Air pollution is an ever-growing concern, both on a global scale and nationally. The main contributors people often associate with air pollution and harmful emissions are vehicles and factories. Whilst these factors do contribute significantly to pollution levels, people are overlooking a significant contributor to air pollution that is present in our homes.
The problems surrounding gas boilers and the pollution that comes from them is well documented. However, people still seem to overlook significance of their role in emission levels. Air pollution from gas boilers is a huge problem, and as the government continues to set carbon targets it is imperative that we find ways to make the switch from outdated systems to greener ones soon.
Effects of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
Gas boilers are a major source of local pollution, accounting for 21% of the total Nitrogen oxide emissions across Greater London. This is a significant proportion of pollution that cannot be ignored. Exposure to Nitrogen oxides has serious health implications, namely:
Decreased lung function
Increased chance of respiratory infections.
The presence of NOx in our atmosphere also has a significant atmospheric affect; NOx is a precursor to the formation of Ozone and acid rain, and when deposited into fresh water and land it harms sensitive biodiversity. NOx pollution presents a huge problem for the government and the public. Nitrogen oxide levels in the UK still remain above legal and safe limits, despite the UK government being sanctioned by the European Court of Justice.
What can be done?
The government has been actively pushing targets and mandates in order to combat our growing air pollution crisis. Their push for ‘Net-Zero Carbon’ by 2050 is the most popular example of this, and mandates such as the Future Homes Standard have been introduced in order for us to be able to reach these targets sooner.
The focus of the Future Homes Standard is eradicating gas boilers in newly-built homes by 2025. This particular mandate exemplifies the government’s awareness of the harmful pollution that comes from using gas combustion heating in our homes. However, many homeowners are still reluctant to make the switch to greener home heating options. One researcher has stated that she thinks homeowners are reluctant to change from gas boilers due to a lack of awareness. Many homeowners are unaware of the health implications gas boilers contribute to; there is overall less awareness or harmful pollutants coming from within our homes.
Air pollution from gas boilers doesn’t just harm our health – it also has drastic implications for the health of our environment too. The harmful emissions released by gas boilers is contributing massively to global warming and climate damage. Fossil fuel heating accounts for around 15% of the UK’s greenhouse emissions, and this number can easily be reduced through simply switching our heating to greener alternatives.
The route to Net Zero Carbon has never been clearer; we must act now if we want to begin reversing the damage done to our environment by harmful gas emissions. By making the switch to cleaner home heating solutions, we can begin the journey on the road to net zero carbon and a healthier future for the planet and for us.
The demand for electricity in the UK is growing constantly. Electricity is all around us, and without it we would struggle to continue our everyday tasks.
As the demand of electricity rises, so does the pressure on our power stations and energy generators. Many of the power stations in the UK still rely on fossil fuel consumption to generate energy, thus polluting the planet by releasing harmful carbon emissions during the process.
In the face of a global climate emergency, it is imperative that the UK government calls into action regulatory targets surrounding the use of fossil fuel. We have already started to make impactful changes to lessen our carbon emissions – 41.6% of the UK’s total electricity generation is produced via renewable sources.
At time of high demand the electricity grid relies on old power stations to deliver the needed energy. This leads to increased pollution during these periods, as old power stations consume fossil fuel to generate energy. In order to avoid excess pollution during these high demand periods the UK government has devised an energy strategy – Demand Side Response.
Demand Side Response (DSR), also referred to as energy demand management, is an energy strategy targeted at businesses and industries in order to reduce energy demand during peak times. Businesses are provided with a financial incentive to reduce the use of turn off non-essential electrical processes during peak demand times. Some examples of potential DSR participants are:
Commercial and Public Buildings
DSR works as to help the energy grid to balance supply and demand without additional electricity generation being required, therefore diminishing the use old power stations. Demand Side Response aims to limit the amount of time these power stations need to be used by maximising the use of renewable generation instead. This decreases the overall pollution levels of the energy industry, aiding the UK government in reaching their carbon targets.
Through the implementation of DSR we are able to manage and share our electricity consumption more intelligently, rather than simply generating more to meet the demand. Some examples of non-essential processes that large energy users can turn down are air-conditioning, heating and ventilation. Demand Side Response aims to reduce peak time electricity rates through decreasing the demand and sharing energy during these times.
