Right to Repair Laws – How Our “Disposable” Culture Affects The Environment

In recent years, companies such as Amazon and eBay have taken over the ecommerce world. Offering products at a fraction of the cost, along with same or next day delivery, it is no surprise that we turn to our smartphones rather than the high street for retail therapy.

Along with the convenience comes a lower price point. When one needs to buy a new phone charger, or kitchen appliance, we often gravitate towards the cheapest option, rather than the highest quality or durable option. One of the main reasons is availability.

It is very easy for us to source cheaper versions of the products we know and love, all thanks to the internet.

However, although they cost less to buy, cheaper products often come with a shorter lifespan. This may cause them to end up in landfill at the end of their life.

As they are cheap, consumers are inclined to simply replace a failed product, rather than attempting to repair it, increasing the level of waste produced by each household.

But how is this “new” disposable culture affecting our planet?

Government statistics tell us that the UK generated 222.2 million tonnes of total waste in 2018, and in 2019, the UK recycling rate for Waste from Households was only 46.2%. When waste is sent to landfill, it is left to rot and decompose. As it does so, harmful gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are released, contributing to the current climate crisis we are facing as both a nation and a planet.

In 2021, the UK Government introduced “Right to Repair” laws. These new laws “mandate manufacturers to make spare parts for electrical appliances available within two years of all model launches, and then for between seven and 10 years after the model is discontinued”.

The UK generated 222.2 million tonnes of total waste in 2018.

Now that spare parts are becoming available, there is nothing to prevent consumers from purchasing a higher quality product, knowing that if anything does go wrong, they have the ability to repair the appliance instead of simply buying a new one.

Would you buy a new car any time you need a new tire? No, so why do the same with household appliances?

This will allow consumers to invest in higher quality appliances, as they know they have the ability to repair not replace in the rare event that something does go wrong.

More disposable, lower cost goods sold around the world will only increase the amount of waste in landfill sites, further adding to our climate crisis.

Here at Fischer, we support the Right to Repair laws. We have been strong believers of quality for over 10 years in the UK, and over 70 years in Europe, offering customer’s high quality heating solutions for their homes.

Now, with the introduction of the new rules, we believe that consumers will shift their focus from disposable, non-repairable, cheaper products to higher quality alternatives.

Our dynamic clay core heaters come with a 10-year warranty, however this is not indicative of their lifespan. In fact, we do not provide a lifespan on our products, as there is nothing to say they will not last much longer than the 10-year warranty period.

Furthermore, if something does happen to go wrong with our products (a rare occurrence); you have the ability to simply replace a part, rather than the whole unit. Put simply, you are able to repair not replace.

The situation is the same with our electric boilers. Every part within the unit is replaceable, allowing for a repair, not a replacement. You will not find yourself having to replace the boiler if something does happen to go wrong. Our products are made to last.

Many other heating alternatives are not repairable, usually because they are sealed units. Parts may not be accessible, or simply not available to repair the unit. You would instead need to replace the whole unit.

What happens to the old, faulty unit? It may make its way to landfill.

In the business world, the term “TCO” is commonly used. TCO refers to the “Total Cost of Ownership.” TCO is “a measure of how much a specific asset will cost a business over the longer term.”

The same calculation can be applied to your home. Buying the same appliance three times over a 10-year span is less cost effective than purchasing a slightly higher quality version of the product once.

The higher quality item may cost slightly more at the initial point of purchase, but over time will begin to pay for itself.

As a nation, and as a planet, we must act now to reduce global warming and work towards a cleaner future. There are many ways to do this, such as switching to a renewable energy supplier or eating less meat, but reducing waste is another relatively simple way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Find out more about our high quality, long lasting heating appliances and request your free brochure.

Domestic heating -H2

UK Energy Minister expresses scepticism over the use of hydrogen for domestic heating.

UK energy minister, Lord Callanan states that it is pretty much impossible to heat homes using clean hydrogen. He makes this the comment as the British Government continues to invest millions of pounds in hydrogen heating trials.

“If I’m being honest, the idea that we could produce enough hydrogen at reasonable cost to displace mains gas is pretty much impossible,” said Lord Callanan, parliamentary under-secretary of state for climate change & corporate responsibility at the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.

The experts, led by Cambridge University professor David Cebon, argue that rather than attempting to convert the existing gas grid to use hydrogen — an expensive and difficult proposition – the government should instead put its efforts into promoting low-carbon electric heating solutions. “Hydrogen use in buildings and for road transport is not efficient and does not make economic sense,” they write. “Hydrogen is a not an efficient energy source, which is a fundamental flaw when comparing it with other electrification alternatives.

