OTM Keith Bastian-5fefe68e

Renewable expert explains how homeowners can make smart energy choices

It is no secret that renewable energy and sustainable living is becoming a focal point for many businesses and households.

Our homes emit more emissions and greenhouse gases than we realise, and there are plenty of changes we can make in our everyday lives that can reduce our carbon footprint.

Keith Bastian, the managing director of renewable energy provider Outfox The Market and home heating solutions firm Fischer Future Heat, explains how homeowners can make smarter choices and future proof their homes.

We are living in a generation that has been given an immense responsibility to make sustainable choices that positively impact the planet. With the introduction of the Future Homes Standard and the boiler ban, two imperative targets in the housing sector, many homes are choosing to build a more eco-friendly future with increased focus towards sustainability.

We know that these changes can take time. However, consumer awareness and regulatory pressures are ever increasing and consumers, businesses and organisations around the world are being forced to take action. Despite the UK Government recently calling for more aggressive climate change targets by 2035, I firmly believe there are a number of energy options for homeowners to make sustainable changes. As a clean energy advocate, I want to help customers make smart decisions about heating systems that can contribute towards a renewable energy landscape.

The Boiler Ban

The Boiler Ban, part of the Future Homes Standard, is coming into effect as of 2025. For builders and housing developers, this means that all new homes built from 2025 will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes under the current regulations.

Through just the simple heating of a home, the average household emits 2.7 tonnes of CO2 each year. Around 40% of the UK’s total emissions come from households, a particularly alarming statistic.

In order to combat this environmental issue and tackle the climate crisis, Chancellor Philip Hammond introduced the Future Homes Standard in 2019. This standard mandating the "end of fossil fuel heating systems from 2025 delivering lower carbon,” as well as aiming to “lower fuel bills.”

Many homeowners are becoming increasingly conscious about the impact they are having on the environment, and are taking matters into their own hands and changing the heating systems in their current homes.

Whether it’s through a change to electric radiators or utilising renewable energy providers, homeowners are finding themselves with the power to make an impactful change. Like others in our sector, we provide the energy efficiency that homeowners seek, with low-carbon heating set to replace gas in all new build homes as of 2025.

And with that being said, I’d like to see more regulatory guidance to enable this transition quicker. Local councils, for example, should aid homeowners and play their part in educating households in the importance of energy sustainability. This could be by offering collection services to remove old boilers and heating systems, or even by delivering more information via post and email on upcoming regulatory changes. Councils have a responsibility to educate homeowners on the importance of sustainability and the impactful changes they can make.

Avoiding Mould and Damp

Currently the most common way to heat a home is via a centralised heating system, an outdated model that hit at the height of the fossil fuel revolution. These systems are expensive to repair, replace, install, and are incredibly energy inefficient. These disadvantages are often at the surface of a more underlying issue around heating and health.

Central heating has been considered a contributing factor to issues surrounding damp and condensation in the home. As the homeowner turns off their heating and the temperature of the home begins to drop, condensation may form. If this cycle of heating changes and the formation of condensation persists, mould and damp issues may arise, particularly in homes with low ventilation. This is a significant issue in the winter months, as the warm air will settle on the cold, damp areas derivative of heating condensation, potentially leading to problems with mould.

Modern electric radiators do the opposite of these outdated centralised radiators and discard any issues encountered through their use. The required ventilation needed to minimise damp with centralised heating means that these systems are unable to heat a home efficiently due to incorporating the cold outside air into the home. More recent heating innovations provide a constant background heat temperature of 16°C as to avoid the damp risks and uneven home temperature generated by centralised heating. These issues are particularly significant in the winter months, when heating systems are relied on most, and issues with outdated centralised heating systems become apparent.

Gas Leaks and Maintenance

Gas leak risks are also another great disadvantage of centralised heating systems. Of course gas leaks aren’t all that common, however one were to occur, the consequences can be incredibly serious.

Gas leaks pose the risk of both carbon monoxide poisoning and can start fires within the home. In order to avoid this, homeowners should conduct regular servicing and checks of their centralised heating systems.

This regular maintenance involved with centralised heating is vital to conduct, in order to prevent these potentially harmful gas leaks.

With traditional boilers there is often lots of hidden pipework, meaning that any potential work you’d like to carry out at home is a bigger task than it perhaps needs to be.

Electric radiators mitigate the risk of a gas leak altogether and provide heat that is much cleaner and purified. As well as this, they are easy to install and require little to no maintenance, with no pipework being involved.

Reduce Wasted Energy

Unless a homeowner is manually turning on and off their radiators in each room, they are going to be wasting a significant amount of energy and money, when it isn’t needed to be utilised or spent.

What is the point in heating a room that isn’t occupied? Put simply there isn’t one, this action only leading to avoidable negative impacts on the environment and your pocket.

Electric alternatives allow homeowners to control the temperature of each and every room from the touch of a simple wall mounted unit. Advances in technology even mean that heating can be controlled via a centralised app or device at the touch of your fingertips, resulting in no wasted energy and appropriately heated rooms.

By utilising electric and renewably sourced radiators, as well as renewable energy providers, homeowners are able to adapt their homes in line with new regulations and legislations that will benefit both them and the environment.

Thinking ahead, acting sustainably and making smart choices is the perfect way to future proof your home now. So, why wait until 2025?