Most efficient heating systems

What is the most efficient heating system?

Living in the UK, we have become accustomed to the cold and unpredictable weather. To cope with the weather, we are highly reliant on efficient heating systems. With numerous types of domestic heating solutions on the market, every consumer wants the answer to one question: “What is the most efficient heating system?” 

The efficiency of a heating system may differ from property to property. In light of the UK Government’s Net Zero Carbon target and gas boiler ban; UK consumers are not only looking for efficient heating systems but also sustainable and renewable heating. Electric heating has the lowest primary carbon footprint out of all the other forms of domestic heating. 

 Gas central heating. The most efficient heating system?

 What is gas central heating? 

Gas central heating uses a gas boiler to heat water, which is then circulated throughout the house via pipes and wet radiators. This solution is only available to properties that are connected to the UK’s gas network. Gas central heating was a popular choice in the UK on account of the cheap gas prices, by virtue of the North Sea. But natural gas is a depleting resource and is not a sustainable choice.

The low supply and high demand for natural gas has led to the domestic gas prices in the UK spiking, causing a 250% increase in the supplier’s unit price. Usually, gas boilers provide both hot water and heating within your home. 

 

Gas boiler and tankAdvantages of gas central heating. 

Cheaper running costs – Gas prices in the UK are much cheaper than that of electricity. Although this may soon change and the UK Government is reviewing the green levies applied on gas and electricity (2% gas VS 23% electricity). 

Modern gas boilers are energy efficient – Modern gas boilers can be up to 90% efficient. Although the cost to upgrade your old gas boiler could be prohibitive. 

Easy to control – Many modern gas boilers come with a thermostat as standard. This helps you to be in control of your heating and hot water.

Disadvantages of gas central heating.

Bad for the environment – As gas boilers burn fossil fuels, they release carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These emissions trap heat within the Earth, causing global warming. A recent study also found that the UK’s domestic gas boilers emit twice as much CO2 as all power stations. 

Gas boiler ban – The UK Government has announced the ban of gas boilers in all new homes by 2030. They are also planning on phasing out the use of gas boilers completely, in order to meet their Net Zero Carbon target by 2050. 

Needs regular maintenance – Gas boilers have a number of moving parts within them and require annual servicing. This could be a costly affair for some customers. This annual servicing is essential for rental properties and to keep the warranty valid. 

Not as efficient as electric boilers – Although modern gas boilers can have an efficiency of up to 90%, they are still not as efficient as electric heating systems like electric boilers. Electric heating is 100% efficient at the point of use. Gas boilers are not the most efficient heating systems on the market. 

Can be unsafe – If not installed correctly, gas boilers can be unsafe. Natural gas is highly combustible and leaks could lead to explosions. In the year 2020 (till April), there were 41 gas boiler explosion related incidents in the UK, causing death or injuries. 

 

 

UK Net Zero Carbon 2050Biomass heating. The most efficient heating system?

What is biomass heating? 

Biomass heating is similar to gas central heating. It uses a boiler which provides hot water and heating within your home. Unlike a gas boiler, a biomass boiler combusts sustainably sourced wood pellets. 

Biomass boilers burn logs or wood pellets to heat water, which in turn heats the home. Biomass boilers are usually much larger than conventional boilers. 

Advantages of biomass heating. 

Renewable – Biomass heating is considered renewable. It is much better for the environment as compared to a gas or oil boiler. The carbon dioxide they produce when they are burnt is offset by the carbon dioxide they (trees) absorb while they are growing.

Renewable Heat Incentive scheme – Biomass boilers and stoves also qualify for the RHI scheme. This means you would qualify for periodical payments over several years. 

Disadvantages of biomass heating. 

Space consuming – Biomass boilers are usually much bigger than gas or oil boilers. You also require additional space to store the fuel itself. 

 Higher upfront costs – The initial investment to purchase and install a biomass boiler is very high compared to other conventional boilers. Prices can range from £9000 to £21000 for automatically-fed boilers.

Fuel needs to be stored properly – If the logs or wood pellets are not stored in a dry place, the fuel will not burn efficiently. 

Biomass boilers need a lot of work – Unless you invest in a costly automatic boiler, you will need to manually feed the biomass boiler with the fuel source. It also needs to be cleaned regularly and the ash emptied around once a week. Biomass heating is not the most efficient heating system on the market. 

 

Biomass boilerLPG central heating. The most efficient heating system?

What is LPG central heating? 

