The convenience of gas has made it the most popular form of domestic heating and that has been the case for some years. There are still some places in the UK where mains gas is not available and that allows calor gas, oil and electricity a greater chance of business. There are more eco friendly alternatives and it is surely worth looking at them, especially as every government in the developed world at least has undertaken to reduce their carbon emissions.
In the case of the UK, the Government is aiming to increase the use of renewable energy sources to 12% of the total by the end of the decade. In order to achieve this there is work to be done. One initiative that it introduced in April 2014 was the Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI) which will pay consumers a quarterly figure for every kilowatt hour of energy produced within the house from renewable energy. It will do that for seven years and the offer is open to anyone that starts before April 2015. Indeed it has been back dated so that anyone who did such an installation after 2009 qualifies.
It is surely worth looking at the alternatives. There are heat pumps that use renewable energy and have just small electricity consumption to operate the pump. Air Source heat pumps prices and running costs present a powerful argument for considering a switch especially as the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers show little inclination to drop their prices even though their own wholesale purchasing price has dropped with the oil price being so vulnerable.
These pumps are fairly easy to install. The unit is placed against an external wall; it is about the size of a typical air conditioner. The pump draws in the air and heats it prior to it providing heat and hot water within the house. The pumps are fairly maintenance free and the system is as automatic as anything on the market today.
They work particularly well with under floor heating, especially in new builds. The amount of heat generated is less than in conventional systems but the solution to that is simply to install slightly larger radiators.
In summer, the system can be reversed so that it takes heat out of the air within the house. There is a slight problem with this, which is the system cannot provide domestic hot water while operating in this mode. Two units would solve that and would also allow the family to heat some rooms and cool others.
The pressure on the environment will never relent. There is unlikely to be a time when governments can relax. Heat pumps certainly address part of the problem when it comes to boosting the use of renewable energy.