DSR can reduce consumer bills, lower harmful emissions and make more intelligent use of our electricity. All of these benefits seem so enticing, so why aren’t more businesses electing to involve themselves in this scheme?
Demand Side Response is a voluntary program that large energy users must opt into if they wish to participate. Many businesses are hesitant to join the DSR scheme as some associate it with tight capacity margins and restrictions, but this isn’t the case. DSR isn’t a forcibly restrictive regime in which the energy that businesses use is closely regulated.
Rather, it is simply a scheme implemented to better manage and share electricity during peak times in order to reduce energy price rates and keep pollution levels low. Large energy consumers are still able to utilise energy during these times, they are just required to simply reduce their consumption slightly in order to not over-exert our energy generators.
The positive effects DSR has on the energy industry has been well documented. Research conducted by Good Energy found that the wholesale price of electricity was reduced by £1.5 billion just through the reduction of fossil fuel consumption in the generation of energy.
There must be more conclusive education around Demand Side Response in order for businesses to choose to implement the scheme into their energy regime. With more large energy consumers implementing DSR into their businesses, reaching a net-zero carbon future will be easier than ever.
The popularity of electric vehicles in the automobile industry has skyrocketed in recent years. More and more consumers are choosing greener vehicles as the government pushes towards its target of net zero carbon by 2050.
Various industries around the global are choosing to become more eco-conscious in an effort to reverse the damage done to our planet due to pollution. The government has stated that by 2030 the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be prohibited, whilst they also plan to introduce a £20m funding pot for innovation in the electric vehicle industry.
The automobile industry is one of the biggest contributors to air pollution around the world. Road transport has been estimated to account for 22% of the total emissions of carbon dioxide CO2 in the UK. With global pollution levels rising everyday due to the consumption of fossil fuels, it is imperative that the transport industry introduce electric and hybrid vehicles into the mainstream.
The automobile industry experienced a massive decrease in sales during the pandemic, suffering a loss of £22.2 billion in sales over the course of 2020-2021. However, despite an overall decrease in the sales of vehicles during the pandemic, a demand for greener vehicles surged. The sales of battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids accounted for 13.9% of the automobile market in 2020 – an increase of 7.3% from the previous year.
The increasing interest in electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids is fantastic news. It shows how we are becoming more eco-conscious as a nation, and are helping the government achieve their net zero carbon targets. As of 2020, almost 1 in 10 new vehicles in the UK are now electric vehicles. With increasing environmental awareness and eco-consciousness this number is only set to rise.
And it is not just the UK making the important switch to electric and hybrid vehicles. Countries all around the world are beginning to adopt greener vehicles into the mainstream – lessening their carbon footprint and beginning their journey to reverse climate damage.
The interest in purchasing electric vehicles in Britain is below the global average. However, a survey of 18,000 car users across 18 national markets found that the UK is one of the most advanced electric vehicle markets in the world. As the UK electric vehicle industry continues to innovate and develop as an industry, the interest in electric vehicles is only set to increase.
Electric vehicle and green vehicle innovation is not unique to Britain. In large automobile markets, such as the USA, are announcing strategies for an all-electric transport future. In November 2020, automobile giant General Motors reported that they are committed to introducing 30 new electric vehicle models by 2025. Working together to reach a greener future is not just up to us as nation, it is a global effort in which each of us has our own part to play.
It has never been clearer that achieving a green future is possible as more and more drivers consider electric vehicle options. Making these impactful changes has massively positive consequences for our global environment. By choosing green options and working together, we can begin to reverse climate damage and achieve a net zero carbon future.
Carbon emissions, Global warming and the UK’s Net zero carbon target.
With the UK Government banning the installation of gas and oil boilers in all new homes by 2025, highlights the detrimental effects of using fossil fuels on the environment. As a country, we have depended on fossil fuels for centuries, and this sudden ban has left people frantically looking to upgrade their outdated heating.
Recently, hydrogen has propped up as an alternative for homes heated by gas and oil boilers. But on account of it being a relatively new concept, people are uncertain whether Hydrogen boilers are the future of domestic heating and car-charging. Although hydrogen is a much cleaner fuel to heat your homes, there are numerous reservations about this concept: Are Hydrogen boilers safe? Is Hydrogen efficient? Is Hydrogen cost effective?