The UK’s National Hydrogen Strategy unveiled in August states that hydrogen has the potential to play a key role in decarbonizing heat in the buildings in the UK. Currently, the UK Govt. are investing millions of pounds in studies on hydrogen heating, with £25 million ploughed into the Hy4Heat programme (a pilot scheme in Scotland to heat 300 homes with 100% hydrogen via the existing gas grid due to take place in 2023, backed by up to £18m of grants from the industry regulator Ofgem; and plans to heat a whole town with H2 by 2030).

Hy4Heat

Although, they may be fighting a losing battle. Green hydrogen is expensive to produce and is not as efficient as electricity. With electric heat pumps being six times more efficient, meaning that a boiler burning green hydrogen would require six times as much renewable energy as compared to a heat pump to produce the same amount of heat- making this an extremely expensive proposition (Recharge-News, 2021).

With green hydrogen being so expensive to produce, one may suggest blue hydrogen. The scientists who wrote an open letter to the UK’s Prime minister, Boris Johnson also stated: “take a cautious approach to blue hydrogen, avoiding lock-in to unsustainable fossil fuel infrastructure that could push net-zero out of reach.”

They write: “By choosing to support blue hydrogen made from natural gas and CCS [carbon capture and storage], the UK must have stringent measures to assess the greenhouse gas emissions from the blue hydrogen manufacturing process and supply chain.”

Grey Hydrogen is not an option. Grey hydrogen is made from unbated fossil fuel accounts for roughly 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (about the same proportion as aviation).

Green Hydrogen

The cost of converting the natural gas grid to run on 100% clean hydrogen would also be astronomical, with every compressor and valve on the network needing to replaced, metal pipes switched out with plastic ones (including in people’s homes) to reduce the risk of the smaller molecule leaking. It also requires three times the energy to transport the gas around the grid (Recharge-News, 2021).

Energy Minister, Lord Callanan concluded by saying that a scientific breakthrough might enable us to produce large amounts of hydrogen at a cheaper cost. But he admits it is more likely that hydrogen will end up being used by trains, HGVs (heavy-goods vehicle) and for some industrial processes.

UK electricity generation to be fossil fuel free by 2035?

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stated that removing gas as a power source will help protect against price surges (during Conservative conference).

Johnson has also confirmed plans to eliminate fossil fuels from the UK’s electricity generation process by 2035.

The UK generated 43% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2020 but gas-fired power plants still account for a significant proportion. Over the last 5 years, our total share of electricity being generated from renewables has increased by 20%.

Nuclear power plants, which currently provide about a sixth of the UK’s electricity, would also continue to form part of the energy mix under the net zero plans.

“What I’m saying is we can do for our entire energy production by 2035 what we’re doing with internal combustion engines in vehicles by 2030” he said, during a visit to a Network Rail site in Manchester.

“And what we’re also saying is that by 2035, looking at the progress we’re making in wind power, where we lead the world now in offshore wind, looking at what we can do with other renewable sources, carbon capture and storage with hydrogen potentially, we think that we can get to complete clean energy production by 2035.”

The proposed shift would not only aid in the decarbonization of the UK but also soften the impact of the kind of gas price fluctuations that have prompted fears of a winter energy crisis, in recent weeks.

As Boris Johnson confirmed plans to decarbonize the electricity grid, gas was providing just under a third of the UK’s electricity demand, at 11.4GW (according to the National Grid data).

“The advantage of that is that it will mean that, for the first time, the UK is not dependent on hydrocarbons coming from overseas with all the vagaries in hydrocarbon prices and the risk that poses for people’s pockets and for the consumer,” he said.

“We will be reliant on our own clean power generation, which will help us also to keep costs down.”

UK Green energy levies set to move from electricity to gas bills

In an effort to encourage the British Public to switch to electric heating, the government are set to propose switching green levies from electricity to gas.

The government hopes that by switching levies from electricity to gas that British homeowners using outdated gas systems will make the switch to renewable energy. Currently, the price of electricity is split between 5 different costs, all of which homeowners pay for with their energy bill.

As the government pushes for their 2050 net zero carbon goal, it is imperative that they reassess the share of green levies for gas and electricity.  With their current levy switch proposal on the energy horizon, Britons that use electric heating alternatives and drive electric vehicles will find themselves paying much less than ever before. Homeowners that continue their consumption of gas will find themselves paying more, dependant on the proposed implementation of the government’s plan.