LPG heating works on a similar principle to gas boilers. Although, they use LPG instead of natural gas. This can be a popular choice for consumers that are not connected to the gas network. LPG fuel is burnt in order to heat water. This hot water in turns heats the home through pipes connected to wet radiators. 

Some boilers designed for mains gas can be converted to utilise LPG fuel. 

Advantages of LPG heating. 

Efficient – A modern LPG condensing boiler can be up to 90% efficient. 

Less carbon – In comparison to oil boilers, LPG boilers emit 18% less carbon. This could help reduce the carbon footprint of your home, if you are currently using an oil boiler but it is important to remember that an electric boiler is considerably more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Compact and quiet – An LPG boiler is quieter and more compact than an oil boiler. 

Disadvantages of LPG heating. 

Not as efficient as electric boilers – Electric boilers are 100% efficient at the point of use. If you are looking for a highly efficient heating system, you are better off choosing electric heating over LPG. 

Higher fuel costs – The price per kWh of LPG is much higher than natural gas and oil. Using an LPG boiler may lead to an increase in your energy bills. 

Investing in a space-consuming storage tank – An LPG storage tank is essential if you are choosing this form of domestic heating. This could take up valuable space in your home. These tanks are also a costly requirement.

Regular fuel top up – The LPG storage tanks have a limited capacity. You will need regular deliveries of LPG so that you do not run out of the fuel and to not be felt in the cold, without heating. 

 

LPG central heating Oil central heating. The most efficient heating system?

What is Oil central heating? 

Similar to gas and LPG heating, oil central heating uses a boiler fuelled with oil which is burnt to produce heat. The heat generated in turn heats the water and provides heating within your home. 

The main difference between a gas and oil boiler is the storage of the fuel source. Unlike a gas boiler, an oil boiler requires a tank to store the fuel. This is a popular alternative for consumers not connected to the gas network. 

Advantages of oil central heating.

Relatively low cost – Oil being one of the cheaper fuels for domestic heating; using an oil boiler is relatively cheaper than many other heating solutions. 

Safer than gas – Oil is flammable, but unlike gas it is not prone to explosion. This makes it a safer choice as compared to gas central heating. Although, oil boilers do emit carbon monoxide, which is highly poisonous. 

No contracts – With no contracts, you have the option of changing suppliers at any time. 

Disadvantages of oil central heating. 

Inefficient – Although modern oil boilers can have an efficiency of up to 87%, these are not as efficient as electric heating or modern gas boilers. 

Harmful for the environment – It is no secret that fossil fuels are damaging to the environment. Burning oil to produce heat releases harmful gases into the atmosphere. The UK will not achieve net zero carbon targets if we continue to use oil as for central heating. 

Regular maintenance – Oil boilers require annual servicing. Not only the boiler, but the storage tank also needs to be maintained. 

Inconvenient – Unlike gas, oil is not supplied through a network of pipes. You would have to keep a close eye on the level of oil in the tank, and make sure you are topped up with fuel. This could be an inconvenience for some consumers. 

 

Oil central heating Immersion heaters/storage heaters.The most efficient heating systems?

What are Storage heaters and immersion heaters? 

Storage heaters utilise electricity as a source of energy. They are a popular choice for consumers that have a dual rate tariff. These heaters are designed to use cheaper night rate electricity. They absorb and store the energy and radiate this stored heat the following day. 

Unlike modern radiators that have columns or panels, storage heaters are usually shaped like a box, attached to the wall. 

Usually used in conjunction with storage heaters, an immersion heater is an electric water heater. Working on a similar principle to a kettle, this type of water heater is installed within a hot water cylinder. It uses electric resistance in the form of a coil or loop to heat the water surrounding it. 

Advantages of storage heaters and immersion heaters. 

Storage heaters:

Minimal maintenance – Unlike gas and oil boilers, electric storage heaters do not require annual servicing and are fairly simple to maintain. 

Cheap installation costs – Installing central heating could cost up to 3 times as much as storage heaters. The installation of storage heaters is fairly simple and does not require a lot of complex renovations in your home. 

 

Storage heaterImmersion heaters: 

Lower upfront costs – An immersion heater is one of the cheapest water heating solutions (in terms of initial costs). They do not need additional piping or a new ventilation system. Within minimal to no home infrastructure adjustments required, the installation of an immersion is quick and simple. 

Eco-friendly – Immersion heaters run solely on electricity and do not burn fossil fuels. On account of electric heating having no primary carbon footprint, immersion heaters are an environment-friendly alternative to fossil fuel boilers.

