that exceeds the minimum standards, such as Microgeneration Certification Scheme standards.

The guide is broken down into four fuel-based sections and nine technology-specific sections:

Fuel based:


Relevant European and UK legislation in relation to fixed building service product design and fitting include:

  • The Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC which provides a background for establishing the requirements for ‘energy related’ products.
  • Energy Labelling Directive 2010/30/EU – This provides a system for labelling energy-related products such as lamps and washing machines.
  • Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC – This promotes the use of energy from renewable sources.
  • Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU – This encourages energy efficiency to ensure the EU meets its commitment to achieve a 20% energy consumption reduction by 2020.
  • Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2013/31/EU – This directive sets out minimum energy performance standards and the methods for calculating the performance of buildings, as well as inspections of heating and air conditioning units.

The 2018 amendments introduced revised standards for when gas-fired and oil-fired boilers are installed or replaced in existing dwellings.

See also: Non-domestic building services compliance guide.

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