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The Leaf: Issue 6 October 2021 – How to increase heating efficiency in the wake of energy price rises

From energy price rises to COP26, the way in which we use energy is big news. The world is watching while politicians discuss climate action, but considering recent energy price increases, homeowners are looking for ways to cut costs and carbon emissions now, as we enter colder months.

In this issue of The Leaf, find out more about the government’s Heat and Buildings strategy and what it means for homeowners, how to increase boiler and heating efficiency, and how our MD has been advocating the importance of heating controls in a more sustainable future.

Read more topics at Wiser about Sustainability

 

COP26 – The World is Watching

This month’s issue of The Leaf would be lacking if we didn’t mention COP26, the 2-week meeting of nations focused on climate change action that began this week. Whilst it’s difficult for anyone to predict the outcome, we at Drayton by Schneider Electric will be watching closely along with the rest of the world, with hope of political progress that will better facilitate the transition to low carbon heating and accelerate the world towards a sustainable future.

We stand ready to cooperate with industry partners, suppliers, customers, installers, and end users in the actions that will follow the conference, to deliver more smart and sustainable homes.

 

 

Summary of the Government Heat and Buildings Strategy

In related news, last week, the government announced the long-awaited Heat and Building Strategy, essentially a roadmap with a set of policies that will accelerate the UK towards reducing carbon emissions that result from heating our homes.

It came shortly after widespread energy price rises across the country. At Drayton by Schneider Electric, the brand behind Wiser, we welcome the Strategy that will reduce reliance on fossil fuels, reduce households’ vulnerability to sudden energy price increases, and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.

In short, what the Heat and Buildings Strategy means for homeowners is:

  • Up to 90,000 homes will get £5,000-£6,000 off the cost of heat pump installation.
  • No new fossil fuel boilers are to be installed after 2035.
  • No household will be forced to remove existing natural gas boilers.
  • As technology improves, cost and accessibility of heat pumps should come down.
  • Levies will shift away from electricity over this decade, to ensure electric heat pumps will be no more costly to run than gas boilers.
  • A decision on how to introduce hydrogen gas into existing heating systems has been delayed until 2026.

 

We understand in the wake of the latest energy price rises, you may be looking for ways to reduce energy bills here and now, so we have 10 tips for you to help optimise boiler efficiency and reduce energy use around the home as we enter colder months ahead.

How to improve heating efficiency in 10 steps

  1. Have your boiler serviced annually by your local Gas Safe heating engineer. They’ll perform several important checks and clean the interior to improve efficiency. It’s thought optimisation of existing gas boiler systems could save the average household up to 22% energy. Search for professionals in your area here. 
  2. Ask your heating engineer to also balance the system flow rate, which optimises boiler efficiency and improves comfort by ensuring all radiators heat up fully. 
  3. Bleed your radiators regularly to remove air, reduce cold spots and increase heating efficiency, or ask your heating engineer to do quick task this during a boiler service. 
  4. Get better control of your heating at home or away, finetune schedules, enable energy saving smart modes, and only heat the rooms you need to with smart multi-room heating controls, and save up to £200 a year. 
  5. Insulate your pipes to reduce heat loss. Foam tubing and lagging is available from most DIY shops and is easy to fit, just make sure to measure the pipe diameter. 
  6. Have an older home? Any damage or disrepair to your walls and roof can let heat escape, have them identified and fixed to reduce energy bills. Read more tips to make an older home more energy efficient. 
  7. Have leaky windows fixed or invest in double-glazing to reduce heat loss. 
  8. Add insulation and make the most of any available home energy grants to help with the cost. 
  9. Wash clothes on 30°C or lower to reduce energy bills. Some modern washing machines even have an eco 20°C setting. 
  10. Time for a new boiler? Some older boilers can only be optimised so far. Thankfully, modern gas boilers with A+ ratings have superior energy efficiency, so upgrading is usually a wise investment in the long term. Don’t forget that when upgrading, consider the whole system, and replace older radiators, pipes and heating controls to maximise energy savings.

 

An update on our emissions reduction plan

We’re projecting our total Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions will be 120 tonnes in 2021, a reduction of 80% compared to 2018 total of 615 tonnes. As part of our roadmap to net zero by 2025, our forecasted carbon emissions next year will be around 17% lower than this year.

Our latest Carbon Survey has been completed

On 6th October 2021, our latest Carbon Survey was carried out. Drayton are committed to taking responsibility for our impact on the planet and to transparency of our actions, so we look forward to sharing the results and how we’ll use them in the next stage of our journey to net zero by 2025.

Coming soon - our greener, more efficient factory

We have five major factory upgrade projects in their final planning stages that will reduce our Plymouth manufacturing site’s emissions. We look forward to sharing more details soon. Find out more about recent energy-saving upgrades completed in our Plymouth factory.

 

Remi Volpe, MD RTC Drayton

Drayton MD speaks on heating controls in net zero homes

Remi Volpe, MD RTC Drayton, was a speaker in an online session last week as part of the BEAMA Net Zero Homes Webinar series titled The Power at Our Fingertips – Heating Controls For Net Zero Homes.

In a discussion with other heating industry representatives, hosted by the founder of SustMeme, Jim McClelland, Remi discussed findings of research we conducted with Salford University and BEAMA into the energy-saving capability of best practice heating controls, and the crucial role they play in improving heating system efficiency and enhancing user control.

Drayton heating controls like Wiser are optimised for heat pumps and other low carbon heating technologies that we’ll see in our homes in future, future-proofing heating systems as we move towards smarter and more sustainable homes.

 

“We wanted as an industry body to put research on the table that would really give some clear messages to the consumers, to the industry, and to the installers.

“The research we have done with Salford University using their energy house facility, has demonstrated that significant energy savings can be delivered by moving beyond the current minimum standard for heating controls.

“What we have seen is that there are increased savings from using these better control technologies of 10-12%, and at a time when consumers are facing up to higher costs, we think this is the perfect time to put controls on the agenda in way which consumers can offset these costs as well.”

- Remi Volpe, MD RTC Drayton

Watch the recording here

 

World Vegan Day – 1st November

It’s no secret that eating a vegan diet has great benefits for the environment. World Vegan Day is a chance for the vegan community to celebrate the benefits, and for those thinking about eating more plant-based meals to learn more about the benefits. So on World Vegan Day, try a vegan recipe for a change, or make a swap to a plant-based ingredient.

World Soil Day – 5th December

In the past 150 years, due to human activity the Earth has lost 50% of its topsoil, impacting everything from farming, to biodiversity, to flood protection. This awareness day created by the UN celebrates the vital role soil plays in ecosystems, improving farming yields and its role in absorbing and storing atmospheric carbon. Learn more about World Soil Day and ways to get involved on the website.

 

Read more topics at Wiser about Sustainability