Types of hydrogen and how do we extract it?
Grey hydrogen: This is made with natural gas, which when heated reacts with steam to produce hydrogen (and significant carbon emissions). This is how most of the world’s hydrogen is currently produced.
Blue hydrogen: Blue hydrogen production is similar grey hydrogen, but the resulting carbon emissions are stored underground – a process known as carbon capture and storage. Some “fugitive” emissions will still escape, but it is a greener process than grey hydrogen production.
Green hydrogen: This is the greenest way of producing hydrogen. It works by using electricity to power a process of electrolysis, where water is separated into hydrogen and oxygen. However, hydrogen produced this way is up to three times more expensive compared to grey hydrogen and requires large amounts of electricity.
Advantages of Hydrogen energy
Hydrogen is a renewable source of energy unlike fossil fuels; hence we cannot run out of it. It is a great source of energy- it is all around us. Hydrogen is also non-toxic and does not pose a risk to the health of humans, unlike natural gas and nuclear energy.
Hydrogen is highly concentrated with energy and has a great amount of power. It is approximately 3 times more powerful than other fossil fuels. On account of hydrogen being such a powerful energy source, it is now being tested to fuel aircrafts and spaceships.
Hydrogen is also a clean energy source. It has no harmful by-products released into the atmosphere. During the process of electrolysis to create hydrogen, water is the main by-product.
Disadvantages of Hydrogen energy
Hydrogen is difficult to store. Hydrogen must be compressed into a liquid in order to be stored, as it is a much lighter gas than gasoline. It also has to be stored at a low temperature. The immense amount of pressure required to store hydrogen is what makes it difficult to transport (especially in larger quantities).
Hydrogen is volatile and can be a dangerous fuel. Hydrogen is highly flammable and does not have any natural smell to indicate if there is a leak. As mentioned before, Hydrogen has a great energy content, which makes it a very volatile fuel, and numerous precautionary measures need to be taken to minimize risks of handling this fuel.
Hydrogen is expensive to produce. As stated earlier, the types of hydrogen we need to produce for home heating are blue and green. And ideally, we need to push for green hydrogen, which is the cleanest form of hydrogen that we can produce. It has no fugitive emissions and has a safe and re-usable by-product: water. In order to produce this type of hydrogen, large amounts of electricity is required to undergo the process of electrolysis. Hence mass-producing hydrogen using this method would be wasteful and not sustainable.
Recent research: Hydrogen – a viable option?
In order to create minimal disturbance and upheaval in the UK heating industry (consumers included), a great amount of research is being conducted on the viability of hydrogen as a fuel for domestic heating. Using the existing gas-network pipelines is a plus, but the disturbance ‘Net Zero Carbon’ will cause inevitable. Although, this is a change is for the betterment of our own lives and planet as a whole.
Recent research conducted by Germany’s Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research has deemed hydrogen too expensive and inefficient for the domestic heating industry. Hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements in the atmosphere, but it usually comes bonded to another element. Producing zero carbon hydrogen from water – so-called ‘green hydrogen’ – is currently expensive and requires a large amount of electricity.
For most sectors, including home heating and cars, it would be cheaper and greener to use electricity directly, the researchers say. That is because making hydrogen to power a car or heat a home generally requires much more electricity than simply running an electric car or using electric heating solutions.
Taking all the factual research and evidence into account, Hydrogen seems to only provide a fragile climate benefit. In the UK, our share of electricity being generated by renewables, has increased over 20% over the last 5 years. Seeing such an immense progress over such a short period of time, we could soon enjoy 100% renewable electricity in our homes. From an unbiased standpoint, fairly-priced renewable electricity sure does seem like the future.
In the past, fossil fuels like coal and natural gas were the main sources of generating electricity in the UK. These resources although worked out to be quite beneficial for us in generating electricity, are not renewable and hence their supply is limited. Electricity generated from renewables like wind, water and sunlight are slowly but surely dominating the electricity generation in recent times, and is a step in the right direction to attain sustainable living.
Phasing out Fossil Fuels.