Currently, almost a quarter of the cost of electricity is made up by environmental and social obligations in which the government funds various decarbonisation programs. On the contrary, just 2% of the total cost of gas is made up of the same levy. This disproportionate distribution of levies has accounted for a higher overall price of electricity, something that remains the main deterrent for many homeowners looking to switch to zero carbon energy alternatives.

Dubbed the ‘energy affordability and fairness review’, the government are hoping that their new energy mandate will affectively allocate costs in order to incentivize the British public to make the switch to clean energy. It is vital that British homeowners begin switching to zero carbon energy alternatives if the government have any hope of reaching their goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

With almost a fifth of the UK’s total carbon emissions coming from domestic heating alone, the government must do everything in their power to encourage the British public to uptake renewable energy alternatives. As it stands, the main deterrent for many homeowners looking to make the switch to clean energy is the higher cost of electricity. By introducing this mandate, the government will be making a huge step in the direction of a carbon neutral future for Britain, and a cleaner future for everyone.

Sources:

https://www.ft.com/content/54b437ad-4683-434e-89aa-e26772092b31

https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/ministers-consider-shifting-green-levies-from-electricity-to-gas

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

The UK’s biased mindset towards electricity prices

The UK is on the road to net zero carbon, and the Government is continuing its push to reach this target by 2050. This will inevitably contribute to numerous lifestyle and technological changes, which will need to be implemented by both the Government and consumers. However, a large part of the UK’s consumer-base are still reluctant to make the change, mainly due to the price of electricity.

 

It is clear to see that the prices of both gas and electricity have increased over the last decade. Consumers are often found to be comparing the price increase of electricity against gas. However, this comparison is not an accurate indicator of the price increase indices. To gain a better understanding of this, one must compare the price increase of gas to its prices in the past, and the same for electricity. Between 2010 and 2011, the average electricity prices (incl. VAT) rose by 4.8%. The gas prices during the same timeframe increased by 8.1%.  

Gas VS Electricity price increase

Throughout history, we have heated our homes with coal and oil. With the availability of natural gas at a cheap price by virtue of the North Sea, the popularity of gas central heating grew in the UK. With this resource exploited and diminished from the North Sea, the price of gas has increased considerably. At one point, gas was around 6 times cheaper than electricity. Currently, this price differential has reduced to electricity being 4 times the price of gas. This comparison gives you a broader understanding of the increments in energy prices over time. With lesser reliance on fossil fuels, and more and more electricity generated by renewables, we could see this price gap between gas and electricity lessen.

In the UK, electricity as a fuel source has been given a bad name. There are many misconceptions in consumers’ minds, these misconceptions stemming from the ideology that energy companies are highly profitable and are exploiting domestic households by increasing electricity prices. We all know that electricity supplied to every home in the UK is identical – the key differentiator is price. The only route to market for any new energy company is a low price point, but for most companies, this is not sustainable. Many energy companies do not survive in the UK because of this and the 22 energy companies that are no longer in business (as of Feb 21) are proof of this.

From our involvement within the heating industry, we have come across thousands of consumers who have switched from gas to electric heating – some of these customers also complain about their increased electricity bill. However, the reasons for their complaints are often flawed. When you move from one resource (in this case – gas) and utilise another resource (in this case – electricity); it is evident that your costs for the new resource (electricity) would increase. However, you save on not having to use the initial resource (gas). Shifting from gas to electric heating is not only better for the environment, but you also gain a solution that is 100% efficient at the point of use.

Electricity prices in the UK are not exorbitant in comparison to other countries with the same GDP. Yet in the UK, consumers always heavily scrutinize electricity prices. As of June 2020, the average price for electricity in the UK was 17.2p/kWh. In comparison during the same time period: Germany (28p/kWh), Denmark (23p/kWh), Japan (19.2p/kWh).

Currently the price of electricity in the UK has reduced further, the average price being 16p/kWh. Compared to countries with similar GDP, the UK has one of the lowest energy prices for domestic consumers.

