Keeping your property warm has never been more expensive. UK wholesale gas prices have rocketed and have been at their highest level for years. More and more people are investigating greener alternatives and trying to become more energy conscious to reduce their own carbon footprint.
Robert Franklin, Head of Architecture & Building Surveying comments “Consequently, I believe it is essential to ensure the energy we are paying so much more for, heats our properties for longer. It is becoming increasingly more important that we investigate ways to better insulate our homes and businesses. We have discussed this in a previous article here.”
In addition, as part of the Government’s plans to strive towards net zero, it has announced from 2025 that all new homes will no longer be built with gas boilers. They are also currently consulting on raising the threshold for acceptable EPC ratings for all properties which are rented out (domestic and commercial).
We are all focussing towards cleaner, greener energy sources for our homes. So, what are the current available renewable alternatives to mains gas?
From April 2022, the Government will be offering subsidies of £5,000 for homeowners in England and Wales to make the switch from gas boilers to heat pumps.
There are two common types:
The most common type which is suitable for most households is the air-to-water heat pumps. These can typically cost between £8,000 – £12,000. You also need suitable space outside with enough space for air to circulate.
The price of ground-to-water heat pumps is much more expensive and typically around £25,000 – £30,000. You will also require a sizable area of land to install the necessary underground pipes.
A common sight on many properties. Photovoltaics solar panels capture energy from the sun, which is converted into electricity. This can be used to power your property, or exported to the grid, for which you’ll be paid.
This is a truly renewable energy source and, while they work best in sunshine, they still generate electricity without direct sunlight and on cloudy days.
The average cost of a typical system is around £6,000 – £8,000 and prices are dependent on the size of the installation and suitability of your existing roof.
More recently, new household batteries have become more readily available and affordable. When connected to form an energy system, these allow you to capture and store electricity during the day for you to use in the evening when your solar PV panels are no longer generating electricity.
Biomass is a renewable energy source usually generated from burning logs, chips or pellets.
This can heat a single room, such as with a standard wood-burning stove. Alternatively, it can be fitted with a boiler and connected to your central heating and hot water system. They are often suitable for larger properties or multiple developments where economies of scale are much easier to achieve.
Wood-burning biomass boilers are larger than gas or oil boilers and they are not suitable for most urban properties. In addition, you also need storage space for the fuel and for accommodating a suitable flue. Costs are more difficult to estimate and will be dependent upon each individual project.
All the above technology is expensive to install, which is why it makes more economic sense as part of larger refurbishments.
While the upfront cost may seem off-putting, renewable based systems should save money on your energy costs over time. Nobody thought that the UK’s transition to net zero would be an easy road to follow and there will be many hurdles and further solutions along the way.
We can help you make your properties more energy efficient and save you money. Whether it’s improving insulation, lighting or heating, we can guide you through all the regulations and ensure you futureproof your assets. If you’re considering a building project, please include us at an early stage as many of these aspects can easily be designed and incorporated in your building works and trying to do them retrospectively can be expensive and indifferent.
If you require more information or would like to discuss how we can help make your property more energy efficient, please contact Robert Franklin.