Back-up solution for older boilers – Immersion heaters act as a great back up for homes using old, inefficient boilers. In case your boiler breaks down or if there is an issue with the gas supply; an immersion heater can continue providing your home with hot water. This is because they run solely on electricity. 

Disadvantages of storage heaters and immersion heaters. 

Storage heaters: 

Bulky and unattractive – Storage radiators can be a bit of an eye-sore in a modern home. For some homes, the aesthetic of a storage heater is a bit old-fashioned and outdated. 

Poor heat retention capacity – Once the heat is stored, storage heaters cannot stop the heat from escaping and this leads to heat running out towards the late afternoon/evening. A lot of customers will then need to supplement their heating to keep them warm later on in the day. This lack of efficiency can come at a cost.

Lack of control – For the efficient use of energy, heaters need to be individually thermostatically controlled. With a storage heater, you do not possess this control over your heating. Usually the controls are very basic, showing 1-5 as a form of “control”. 

Not as economical as first thought – As mentioned before, the storage heater may lose all its stored heat by the late afternoon. During winter months, you may need an additional form of heating, at an extra cost. 

Immersion heaters: 

Time-consuming – A main issue with immersion heaters is that you cannot heat a small quantity of water. This solution has to heat the entire tank of water. This is time-consuming and not an efficient form of heating water. 

Not economical – If used without a thermostat, the immersion heater is left running- which is an enormous waste of energy. This could end up being a costly solution to heat water. Immersion heaters with thermostatic controls and insulating jackets are usually much pricier systems. 

Can be expensive– Buying a modern immersion heater, using titanium or incoloy can be expensive. The cheaper models use copper which are not viable when used alongside unvented cylinders, stainless-steel tanks, thermal store units or hard water areas. 

Immersion heater with tankAfter analysing the pros and cons of gas, oil and LPG central heating, along with biomass heating, immersion and storage heaters- it is evident that these systems may not be the future of the UK’s domestic heating industry. So what is the most efficient heating system on the market currently? 

Efficient Electric Heating. 

Fischer dynamic clay-core radiators.

Electric radiators are one of the most efficient space heating solutions. Our smart radiators have a 40mm clay-core for better heat retention. They are also low-input and easy to install. They can be plugged into a 13Amp socket. Their modern design not only pleases the eye, but also distributes heat efficiently throughout your room. Our radiators use convection, conducted, radiant and stored heat, to heat the rooms in your home from the floor to the ceiling. 

If sized correctly, based on your usage and the specifications of the rooms in your home; this solution can be very effective in distributing heat within your home. Our radiators are hand-made in our factory in Germany- this ensures superior manufacturing quality. Our efficient electric radiators are individually controlled using our exclusive wireless thermostat. This ensures that you will be in full control of your heating at all times. You can program them to turn on at specific times during the day and days during the week. 

Efficient electric radiatorsAquafficient and Aquafficient Eco+

The Aquafficient is a space-saving, instant water heater. It is the perfect solution for homes with limited space. The Aquafficient uses patented thermal storage technology through a highly efficient phase-change material. With no requirement for tanks or cylinders, this solution is a popular water heating solution for thousands of our customers. The Aquafficient is half the size of an average water cylinder, whilst being able to store heat for 4 times longer as compared to a domestic cylinder. 

Efficient water heaterThe Aquafficient Eco+ uses air-source technology, and is a sustainable water heating solution. It uses air as its main source of energy. It is highly versatile in terms of installation, and can be installed in the loft, airing cupboard, utility room or the garage. It has a robust tank within it, surrounded by highly efficient insulation. It has a power requirement of less than 10Amps. Unlike heat pumps, that may not be as efficient during the winter months; when the temperature around the Aquafficient Eco+ unit falls below 5 degrees C, the internal titanium heating element kicks in. This ensures that you continue receiving hot water at an optimal temperature at all times. 

Air source heat pumpThe Aquafficient and Aquafficient Eco+ are highly efficient heating systems. 

Fischer Electric Boilers

A popular solution for many homes currently using gas or oil central heating; the Fischer EB is an efficient solution for space and water heating. Like our radiators, our efficient electric boilers are handmade. Our boilers are an easy swap with your existing fossil fuel boiler. Not only that, you get to keep your existing wet radiators as well. With limited adjustments to your home, you can switch to a 100% efficient and sustainable solution. 

