Electric heating myths debunked

Electric Heating Myths Debunked. The government’s delayed ban on gas boilers has raised concerns over the cost of heat pumps. Air source heat pumps have been cited by reports to be the reason for the proposed delay. Keith Bastian, CEO of electric heating provider Fischer Future Heat and clean energy supplier Outfox the Market, says that air source heat pumps should be switched for dynamic direct acting storage heating.

However, despite being the most suitable alternative to heat pumps, electric heating is still plagued by numerous myths. In this article, Keith debunks the myths that are impeding a viable and vital zero-carbon solution.

In the 25 years that I have been involved in the heating industry, the misconceptions around electric heating have remained unchanged. This is disappointing since the benefits of electric heating counterbalance the problems presented by air source heat pumps.

Where the costs of installing heat pumps have delayed the boiler ban, electric heating remains a much cheaper alternative and negates maintenance expenditure.

However, the opposite is believed to be true in the opinion of the consumer. Given the government and housing industry’s commitment to heat pumps, it seems the misconceptions encompass more than the casual consumer.

‘Electric Heating Is Excessively Expensive’
The upfront installation costs of electric heating are lower than other clean-energy alternatives. Ground source heat pumps cost between £20,000 and £35,000, whilst air source pumps, the most common type, cost around £8,000 – £18,000. Electric heating has far less hardware that needs to be installed, therefore the cost of electric heating remains lower.

Dynamic storage heaters also requires no maintenance or servicing, meaning that owners of electric heating will never run into additional costs after their systems have been installed.

‘Electric Heating is Old Technology’
Modern dynamic storage radiators are now controlled remotely, often via mobile apps or wireless thermostatic controls. This means your home heating can be monitored and managed easily. Thermostatic controls can detect temperatures and adjust automatically, aligned to your own preferences. Yes, of course old storage heaters have hot helped the true efficiency of electric heating. However we continue to remove these old heaters and replace them with dynamic direct acting storage heaters that give the user full control . You are never left in the cold.

Individualised energy saving programs and Wi-Fi connectivity are generally a standard feature with electric heating. With other energy alternatives, this feature would require retrofitting. Possessing greater control doesn’t just mean additional convenience. It also means a reduction in carbon emissions and a significant reduction in energy bills.

‘Electric Radiators Are Ugly’
When I began my journey in the world of electric heating, it was my aim to dispel the opinion that electric radiators are unsightly. I took this perception seriously, and manufactured electric heaters with a modern sleek aesthetic that were a perfect fit for contemporary homes. As well as their pleasing aesthetic, electric radiators are multi-functional and technology led. Electric heating is highly adaptable because of this, and can be installed anywhere in your home – even in a bathroom.

‘Electric Heating Is Not Efficient’
Electric heating remains vastly more efficient than heat pumps, gas and oil boilers due to the way the heat is distributed. A conventional heating system will push warm air to the ceiling of the room, allowing cold air to stay at seating-level. In contrast, dynamic electric heaters feature flutes to draw that cold air from the floor and distribute heat evenly, from floor-to-ceiling. With electric heating, there is no wasted heat. Every kilowatt of heat radiated from electric heaters contributes to an even and complete warmth in your home.

‘Electric Heating Requires Infrastructure Investment’
Consumers have a distorted perception of the infrastructure needed to implement electric heating. This could be attributed to the high costs of installing heat pumps, and the vast expenditure of the government on national infrastructure to implement them. Too many consumers have come to think of clean energy as costly and complex. With incessant messaging about heat pump costs and the subsequent boiler ban, it is a hard to refute this notion.

One of the reasons I have advocated electric heating for more than a decade is due to how easy they are to install; they require little more than standard sockets and brackets. When I hear the government talk about the infrastructure investments for clean energy, it is a disheartening thought that electric heating requires none and is yet not considered. It ought to be considered that if the government had committed to electric heating with the same enthusiasm as with heat pumps, would we be talking of a five-year delay to the boiler-ban, as we are now?

In any case with over 25 years experience surveying UK homes , I firmly believe the solution lies in a mix of different forms of electric heating not just with heat pumps. “It’s never going to be one size fits all”

This article has been published in the following online publications

Electric heating myths debunked: Expert unveils the TRUTH about electric alternatives

Fuel Poverty: A Smarter Approach

Fuel Poverty: A Smarter Approach

Approximately 13.4% of households in the UK are classified as being ‘fuel poor’.

