Renewable Heating Technology: Installation On A Budget
It is widely accepted that renewable heating technology is more expensive than having a replacement gas or oil boiler. This is true, but for those with limited budgets who would like to invest in order to reduce their energy consumption I thought I would write a short piece on some technologies on which to focus.
The rest of this blog assumes some serious consideration has gone into your radiator or underfloor system to ensure low grade energy can easily be emitted to warm the home. So we ask the question “can I achieve a renewable heating system installation on a budget?”
Depending on the work being done to the house it always, and I mean always, pays to invest sensibly in insulating the fabric of the building such that ongoing bills for the property will be reduced regardless of what final heating technology you install. Loft insulation and draft-proofing are some of the lowest cost but most highly effective means by which to save energy and reduce the requirement for your home heating system during winter. However if you have already maximised this or are already living in a well-insulated newer home what are the other options?
Renewable Heating Options
Biomass Pellet Stoves
Practically, a stand-alone stove system that does not integrate with the rest of the home’s heating system may make sense. As long as you have a suitable lined flue and ideally an open plan space that can make the most of the heat produced an automated pellet boiler stove solution may be appropriate.
These systems are loaded with small bags of wood pellets as fuel. Think of these as high tech, intelligent 21st century wood burning stoves.
These systems are highly adjustable, automated and don’t look too shabby either.
As for a more meaty integrated alternative, air source heat pumps are considerably cheaper than ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers to install. Therefore, as an introduction to low carbon heating it may be possible to install a small air source heat pump system working together with a fossil fuel system.
Essentially this hybrid system means the efficient heat pump is able to heat the home for transitional seasons ensuring your fossil fuel boiler is used less than usual, yet can keep you nice and toasty on the coldest days of winter. These systems have to carefully designed and should be analysed and understood in detail to ensure they are both successful and cost effective.
How To Pay For It?
Unfortunately the UK has moved away from up front grant payments for renewable energy to ongoing subsidies such as the feed in tariff (FIT) and renewable heat incentive (RHI) schemes. As such you will have to find the money up front and then the government will pay you back over a number of years.
But there are still up to £10,000 interest free loan schemes available for the installation of renewable technology which are offered by selected local councils.
So you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to install these schemes and indeed with a little forethought you can successfully reduce your running costs and do your bit for the planet for sensible money.