What is a low-carbon heating system and why is this important for my home?

Understanding Low-Carbon Heating Systems

A Low-Carbon Heating System is one that operates by utilising energy from renewable and sustainable sources such as the sun, wind, or naturally occurring energy like hydro-power, without relying on fossil fuels such as gas or oil. While some debates exist over whether biomass and nuclear energy qualify as truly “renewable,” one undeniable fact is that our home electricity is becoming increasingly cleaner compared to traditional gas sources, which were once considered clean.

Why is this Transition Important for Your Home?

The energy we use to heat and power our homes predominantly comes from two sources: gas and electricity. As we gradually shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, electrified heating becomes synonymous with renewable heating. The National Grid ESO is preparing Great Britain’s electricity system to run purely on zero carbon electricity by 2025, making electrified heating systems even cleaner in time.

It’s widely agreed that continuing to burn gas for home heating is incompatible with a net zero carbon future, and that electrification is “the only viable option” for decarbonising heating for large buildings at scale, and that hydrogen will not be a viable solution for domestic heat, necessitating a gradual transition towards electrified alternatives. This transition mirrors the shift happening in the automobile industry. When the time comes to replace your heating boiler (typically after about ten years), it is wise to consider the low-carbon alternatives that are now available.

Four Types of Low-Carbon, Electrified Heating Systems

  1. Zero Emission Boilers: This innovative new category of smart thermal storage boiler offers a straightforward replacement of standard gas, heating oil or direct electric boilers. They operate like a heat battery ‘charging up’ using electricity during the greenest grid periods, efficiently storing the energy needed to keep your home warm; ready to supply your radiators or underfloor heating on demand. The tepeo Zero Emission Boiler (ZEB®) features a Smart Charging algorithm that adapts to your specific heating requirements, current tariff, and weather forecast, ensuring precise control over when and how much energy is stored and heat is produced. This makes it cost-effective to use compared to other boilers and heat pumps.
  2. Heat Pumps: Sometimes maligned and misunderstood, Heat Pumps represent a sustainable heating solution that primarily generates its own renewable energy, utilising technology akin to your refrigerator or freezer. Operating almost continuously, they offer limited flexibility when it comes to avoiding costly, high-carbon grid electricity consumption. Although their running costs are comparable to gas boilers, the initial purchase and installation expenses for Heat Pumps exceed those of alternative electrified heating systems.
  3. Electric Boilers: These electrified boilers offer a straightforward transition from traditional gas boilers, seamlessly integrating with existing central heating systems. However, these boilers have limited or no energy storage capacity, unfortunately resulting in direct consumption of substantial electricity when delivering heat. Many electric boilers demand three-phase power, operating on peak-rate and higher carbon electricity, which can lead to operating costs nearly three times higher than Zero Emission Boilers or Heat Pumps.
  4. Electric Panels: Often found in flats and apartments these standalone ‘heaters’ come in various configurations, some equipped with storage capabilities, while others utilise infrared technology (producing heat that feels like sunshine). If you already have central heating, the installation process can be more complex and may necessitate the removal of your existing central heating system, along with house redecoration. Additionally, without the efficient use of off-peak electricity, or home solar panels, operating direct electric panels can be relatively expensive.

Elevate your home heating experience by exploring these electrified heating solutions that can utilise low-carbon renewable energy. Each option offers its unique advantages, empowering you to make an informed choice for your home’s comfort and efficiency.

Maximising Carbon Reduction – Toward Net Zero

ZEB® stands out for its ability to utilise renewable energy sources and off-peak periods, helping you make the most of time-of-use tariffs and minimise energy costs. It operates as an energy-storing “battery,” which maximises consumption of available renewable energy, and helps the national electricity grid to get even cleaner and lower cost!

Saying Farewell to Fossil Fuels with Ease

Transitioning to a greener, more sustainable heating solution with the ZEB® is remarkably hassle-free. Designed to directly replace a standard fossil fuel boiler, there’s no need to secure planning permission, repipe, increase radiator sizes, or make substantial changes to your heating system. You can enjoy the benefits of low-carbon renewable energy without altering your home or heating habits.

Join the Zero Emission Boiler Revolution

Are you ready to be a part of the Zero Emission Boiler revolution? Explore how ZEB® can transform your home heating experience and take a significant step toward a greener, more sustainable future by visiting the tepeo website today.

Contact us at hello@tepeo.com to learn more.

Author: Rob Whitney IEng MIET | tepeoPRO Network Lead