Keith Bastian, CEO of clean energy supplier Outfox the Market and electric home heating provider Fischer Future Heat explains how homeowners can adopt a smarter approach to avoid fuel poverty this autumn. Before a change in definition in 2013, a household was considered fuel poor if it spent more than 10% of its annual income and energy.

However, fuel poverty is currently measured by two things;

  • Whether a household’s fuel costs are above average.
  • Whether their disposable income is below the poverty line.

Figures from 2018 demonstrate that one in 10 households were classified as fuel poor. Data from 2019 shows that the average fuel gap was an estimated £216, down by four per cent from the previous year. The aggregate gap in England was down 13.2 per cent at £687m.

The average gap is also used to calculate fuel poverty. The average gap is the difference between a household’s average bill and what this bill total should be in order for the household to be no longer considered fuel poor.

The aggregate gap is the combined sum of all fuel poor household’s gaps.

Causes of Fuel Poverty
It is also important for homeowners to remember that the definition of fuel poverty varies considerably depending on location. In 2020, the UK Government revealed that the majority of local authorities in the North West, London and the West Midlands had the highest levels of fuel poverty in the country. Overall, the fuel poverty status of a household is dependent on three factors;

  • Energy efficiency
  • Incomes
  • Energy prices

However, we are going to begin to see even more families and households experiencing fuel poverty, regardless of location. This is due to the industry regulated energy prices being set to rise in October on standard variable tariffs. A 12% increase will take the cap, which applies to 11 million UK households, to £1,277. This the highest level ever.

A Knock-On Effect
Whilst many homeowners argue that fair isn’t always the same as affordable, stakeholders and businesses are doing what we can to ensure that people aren’t being forced to choose between heating and eating. Winter is a tough time for many. A 12% increase of the energy price cap will only add to this.

Of course, it should be noted that many fixed term deals can shield customers from the effects of industry regulated price hikes. Sometimes, locking yourself into a 12-month deal or longer can pay dividends, particularly when you account for the fact that standard variable rates have so far risen twice this year.

Ways to Avoid Fuel Poverty

Young children and the elderly are the most vulnerable when experiencing fuel poverty. However, there are a few things that can be done to help those in need. During the last eighteen months, we have all lived through unprecedented events. It is imperative that people take control of their finances whenever they can.

They can do so by adopting a smarter approach to energy.

Switch: Whoever your current energy provider may be, don’t be afraid to shop around and look elsewhere for a better deal. Always consider price, sustainability and benefits. You’ll soon find a provider that ticks all of your boxes. Switching energy provider is the most effective and impactful way of taking control, but don’t always trust price comparison sites.

Update boiler systems: Don’t use inefficient boiler and water systems. If your boiler or centralised heating system is old, outdated and inefficient, then you could be using more energy than you need. The average life of a boiler is 10 to 15 years, but only when well maintained. Homeowners can either take care of their current boiler, or look at getting it replaced with something renewable and efficient. The UK Government is currently investing massively in renewable forms of energy, with home heating squarely in their agenda. If your boiler is at the end of its shelf life, consider investing smart and looking at something that will future-proof your home.

Heat smart: Be smart about heating your home. Don’t waste heat, and only heat rooms when they are in use. With traditional central heating the entire house is heated, when only one or two rooms may need it. By switching systems or utilising dynamic direct acting storage radiators, homeowners are able to heat up each room individually and maintain comfort with stored heat without any waste or unnecessary costs. This is particularly beneficial for those on a tight budget, or those with large homes with lots of rooms to heat. If we change our user profile and use more heating that allows you to control usage based on the rooms you use, this will deliver warmth in a efficient manner. This is effectively the only true mechanism of control a user has to reduce consumption and bills for a sustainable future.

Electric is not only one of the cleanest forms of energy around, but electric radiators also ensure every kW of energy produced goes into heating a room, maximising efficiency.

There are Government schemes and incentives to be considered for those that are eligible too. Whilst fuel poverty is very much an important current issue, by working together we can do our best to combat it.