Efficient electric boilerRequest your free catalogue now and choose from a wide range of efficient heating systems.

In order to guarantee we are manufacturing and installing a heating solution/solutions best suited to your home, we offer a free, no-obligation heating survey as standard. You can request for a free heating survey at a time and date most convenient for you. 

COP26?- Success or Failure?

COP26 has been the focal point of discussion amongst the media and citizens of different countries around the world. The COP26 started a day early this year on the 31st of October. The Conference of Parties 26 was held in Glasgow this year. This article details everything you need to know about COP26- seeking to enforce global response to the climate emergency. 

What is COP26? 

 Over the last 3 decades, world governments have met nearly every year to forge a global response to the climate emergency. Under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),every country on Earth is treaty-bound to “avoid dangerous climate change”, and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally in an equitable way. The Conference of Parties (under the UNFCCC), has resulted in the formation of the Paris Agreement in 2015 which could be considered as an occasional triumph. The conference meetings have also witnessed moments of high drama amongst the environment ministers and leaders of different countries. This year (2021) was the year of its 26th iteration. This was supposed to be held in Glasgow last year, but was postponed to this year on account of the havoc that Covid-19 caused, worldwide. 

When did COP26 take place? 

 COP26 started on 31st October, 2021 and continued for 2 weeks till 12th November, 2021. Around 25,000 people were at the conference. More than 120 world leaders attended (for the first few days) and the negotiations were left to the environmental ministers and other senior officials of the different countries, attending the conference. 

Why did we need COP26? 

 In accordance with the landmark Paris Agreement (2015), nations committed to hold global temperature rises to ‘well below’ 2 degrees C- above pre-industrial levels, while pursuing efforts to limit heating to 1.5 degrees C. These set goals are legally binding and held in high regard, in the treaty. 

In order to achieve these targets, countries have also set non-binding national goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the near term (by 2030 in most cases). These targets resulted in being inadequate. On account of this, it was decided that countries would have to return to the table every five years to discuss and decide on new commitments.

We know that emissions from the use of fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil are increasing the temperature of the Earth. The last decade was the warmest on record and governments agree that urgent action is required from all countries as a collective. These emissions have also led to various climate change related incidents like- heat waves, forest fires and floods around the world. 

The end goal of the Conference of Parties is to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050 and pave the way for sustainable and eco-friendly living. 

What happened during COP26? 

 Leaders and environmental ministers of many countries promised to hold their end of the climate action pact by creating new ambitious targets to reduce emissions by 2030. The pact lays great focus on developed countries to increase the money they give to those countries most affected by climate change (beyond the $100 billion target). 

The agreement will aid in the phasing out of “inefficient subsidies” for fossil fuels and will set the global agenda on climate change for the next decade. 

 The USA and China cooperate with the climate change initiatives. 

 The US and China cooperation was the most surprising, yet paramount in achieving the climate change targets. The USA and China gave assurance that over the next decade, they will boost their climate cooperation. 

The agreement laid out targets to cut methane emissions, transition to cleaner energy sources and henceforth aid in the decarbonization of the countries. 

Greenpeace international and other independent climate action organizations welcomed the joint declaration, although the US and China have been warned they would need to set stricter goals and show a greater commitment to reach the agreed climate goals. 

The US and China agreed to recall their firm commitment to achieve the 1.5 degrees C temperature goal (which was previously set out in the Paris Agreement 2015). USA and China are 2 of the biggest emitters in the world, and their co-operation could expedite the net zero carbon targets. Although previously, China has been reluctant to tackle its coal emissions and haven’t agreed to ‘shift away from coal’ in this COP26. 

Trees

Over 100 countries (representing 85% of the world’s forests) agreed to stop deforestation by 2030. 

Trees and forests absorb carbon and also reduce the average temperature of cities. They also prevent flooding and reduce pollution. Focus must not only be laid on stopping deforestation but also planting more trees. This will aid in making our climate change goals more achievable.

In comparison to previous deforestation initiatives, this initiative is better funded. Although, there is little clarity on how this would be monitored. 

Methane

During COP26, schemes were put in place to cut 30% of the current methane emissions. This was agreed by over 100 countries. 

Methane when produced from non-fossil fuel sources like food and green waste could quite literally absorb the carbon out of the air. However, when methane is produced from burning fossil fuels, it traps heat in the atmosphere. This increases the average temperature of the Earth and is a major contributor to climate change. Over a 100-year period, methane is 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the earth. Over 20 years, that comparison jumps to approximately 80 times.