Understanding the detrimental effects of the use of fossil fuels on the environment, energy statistics show that we are on track to phase out the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation. In 2016, natural gas and coal accounted for 42% and 9% of electricity generated in the UK respectively. In 2019, the UK generated 38% of its electricity from natural gas and 1% from coal. And now only 29% of electricity is generated by natural gas and less than 1% of the UK’s electricity is generated by coal.
According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) latest energy trends data published (2020) renewables’ share of electricity generation was 47% during the quarter, up from 35.9% in the first quarter of 2019. The proportion is also notably higher than the previous quarterly record of 39%, set last summer.
Gas and Electricity prices in the UK.
Currently, electricity is highly expensive as compared to gas. But as a commodity electricity isn’t vastly expensive than gas to produce. The higher levies put on electricity as compared to gas, is what makes the current price of electricity 3-4 times that of gas. From an economic standpoint, at the time taxing electricity higher than gas only increased the amount of revenue received by the Government in taxes, simply because all homes in the UK have electricity, but the same cannot be said for gas.
The government has announced that by 2025, all new homes will be banned from installing gas boilers and will instead be heated by low-carbon alternatives. The heating industry has moved away from burning coal for heat to gas (although coal was cheaper than gas) and now slowly but surely is switching away from fossil fuels like gas to renewable sources of energy (like 100% renewable electricity). This shift to electric can be seen in the automobile industry as well. This change is driven by the need to conserve the already damaged/polluted environment.
With the Government pushing the ‘Net Zero Carbon’ initiative, we could see them reviewing the levies put on electricity and gas, in favour of electricity to promote the use of electricity as compared to gas. These levies have already been reviewed in the B2B and commercial sector and we could see the UK Government doing the same for the domestic sector as well.
The Future is Electric.
An independent climate research agency Ember (2020) state that the UK’s renewable electricity outpaced its fossil fuel generation for the first-time last year and could remain the largest source of electricity in the future. It revealed that renewable energy generated by wind, sunlight, water and wood made up 42% of the UK’s electricity last year compared with 41% generated from gas and coal plants together.
2020 was the greenest year on record for Britain’s electricity system, when average carbon intensity – the measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of electricity consumed – reached a new low, according to National Grid.
With the consumption of electricity in UK households increasing every year coupled with the phasing out of fossil fuels and the growing popularity of renewables shows that the generation of electricity using renewables is able to cope with the growing demand of electricity. Once all the related infrastructure is set up, we could soon enjoy 100% renewable electricity in our homes and live more sustainably.
From day one, Fischer Future Heat have advocated for the elimination of fossil fuels by going 100% electric. This electricity when generated by renewables, would help you reduce your primary and secondary carbon-footprint. Fischer have diversified from just selling dynamic electric radiators to numerous other efficient and electric products like Fischer Duo Boiler, Aquafficient, Aquafficient Eco+ and Solar battery, so that you find the perfect electric solution to swap your fossil fuelled heating. Hence, Fischer Future Heat is a great choice for environmentally-conscious customers.
With the UK Government pushing its ‘Net Zero Carbon’ initiative and urging people to choose renewables over fossil fuels, you may be considering investing in highly efficient electric heaters, boilers, solar panels or heat pumps. But before making that decision, it is crucial to review and improve your home’s insulation. In this blog we list down the key steps to improve the energy efficiency of your home. The importance of this is embedded in the fact that the reduction of heat loss from your property means you will waste less energy, hence optimally utilizing the heating products in your home.
What is ‘Home Insulation’?
Generally, good insulators are made of materials that have structural similarity to wool, which aid in trapping tiny pockets of air. Mineral wool, fibreglass and polystyrene are the most commonly used home insulation materials. Insulation will help you keep the rooms of your house at a desirable temperature, all year round, protecting you from the harsh winter and excess heat in the summer.
In a typical house, the walls account for 30-40% of the heat loss within the property. The roof – 25%. The floors – 20%. Usually modern houses are well insulated, but the same cannot be said for older properties. During winter, heat from within the home could be lost, causing your heating systems to over-work in order to try and maintain an optimal room temperature. This could cause a spike in your energy consumption and in-turn, exorbitant energy bills for you to pay.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that in a year, a typical 3-bedroom, semi-detached house could save up to £310 on energy bills by installing loft and cavity-wall insulation.