Countries' electricity prices VS UK

The irony lies in the fact that you hear and see a lot of backlash in regards to an increase in electricity prices, but consumers in the UK will happily pay the increased prices for petrol and other fuels. This signifies a vast difference in consumer perceptions between petrol and electricity prices. The same inference can be made for other household expenditures like water, food, clothing, transport etc. Since 2010, petrol prices have soared by 11p/litre (11% increase) and a 47p/litre increase (61% increase) since the early 2000s. A possible reason for why we don’t behave the same towards an electricity price increase as compared to a petrol price increase; we usually pay for electricity monthly, where as payment for petrol is upfront. There could be a psychological shift in behaviour if paying for petrol was a monthly payment. The price we pay for water has also increased, yet we still waste so much of it and end up paying whatever the monthly bill is with no resistance. In the UK, consumers must refute ideologies in regards to electricity based off misconceptions and base their decisions on actual data. Doing this would enable us to grow as consumers and be open to change, in this case specifically for the betterment of the environment as well.

In the financial year of 2020, the average UK household spent 14% of their income on housing, fuel and power, 11% was spent on food and non-alcoholic drinks and a further 4% on clothing and footwear. All of the above are considered as necessities.

UK household expenses

Over the last 3 months, the UK has sold more electric cars than diesel – a huge step in the right direction. Switching to electric cars is not only better for the environment, but also more money in your pocket in terms of running costs. Assuming a 70kW charge at 30p/kWh (for an electric car) VS. 35mpg (for a petrol car); £21 for a 70kW charge (250 miles) works out to be 8p/mile. Whereas for a petrol car: 4.5l/gallon (7miles/litre), assuming the cost of petrol is 130p/litre; works out to be 18p per mile. Transport accounts for nearly 30% of the UK’s total carbon emissions. Hydrogen is another option, but recent research has brought to light that hydrogen is very expensive to produce and not as efficient as electricity, for domestic heating and car charging. Switching to an electric car means, as a country we could achieve our Net Zero Carbon target sooner. Below we detail another example of why we should use an electric car over a petrol car (both manufactured by the same company).

Electric vs Petrol BMW

Analysing past data and the UK consumers’ attitudes towards electricity- it is evident there needs to be more awareness regarding electric heating and electricity prices. There seems to be a bias in the mind-set of consumers. This bias is not as evident in other expenses like water, petrol and council tax that UK consumers incur. In order to achieve Net Zero Carbon, we must welcome electricity with open arms as it is the most viable and efficient solution for greener domestic heating and car charging. Over the last 5 years, our share of electricity being generated from renewable sources has increased by 20%. With more and more consumers switching to electric heating every day; electricity has proven to be an efficient source of energy for domestic heating (with numerous testimonials that can be attested to it). Lastly, as with any form of heating, insulation is paramount. For electric heating to work efficiently, a consumer has to insulate their home to a sufficient standard. This will reduce heat losses from the property, preventing any massive spikes in consumption and reducing energy bills.

Clean heating solutions for your home: SAY NO to ‘one size fits all’.

Don’t compromise on the aesthetic of your beautiful home.

 

Reducing carbon emissions for the betterment of the environment.

The Government are laying great emphasis on reducing carbon emissions in the UK. The two sectors that have been ear marked to make changes are Heating and Transport. With electric cars outselling diesel engine cars for the second month running, it is clear that the public are now taking climate change and the need to reduce their carbon emissions seriously. When it comes to heating, the Government have pushed heat pumps as a solution, without giving proper scrutiny to the suitability of retro fitting heat pumps in most UK homes. The reality on the ground in our experience is a combination of different types of electric heating solutions to fit individual home needs, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. We understand that there is a need to change, however, having surveyed thousands of homes in the UK we are best placed to offer advice on solutions that are sustainable and achievable for most UK homes.

Choosing the right heating solution for your home.

As the stock of our homes are not well insulated, using heat pumps that heat water up to 65c is not going to heat most homes to the same comfortable level that boilers did.  Primarily, most of the households want to make the switch with minimum disruption and building work. This factor is one of the main deterrents for consumers trying to make the switch. Hence, in these cases it is perhaps better to replace your existing gas or oil boiler with an electric boiler. This transformation can be achieved in only a day or two. If you require a lot of hot water, then you could install the Aquafficient Eco+, which is an air source water heater, but it does not have an external unit. It can be installed where your existing cylinder is located, but you will need to provide ducting to the outside to expel the cold air. If you cannot duct it to the outside, or if you lack space in your home, then the Aquafficient is a great solution to heat your water. In a scenario like this you can then install a heating only boiler. We recommend always keeping your heating and hot water independent, so there is never a single point of failure.

Keep your space and water heating separate.

