The Energy Savings Trust has said that getting rid of an old, inefficient boiler and replacing it with an A-Rated, high efficiency condensing boiler (as well as installing modern heating controls) could save house holders up to £305 per year, as well as significantly reducing carbon emissions.
According to figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), It’s estimated that 21 million homes in Britain are heated by gas, with space and water heating making up 83% of total household energy bills. Furthermore, the figures state that more than 25% of total energy use and carbon dioxide emissions in the UK comes from energy used in the home. Amazingly, this is a greater percentage than road transport or industry use. A survey done by the DECC shows that 35% of adults in the UK are concerned by high energy bills and 32% are worried about bills rising in the future.
In a separate study, the University of Salford undertook research that showed the installation of a room thermostat and installing thermostatic radiator valves can reduce energy consumption in the home by as much as 40% over a year.
One of the main benefits of installing water and heating controls is that the customer has complete control over when their heating and hot water comes on. This allows for only the rooms in use being heated and each room can have it’s own individual temperature. The days of having one centrally located thermostat are fast disappearing as we realise this is not the most efficient way of heating a house.
Using a programmable room thermostat correctly gives householders the ability to set different temperatures throughout the day. Likewise, the installation of thermostatic radiator valves also allows for different temperatures to be set in different rooms and the lower the setting on the TRV, the less energy is consumed. More figures from the Energy Savings Trust suggest that implementing these two measure can save bill payers between £70 – £150 as well as greatly cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.
There have been recent changes to Part L of the Building Regulations which seeks to ensure that new build homes are much more energy efficient. The changes aim to enforce efficiency measures such as using heat and hot water zones and a boiler interlock.
Although many older buildings were not originally subjected to these regulations, it is still possible to create and control separate zones within older properties. Unoccupied rooms, or rooms that don’t need high temperatures (e.g bedrooms or rooms with lots of glazing), can be in a separate zone to more commonly used rooms like living rooms or childrens playrooms. By making sure the different zones have their own programmable controls, it means that rooms not in use do not have to be heated unnecessarily.
Advances in technology have also made this situation cheaper and easier to implement. for example, most modern thermostats have a holiday mode which allows people to ensure their heating and water systems are running at reduced capacity while they are away. Additionally, wireless control systems are becoming more common, which negates the need for expensive electrical or redecoration work. Throw in the fact that the water and heating industry are now taking advantage of smartphone technology, and we are increasingly finding that we are more in control of our energy use in our homes than ever before.
Article by Benjamin Clarke