Improving the energy efficiency of your home.
As depicted in the diagram above, a poorly insulated UK home uses around 130 watts per m2 of heating. Taking the average house size as 100 sqm, the energy consumption in the poorly insulated property would be 13kW, or around 8 hours of heating per day, which would make the energy consumption 104kWh per day.
Follow these key steps and let us know if you have seen an improvement in the energy efficiency of your home.
For more information on energy-efficient products that could help you reduce your carbon footprint, call our office on 01162425533. Alternatively, you could also browse through our free brochure for more product-related information.
Why is electricity expensive than gas? debate continues. It is a well-known fact that electricity, when generated by renewable energy sources, is a “cleaner” solution than gas. Fossil fuels are harmful, as they generate carbon dioxide when burned. This carbon dioxide then sits in our atmosphere and holds on to heat, causing the earth’s temperature to rise.
A number of UK energy suppliers are starting to provide renewable electricity – such as our energy partner Outfox the Market, who offer 100% renewable electricity generated in UK wind farms.
The UK government have banned the installation of gas appliances in all new build properties from 2025 and the UK as a whole is legally bound to have net zero carbon emission by 2050. It is only a matter of time before more restrictions are introduced in an attempt to do away with harmful gas.
What does this mean for our future? More and more homeowners are making the switch to electrical heating now, in an attempt to future proof their properties in time for the impending 2050 deadline.
Although the Government are making significant steps towards a cleaner future, it will take the UK 700 years to transition to low carbon heating based on its current trajectory.
One factor, which may be holding people back from making the switch to an all-electric home, is the difference between gas and electricity levies, which is having a direct impact on energy costs in the UK. Do you still have the question Why is Electricity more expensive ?
What is a levy?
A levy is an obligatory payment to the Government. In this case, it’s a payment, which makes up part of your energy bill, that in turn is to pay for the privilege of using either electricity or gas in your home.
Depending on which fuel you choose, your levy may be higher.
Electricity vs Gas levies
Currently, 23% of the total cost of electricity is made up of levies, whereas only 2% of the total cost of gas is payments for levies. This is a significant difference and one that is clearly causing a majority of the population to stick with gas, despite Government warnings about the harm caused by gas.
By enforcing such a high levy on electricity, the unit rate (or price per kW for electricity) is significantly higher than the price per unit for gas. With a focus on switching the nation over to a clean, electric future; imposing such costs will do nothing but deter people from making the switch for fear of a more expensive electricity bill.
Domestic homes emit 20% of the UK’s greenhouse gases, and the only way to bring this figure down is to switch to cleaner fuels. But while the costs for cleaner fuels are higher due to levies, it’s no wonder a majority of UK homes still utilise gas for powering their heating systems.
Here at Fischer, we know that the future is electric, which is why we offer a wide range of electric space and water home heating solutions.
Today many households are concerned to switch to Electric Heating or Low Carbon heating because of the cost,
The above should be reasons enough to switch to electric heating. We do not need to look far, by following the example of how France has addressed its energy needs by nuclear and now ever-increasing renewables then we can certainly follow their lead and make our country powered by zero carbon fuels. The government need to invest now in the infrastructure and whilst there would be a sizable investment to make it will help us all in the future to have relatively stable prices for Energy. At the moment our Energy prices are volatile due to where they come from. Gas and oil prices are determined by world markets and if there is a major event in any part of the world the prices fluctuate. If we can reduce this fluctuation in wholesale price, then all of us can benefit from fair and stable prices.
Energy companies do not make massive profits on selling energy to our homes, in fact this is clearly evidenced by the number of Energy companies that have gone bankrupt in the last 3 years. The only way we can all have stable energy prices is by producing and using our own Electricity. This is a project for the Government to make the investment so that we all can move away from Fossil fuels by not making us pay too much for the change.
The main reason households are reluctant on this change is due to the cost. However we all currently pay levies for carbon on our energy bills. In the recent budget the Chancellor has increased levies on Gas and frozen the levies on Electricity. The effect of this would be an increase in Gas prices for households. This will make Electricity more attractive to use for heating and hot water.