This article has been published in the following online publication

Energy Crisis: How to cut YOUR heating costs as fuel poverty threat rises

GAS prices are on the rise, leaving more households across the UK at risk of fuel poverty – but what are the money-saving alternatives to traditional gas heating in your home?

Click here to read the article

How Solar PV Works

How Does Solar PV Work?

Solar PV – or Solar Photovoltaics – refers to the generation of electricity using energy from the sun. Modern solar panels are able to produce electricity from just daylight, although more electricity is produced during sunnier days.

By installing Solar PV panels, homeowners are able to generate their own electricity. The installation of Solar PV often leads to decreased energy bills due to less reliance on the grid, and also lessens a homeowner’s carbon footprint.

A lot of emphasis is placed on the benefits of Solar PV installation in the home, but how does it really work? Below we will explain the science behind Solar PV, and how these simple devices are set to change how we generate electricity.

 

The History of Solar Power

Solar energy has been used in a multitude of ways since the 7th Century BC. The Ancient Greek and Roman empires have been documented as using the sun’s rays and ‘burning mirrors’ to light ceremonial torches, as well as using reflective devices to set fire to attacking armadas.

As technology advanced, so did invention. In 1767, Swiss scientist Horace-Benedict de Saussure discovered the world’s first solar collector cell. He constructed an insulated box using three layers of glass, and when placed into the sun he found the box generated a heat upwards of 230 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since the dawn of modern technology, harnessing solar power has been an ongoing pursuit. By 1954, the first practical application of the photovoltaic cell was developed and solar power became more commercially available. Solar power is now more popular than it has ever been, and it is common to see houses with Solar PV panels installed.

 

How Does Solar PV Work?

As the panel receives sunlight, a device within the panel called an inverter changes the energy absorbed by the panels into useable electricity. This electricity can then be used to power your home, and any excess power generated can be saved a battery unit for later use or fed back to the National grid.

A typical solar panel consists of a number of photovoltaic cells grouped together, that are then layered on top of one another. The top layer of the panel features cells that are more unstable than the other layers. When an energy source reaches the surface, electrons within this layer are displaced.

These electrons are then pulled downwards towards the other layers of photovoltaic cells. This movement causes a current of energy in the cell, which then travels from the panel into a circuit where electricity is produced. This current in Solar PV panels is referred to as direct current or DC current.

However, the DC electricity produced in solar panels is not suitable to power our homes, and so the electricity produced must be converted. The DC electricity is converted to AC electricity – or alternating current electricity. For this to occur solar panels must be linked to an inverter, whereby the electricity converted becomes suitable to power our homes.

 

Why Choose Solar PV

There are numerable benefits to installing Solar PV in your home. Having Solar PV installed significantly reduces a homeowner’s carbon footprint due to the generation of completely clean energy. As well as this, using solar power in the home leads to a considerable reduction in a homeowner’s energy bills. This is due to the home using less energy from the National grid, and the reduction can be even greater when excess energy is stored in a solar battery unit.

The benefits of installing Solar PV are extensive. By harnessing all of the sunlight on Earth for just one hour, we would be able to use that energy to power the entire world for one whole year. As fossil fuel reserves continue to deplete, harnessing renewable and clean energy has never been more imperative.

Fischer Future SMILE

Why Our Customers – S.M.I.L.E.

Why our Customers Smile?  At Fischer, quality and service are of prime importance to us. It is important that every Fischer customer enjoy the benefits of investing in not only the Fischer product but our high level of customer service too.

From the outset, Fischer was founded on the basis of providing efficient, future-proofed, made-to-order heating solutions, paired with excellent aftercare and a team you can rely on. Our Trustpilot and Feefo ratings prove that.

SMILE is an acronym for our core way of operating, with each letter referring to a different step in your customer journey. SMILE applies right from the very start of your journey with Fischer and continues to apply for years to come.

Fischer Future Specify

We specify our products following on
from a bespoke home survey.

 Why our Customers - Specify

We specify our products following on
from a bespoke home survey.

In order to meet the exact heating and hot water requirements for your property, we carry out a free no-obligation survey of your home via our trained engineers.

Our trained engineers take into account any heat losses that may affect the level of heat you require for maximum comfort. Each heater is sized specifically for the room it’s intended for, making sure you are comfortable and in full control of your heating at all times.

