We just completed a renewable and heating system plan of action on a 6 bed house on Fulham and got a CO2saving of 4931kg p/a, that’s nearly 5 tonnes of CO2 saved per year by someone installing an air source heat pump instead of a normal gas boiler into the design of a retrofit home. If you introduce a renewable heating and energy system early on in the design phase of the project you can get great CO2 reduction results.
Heat pumps work better with under floor heating so should be considered for all retrofits in the design phase. Large kitchen/dinner/living areas that have become so popular work well with this system of underfloor heating linked to heat pumps. Even a 3 bedroom retrofit can CO2 savings of 3 tonnes per year.
It is possible for all us as designers and developers to really make a huge difference in the fight against climate change. 1.6 million boilers are replaced every year, so if the retrofit market can get even 320,000 of those household turning to renewable energy and heat pump technology, we will be getting huge reductions to the UK’s carbon footprint.
We need the government to keep its word on the Renewable Heating Incentive and Green Grants Schemes. But also heating engineers, architects, plumbers and developers all getting in on the Green Revolution happening in the UK home heating sector.
A 4931kg per year saving in CO2 for a 6 bed house in London is amazing but it’s the 2/3 bed homes all around the country that will have the biggest impact on our carbon reduction. A two bed terrace cottage popular in most railway towns will not be able to even install heat pumps due to space issues, so other options like electric boilers linked to solar panels are a option.
I believe that there is now a willing public out there that is prepared to do things differently and try new heating options. Before when your boiler broke down you moaned for a week about how expensive it was to replace and replaced it anyway with a gas replacement. Now we have to educate the public that there are numerous other renewable heating systems out there that aren’t as expensive (if using government grants) as preserved.
So let’s get together and change the way we heat our homes in the UK!