We all see now that the clear path for transport is the move to electric power instead of diesel or petrol. The reason for this of course is that electric vehicles do not emit any CO2 and the government has targets to meet on CO2 reduction.
The government has also now set a path towards the electrification of domestic heating for exactly the same reasons. From 2025 gas boilers will no longer be allowed to be fitted in new build properties. Gas will always be a fossil fuel and will always create CO2 emissions. We can however create electricity by using renewable energy technologies. Grid electricity CO2 content is reducing all the time as more and more renewable production is used.
There are a number of different options available when it comes to electric heating:
1. Electric Radiators – Can be either oil filled or have ceramic or clay cores. They look and work just like having regular radiators but each is independent of the other. No pipework is needed, just a 13amp electric supply to each radiator. The oil or ceramic act just like the water would in a traditional radiator, to transfer the heat to the radiant surface, thereby creating radiant and convection heat.
2. Electric Heaters – Will have an electric element inside but no heat transfer material, so no method of producing radiant heat. Only convection heat will be produced, heating the air in the room. Comfort may be less than with electric radiators as there is no radiant heat.
3. Night storage heaters – Take power overnight using the economy 7 tariff with cheaper electricity. The theory is to reduce running costs by using the cheaper electricity and store the heat in bricks within the heater body. Can be a good solution for those in the house most of the day. Room temperature control is not as good as using electric radiators or heaters. It may be too warm in the mornings and not warm enough in the evenings.
4. Air source heat pumps – A system that transfers heat from outside to inside a building. Under the principles of vapour compression refrigeration an ASHP uses a refrigerant system involving a compressor and a condenser to absorb heat at one place and release it at another. Offers greater efficiency and lower running costs than other electric heating options. Installation costs however are substantially higher. Only efficient when producing low temperature water to the heat emitters, so may have to run 24hrs a day to maintain room temperatures thereby increasing running costs.
5. Electric boilers – These products offer a direct equivalent to gas boilers and require the same pipework etc. Higher installation cost than electric radiators or electric heaters and possibly higher running costs as it’s difficult to independently control room temperatures and timings. If a piped system isn’t already installed it would be more advisable to fit electric radiators rather than installing pipework.