China, Russia and India haven’t joined the agreed schemes to cut methane emissions, but it is hoped they will soon conform. 

Coal

More than 40 countries including Poland, Chile and Vietnam agreed to shift away from coal, to cleaner energy sources. A few countries like the UK have already announced the ban of house coal and the phasing out of loose coal by 2023.

There are numerous damaging environmental impacts of coal that occur through its mining, preparation, combustion, waste storage, and transport. When burnt, it releases more carbon dioxide than oil or gas, so it’s a big problem when it comes to climate change. Coal also produces toxic elements like mercury and arsenic, and small particles of soot which contribute to air pollution.

Although over 40 countries were in agreement to shift away from coal; the world’s most coal-dependent countries- Australia, India, China and the US haven’t signed up to this scheme. 

Funding

Private companies pledged financing green technologies in order to meet the Net Zero Carbon target (although this is not binding by law). Over 450 financial organizations agreed to back ‘clean’ technology like renewable and sustainable energy.

During COP26, organizations pledged directing finance away from industries using/burning fossil fuels; there are no definitive net zero carbon targets laid out. With these targets not set in stone, the initiative of increasing funding for cleaner fuel sources and green technologies could be futile. 

Will the countries actually meet their targets and fulfil their promises? 

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We have made progress on the three objectives we set at the start of COP26: First, to get commitments to cut emissions to keep within reach the global warming limit of 1.5 degrees. Second, to reach the target of 100 billion dollars per year of climate finance to developing and vulnerable countries. And third, to get agreement on the Paris rulebook. This gives us confidence that we can provide a safe and prosperous space for humanity on this planet. But there will be no time to relax: there is still hard work ahead.” 

Only a few countries have actually made their commitments and pledges legally binding. For the rest, any promises and agreements will have to be self-policed. 

Rich nations once again resisted acknowledging financial liability for their years of emissions that drove climate change as they rose to economic prosperity.

While the Glasgow agreement laid out a pathway for addressing the issue by establishing a new secretariat dedicated to the issue, vulnerable countries said that represented a bare minimum of acceptability.

“This package is not perfect. The coal change and a weak outcome on loss and damage are blows,” said Tina Stee, climate envoy from the Marshall Islands. Still, “elements of the Glasgow Package are a lifeline for my country. We must not discount the crucial wins covered in this package.”

Is the UK doing enough for climate change? 

 The UK Govt. have announced the ban of gas boilers in all new homes by 2025. This scheme also goes as far as phasing out the use of gas boilers completely by 2035. 

Although the UK is still reliant on fossil fuels to generate electricity, domestic heating (like oil/gas heating) emits twice as much CO2 as all power stations. A lot of UK consumers are turning to Solar PV and battery storage to live sustainably and cut energy costs. 

Although research and testing is currently being conducted on the viability of hydrogen boilers for domestic heating, the UK energy minister- Lord Callanan does not have a lot of faith in the project.

Unlike hydrogen, electricity has proven to be a viable, safer and more efficient form of domestic heating as compared to hydrogen.

In order to phase-out the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation, the appropriate infrastructure needs to be set up. If this process is expedited, the UK could reach their net zero carbon target before 2050. 

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.

Are Hydrogen Boilers a viable option?

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.

Ways To Live More Sustainably

7 Ways To Live More Sustainably

Increasing each one of us have to find ways to live more sustainably. Sustainability by definition is the avoidance of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. As our global population has grown exponentially within the last 75 years, the demand for certain finite resources has grown, and the rate at which we are using finite resources or polluting the environment to meet this demand is negatively affecting the environment we rely on to sustain life as we know it. It’s going to take a lot more than an individual’s actions for the entire world to be living sustainably, but collectively as consumers, we have the power to change what we demand. Here we’ve listed 7 ways to live in a more eco-conscious manner.

 

Following these steps goes a long way to live more sustainably

 

01. Eat Less Meat

The meat and dairy industry generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all automobile emissions combined. The western diet is very heavy with animal products, and increased consumption of meat has been linked to obesity, cancer, and heart disease. The fact that eating less meat both helps the environment and our own health makes it a no-brainer. We’re not saying everyone should adopt a completely meat-free diet overnight, however reducing our overall consumption, perhaps by doing meat-free Mondays, would be a great idea.

02. Don’t Waste Food

In the UK, we throw away about 6.6 million tons of household food waste annually – of the 6.6 million tons we throw away, almost three-quarters are the food we could have eaten. Ways to reduce food waste include using products in the order of the closest use by date or freezing leftovers. This not only helps the environment but saves you money too.