Our engineers will spend an average of one hour[1] at your property surveying and delivering you a bespoke presentation on our product(s).

Our survey is specifically designed so we can deliver all the information you require in order for you to make your purchase. Our survey allows you the opportunity to ask us directly any questions that you may have.

“Excellent advice given and work carried out as stated by very efficient engineers and I am very satisfied with the whole project.” – Anne Bohren

 

[1] Caveat: this is an average figure; our bespoke home surveys can take longer.

Why our Customers -  Manufacture

Once your order is placed,
we send it off to be made for you.

All our products are made to order, ensuring maximum quality in our manufacturing.

Many electric heaters use a PCB within the heater itself to regulate the temperature, but often the PCB’s are unable to cope with high levels of heat and can be prone to failure.

At Fischer, the PCB is within our wireless thermostat (for both our dynamic clay core radiators and electric boilers), which is away from the source of heat, ensuring your Fischer system outlives our guarantees.

In fact, there are thousands of Fischer heaters installed in UK homes from over 10 years ago which have never encountered an issue.

Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.

“From initial contact and visit to final installation we were very satisfied with your professional approach throughout. The heaters are an excellent energy source and we are pleased we made this choice.” – Mrs. Elsie Winstanley

Our Way of Working - Install

Our skilled team of installers will install
your order to your satisfaction.

We have a skilled team of in-house installation engineers comprising certified plumbers and electricians. As part of our team of engineers, we have Gas Safe plumbers and NAPIT registered electricians who will take great care when installing your new Fischer system.

As training is managed internally, you can be safe in the knowledge that our craft team of engineers are constantly refreshed on best practice and are consistently reminded of the standards our customers expect.

After the hard work is done, our engineers will take the time to talk you through your new system, ensuring you are completely satisfied with how it operates.

“The Workmen were very efficient changing my old system to your beautiful new system. The work of installation was professional and care was taken to suit my needs. The work started on time and finished exactly on time, which is very unusual in my experience. I would recommend Fischer to everyone who nededs new heating equipment in their home. I could not be more satisfied.” Mrs. Marjorie Green

our Way of Working Longevity

When you buy from us, you invest in us and so it is why we offer a ten-year guarantee (2 years on electronics) together with great customer service to see you through.

Not only do we offer a 10-year guarantee on our heaters (with 2 years on electronics)[2], but we also offer a lifetime of service[3]. Once your guarantees expire, we are still on hand to assist with any queries or questions you may have via our in-house technical support.

In the rare event you encounter technical difficulties, our technical support advisors are a phone call away. Our technical team will be able to assist you in getting back up and running. You have absolute peace of mind that we are here when you need us.

Due to the quality of our materials and the great degree of manufacturing, we remain confident that your Fischer system will outlive the guarantee, offering you a future-proofed way of heating your home.

“Rang customer service. I was told busy but would ring me back .Danny rang 10 minutes later he talked me through my problem waited on phone to make sure all ok. He apologised to say if any more trouble to ring him back on Tuesday as bank Holiday Monday. All working ok so no need thank you Danny for your help. First class service” – William Michael Brockbank

.

Why our Customers Enjoy

Enjoy living life electric!

All of our electrical home heating solutions are 100% efficient[4], which means all the electricity you use and pay for converts into heat. What is more, is there is no heat loss between the power source and the heat output, which is something unachievable with gas central heating.

Enjoy knowing that you are on the road to getting to zero carbon. Get ahead of the curve and pave your way to achieving net zero emissions.

Electrical heating is cheaper to install than gas, has low maintenance rates and lasts longer than an average gas boiler.

The future is electric!

“I was looking for a space saving  Hot Water system that would be efficient, quite and not store any water! The Fischer Aquafficient instant hot water solution delivered on every level. I saved space and my energy bill has reduced. It was worth every penny!” – Matt

 

That’s Specify. Manufacture. Install. Longevity. Enjoy.

Giving you a reason to smile.

We are happy to send you a free catalogue.

[1] Caveat: This is an average figure; our bespoke home surveys can take longer.

[2] Guarantee terms and conditions apply.

[3] Via our Technical Support Team.

[4] At the point of Use.