Today many households are concerned to switch to Electric or low carbon heating because of the cost, however it is clear that whilst there are many early adopters who are making the difference and switching now, the fact is we all need to switch and it is not IF but WHEN . To reduce carbon you must also insulate your home which will result in cheaper Energy bills. If you lose less heat from your home the cheaper will be your running costs.
Fischer offer several solutions for clean home heating that will help decarbonise your home and environment and keep us warm for the future.
The proof is in the heating #FollowTheScience
Fischer Future Heat have always operated with integrity, quality service and fairness which is evident with thousands of satisfied customers in the UK and Germany. This has given us an excellent rating on independent review sites, Trustpilot & feefo from genuine customers.
Fischer Future Heat will continue to manufacture and install our quality appliances in UK homes.
The future is electric.
Below are the comments of our independent, international leading scientist.
“Our low input storage radiators can reduce your electricity consumption up to 40%”
The analysis in the report shows that the night storage heater can consume from 1.6 (when powered for 5 hours) to 2.24 (when powered for 7 hours) times more than the tested Fischer Future Heat products.
“Fischer heaters use less power than night storage heaters”
When powered for the same number of hours, Fischer Storage Heaters use less power than static night storage heaters but they have to be powered following a different time-pattern.
“Compatible with Economy 7”
A user might choose to remain on Economy 7 and still use Fischer dynamic storage heaters. However, this would require the careful choice of a convenient Economy 7 tariff.
“Reduce Energy Wastage”
Due to its internal heat storage, the heat release from Fischer storage heaters can be finely controlled to closely match the heat demand. This avoid room overheating and the consumption of higher energy than what is needed for the thermal comfort.
“Use Less Energy”
This sentence is correct and has to be read together with the considerations in Paragraph 9 of my report. The BRE tests commissioned by Fischer Future Heat UK have shown (with results summarized in Table 1 above included in the answer to comment 3) that, when powered for the same number of hours, Fischer dynamic storage heater consume less energy than static storage heaters and Gas Central heating.
“Lower energy means lower running costs”
This sentence is true when all the heating systems under comparison are powered for the same duration.
Electric Storage Heaters
Fischer dynamic storage heaters can be classified as storage heaters since they integrate a heat storage element. A technical classification for storage heaters can be found in the British Standard BS EN 60531:2000+A11:2019. However, a technical standard is an engineering guideline to manufacture state-of-the-art products. In Paragraph C.2.5 this standard describes the set of assessments and calculations that should be followed to judge the suitability of storage heaters to certain room conditions. The features of the room are included in the calculations as well as the dynamic profile of the heat demand and of the storage heater charge. The heat-demand profiles are essential for the definition of the storage heater suitability.
“Our survey is designed to save you money”
A conversion from static night storage heaters to dynamic storage heaters saves money whenever it is powered for the same number of hours to match the heat-demand, in combination with the right tariff.
“Fischer dynamic storage heaters use up to 50% less energy than your gas boiler”
Gas Central heating results significantly less efficient. Its energy consumption is 1.47-1.58 times higher than storage heaters when operated with the same heat-demand pattern. Therefore, 50% is a correct value.
“heating systems were compatible, safe and appropriate to be installed using the existing power source and electrical arrangements present in the consumers home.”
All of our heaters leave our factory conforming to CE (Conformité Européenne) and OVE (Austrian Electrotechnical Association (OVE) Testing & Certification) certification standards, which is approved for the heaters to be used with a plug.
From OVE’s website (https://www.ove.at/ove-certification): The Austrian Safety Mark is a synonym for safety and quality of electrotechnical products. Our certificates facilitate the access to the market on national and international level and are the basis for the necessary EU declaration of conformity for your products. The OVE mark thus sends a signal to all consumers and relevant authorities that the product complies with the legal requirements according to the Low Voltage Directive and the EMC Directive.
Every Fischer Future Heat customer has 14 days in which to cancel their order and obtain a full refund. Fischer Future Heat remains committed to honouring any cancellations within the 14-day period.
No customer has ever been refused their refund within the 14-day cancellation period.
We may, due to seasonal factors, from time to time, incentivise customers with discount in order to boost sales, which is a perfectly legitimate practice.