& Ways to Live Sustainably

03. Cycle, Walk or use Public Transport where possible

Apart from having zero carbon emissions, cycling and walking are obviously great forms of exercise, so if you’re able to cycle or walk to work or wherever you need to go, it’ll help to improve air quality for all of us..

Cycle, Walk or Public Transport

04. Use Reusable Alternatives

There has been a big push for this in recent years, with people wanting to move away from single-use plastic. Supermarket chains now charge for carrier bags, and many coffee shop chains and restaurants have switched from plastic straws to paper straws. Plastic is essentially non-biodegradable and will remain in the environment for millions of years, taking up space in landfills and even getting into ecosystems, killing many species that are already under threat.

05. Recycle and Reuse

This isn’t anything revolutionary, we all know about the importance of recycling to decrease the rate of depletion of natural resources. Buying second-hand is an easy way to avoid being wasteful, but if not, there are more and more new brands popping up that are selling sustainably made or sourced products.

06. Use Renewable Energy

The use of renewables is growing, from wind to solar, they produce electricity with virtually zero carbon emissions. Shifting from fossil fuels to renewables will reduce air pollution and stop further environmental damage caused by global warming.

Use Renewable Energy

07. Grow Your Own Produce

If you have the time and space in your garden, growing a variety of products means that you’re relying less on imported supermarket produce, which has a much greater carbon footprint.

Ways To Live More Sustainably - Ways to Grow your Own Produce

Consistently we settle on decisions in our lives that influence the climate, the environment, and different species. Our planet can just create a limited number of assets – from food to water – and can just withstand a specific level of ozone-depleting substance discharges to remain solid. We just have one Earth and are totally subject to it for our endurance and prosperity. So we all must find and practice ways to live sustainably. We at Fischer Future are building products to find ways to prosper on our planet and use its resources more sustainably – in a way that doesn’t degrade the environment – for the benefit of ourselves and future generations. The Road to Zero-Carbon has begun. Are you on Joining in?

Is gas a cheaper option for heating your home?

People often say that their existing gas or oil boilers are cheaper, which deters them from electric boilers, but what are the indirect costs of having a gas boiler? There are many, alongside the fact that they are simply unsustainable. Gas or oil may be immediately cheaper to the consumer, however we shouldn’t forget its cost to the environment- a cost which is far greater and long term than people want to believe.

Gas and oil are a finite resource which we mostly import from other countries, and when burnt, release greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. These gases damage the ozone layer of the earth’s atmosphere, making it more impermeable to UV rays from the sun. This results in less sunlight being reflected off the earth’s surface and back into space. This principle is what drives global warming, and in 2020 we are already feeling the impact of this through an increased frequency of extreme weather. Do we really want to continue the use of gas and oil if these are the detrimental consequences caused? Who actually pays for it?

Oil Wells providing energy source for your home

The UK government have certainly taken this on board and have recently announced that gas boilers will be banned in all newly built homes by 2023, instead of the previously proposed date of 2025. Heating is the largest single source of carbon emissions in the UK, making up more than one-third of the total, so the government know that action must be taken sooner rather than later, in order to achieve their goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

So when people argue that gas is cheaper, we must pose the question of whether that singlehandedly makes it a better choice of fuel. There are indirect costs and consequences of a society reliant on gas boilers in their homes. Firstly, the government use taxpayer’s money to repair and fix damage caused by environmental disasters, which the use of gas boilers contribute towards. In the 2020 budget, the government announced that it will double its investment in flood and coastal defences in England to £5.2 billion over the next six years. Secondly, in major cities gas boilers are also a main source of nitrogen dioxide emissions. Decreasing air quality is only going to cause an increase in respiratory health conditions, which in turn increases the risk of premature death, leading to a rise in NHS costs.

Electric BoilersThe UK’s generation of electricity is already moving towards renewables and nuclear, which will increase air quality and the health of all Brits. Our energy security will also strengthen if we as a nation are able to meet our electricity demand without the need of imported fossil fuels. Furthermore, moving the ban of petrol and diesel car sales to a sooner 2030 is also another move as part of the prime minister’s green plan. If the government are showing clear signs of wanting to shift to a greener future, we must also support that by making greener choices ourselves, like the installation of electric boilers, so that we can all live more sustainable lives that not only benefit us, but benefit the planet.

Wind Energy