For numerous compact and smaller homes that have gas combi-boilers; making the switch to either our Electric Duo Boiler or our dynamic, individually temperature-controlled (using a smart wireless thermostat) storage heaters, in conjunction with the Aquafficient (for hot water) is the way forward.  The idea of using dynamic direct acting storage heaters makes your home more efficient as you only heat the more frequented areas/rooms of your home. These are heated to the temperature you require and when you need it. This solution is also suitable for larger homes. In regard to a standard central heating system, there is only one thermostat. Therefore, if you have a 3- 4-bedroom home with 2 or 3 occupants, every time you want to use two rooms you have to switch the 12kW boiler on when you could simply, and more efficiently, be using a 3.5kW boiler in conjunction with 2 dynamic direct acting storage heaters. The dynamic storage heaters react quickly and maintain temperatures after switching off using the storage principle. It is a modern, efficient replacement for wasteful night storage heaters. This user profile of consumption is mirrored in many UK homes, so once again the concept of only heating rooms based on usage will deliver savings on your energy bill and keep you warm in the rooms you use. An attribute of making this switch to the Fischer system is that you are guaranteed a stress-free and installation.  

Heat pumps are not suitable for many UK homes.

As far as the use of heat pumps for heating is concerned, unless you have a relatively new home with high levels of insulation, heat pumps will not deliver the heating you require. They may be ideal for new builds where you plan the location of the heat pump based on the initial plans, but to retrofit this in existing homes would require major alterations to the fabric of your property. This is not a practical option for many households, as the cost to bring their homes to the standard required would be prohibitive.

Even if you could manage the cost of such works, the other issue is the space required when installing the heat pump in your garden. If you are tight for space, this is could present a big problem. In addition to that, the noise of the heat pump and the expelled cold air means you cannot sit close to it in the garden. Moving the heat pump further out into your garden, away from your home, means you compromise on the efficiency of the heat pump. It also not recommended to use a heat pump alongside your existing radiators, as they may not be sufficient to heat your home during the winter. Essentially, you need to increase the size of your radiators by up to 50% and this, in our experience, is not possible for most UK homes, as there is insufficient wall space to hang bigger or more radiators to achieve the heat requirement.

When we look at these issues, coupled with our experience conducting home heating surveys around the UK; we know that the way forward is different electric heating solutions to suit individual homes, user profiles, affordability and ease of installation. These are the factors that most households consider important before they can make the switch.

Make the choice that best suits your home, lifestyle, comfort and pocket. Our free no-obligation survey provides you with choices that can make your home heating ‘green’ and reduce the carbon emissions from your home. The state of our environment depends on the actions we take. Climate change is happening NOW, so doing nothing is not an option.

The Road to Zero Carbon has begun.

The Future is Electric.

FFH-Feefo platinum award

Fischer Future Heat receives an award from Feefo!

About Feefo and the Platinum Award.

Feefo is a renowned brand within the customer reviews and insights sphere, aiming to provide businesses with the tools and technology to improve customer experience and engagement. All Feefo reviews and feedback are from verified customer experiences and aid businesses in making smarter and more customer-focused decisions. 

The Feefo platinum award was created in order to accredit businesses for their continuing commitment to outstanding customer service. This verified and valued badge of approval is only awarded to businesses that have achieved the Feefo Gold standard for three consecutive years. 

Reasons why we won this award.

Here at Fischer Future Heat, it has always been of upmost importance for us to operate with integrity, quality service and fairness. We pride ourselves on delivering a lifetime of excellent customer service, something for which we have received recognition for from both TrustPilot and Feefo. Our continuing dedication to complete customer satisfaction remains unparalleled.

As a company we believe that without ‘the customer’ there would not be a business. That is why it has always remained central to our company philosophy to provide our customers with a lifetime of unparalleled customer service. No matter the query, we endeavour to handle every customer with the same level of professionalism, compassion, and respect. Our dedicated teams are happy to provide customer with quick resolutions to any issues they may face. Every department in our business follows the same customer-focused philosophy, ensuring our exceptional customer service is a universal experience.

Thanking all our customers. 

Without the support from all our customers, and the assurance through reviews and testimonials, we would not have been a recipient of the glorified ‘Feefo Platinum Service award’. We thank you all for being a part of the ‘Fischer Family’, and we will continue to provide products and services that always exceed your expectations.

Gas Boilers and NOx: The lesser-known pollutant

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.

Gas boilers.

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:

  • Lung irritation

  • 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.

Demand-Side Response (DSR): The Intelligent Use of Energy

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:

  • Supermarkets

  • Industrial Manufacturers

  • Universities

  • 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.