Building Systems Efficiency

A document produced this year by parliament helps to see how important we now see the matter of building towards net zero energy efficiency. Wales, Ireland and Scotland have all made efforts to change whilst England lags behind. Reducing energy usage relies on us not only insulating and having airtight homes but also using the correct systems to heat them.

So what choices make sense? Traditional heating options such as electric heating panels and immersion cylinders or gas or oil central heating radiators and multi-point hot water boilers are being replace with systems that use what we already have available; i.e., the heat from the sun that warms our air and the heat from deep in the ground beneath us. These are converted into energy efficient systems that use either ground source heat or air source heat pumps, or even both. The cost of installation is far higher, yet due to lower energy bills will equate over a period of time. Initial investment for individual home owners is a stumbling block, but no excuse for commercial developers who have a duty to change the supply and demand pricing structure for the benefit of all and the planet.

Renewable energy heating systems include:

wood burning stoves

solar water heating systems

heat pumps

biomass boilers

Some also consider hydrogen as a choice for the future.

And we can generate our own energy through solar panels and wind turbines.

"Legislation was put in place in 2018 to phase out inefficient gas boilers; the regulation now known as ‘Boiler Plus’ stipulates that all new Combi boilers installed must have a minimum energy efficiency of 92%. The UK government hopes to phase out the gas network almost completely by 2050, and in March 2019 it was confirmed that from 2025 it will be illegal to install gas boilers in new build homes."

‘Over 80% of energy used in homes is for heating – suggesting large potential for continued decarbonisation.’

— Energising Britain: Progress, impacts and outlook for transforming Britain’s energy system, by I. Staffell, M. Jansen, A. Chase, C. Lewis and E. Cotton, 2018.

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