Why electric heating?
For many people electric heating is their only option. They may be in a rural area, off the gas grid or in a new apartment with no gas. Electric heating has traditionally had a bad name for high running costs and is often associated with uncontrollable, wasteful storage heaters. However, modern electric radiators have come a long way, many having energy saving and ‘smart’ features. The future of heating is changing and electric radiators may have an important role to play.
How can electric heating help meet decarbonisation targets?
The Climate Change Act commits the UK government by law to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050 (DECC. 2008. Building a Low Carbon Economy – the UK’s Contribution to Tackling Climate Change) . Heating accounts for nearly ¼ of all carbon emissions, therefore a major focus is to decarbonise the heat supply. In order to do this an alternative to gas heating must be found. To hit the target 20,000 properties a week will need to be retrofitted over the next 20-25 years. (Frerk M and McLean K. 2017. Heat Decarbonisation. Potential Impacts on Social Equity and Fuel Poverty. National Energy Action. http://www.nea.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Heat-Decarbonisation-Report-2017.pdf )
Decarbonisation of the electricity sector is well under way. Once there is sufficient generating capacity from wind and solar, then electricity will provide an excellent option for decarbonising the heat sector. Direct electric heating represents a low cost solution which is easy and quick to deploy where the consumption levels do not warrant the capital costs of heat pumps or district heating systems. New build flats, high rise apartments and small, energy efficient properties off the gas grid may find electric heating more economical despite higher fuel costs.
This presents a massive opportunity for electrical contractors to install more electric heating as the future of gas looks less and less certain.
What is Lot 20 and how will affect the products you buy?
From January 2018 all electric space heaters must be compliant with EcoDesign Lot 20 minimum energy efficiency requirements. This is part of 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive where several product lots such as televisions and light bulbs have already been affected.
In order to be compliant direct electric heaters must have the following;
- Electronic programmable controls and thermostat
- One of the following energy saving features
- Remote control via a WiFi app or geolocation, meaning you don’t waste energy heating a room when it is not occupied
- Adaptive start control. Commences heating at the optimal time to get the room up to the desired temperature at the right time.
- Open window detection. When the radiator sense that it not achieving an increase in room temperature despite heating up, it assumes a window has ben left open and cuts out.
In short, units which only have on/ off controls or manual dials will not be compliant. Portable heaters such as cheap convectors must be labelled as followed for sale “This product is only suitable for well-insulated spaces or occasional use.” Many panel, convector and storage heaters have been withdrawn as they do not meet regulations. This may mean you have less choice when specifying for clients.
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All VeriSmart Heating’s electric radiators are EcoDesign Lot 20 compliant.
What electric heating should you specify?
A convector heater has bare elements and low thermal inertia. It is clear to see from this video how quickly it cools down once it has stopped drawing power. It is now possible to buy a Lot 20 compliant convector but they are no longer a cheap option.
A panel heater also has an exposed element and low thermal inertia. This video illustrates the thermal performance. They should only be used for spare rooms and occasional use areas.
Storage heaters lack controllability and the ability to react to changes in room temperature. For this reason many are not compliant with Lot 20 and have been withdrawn.
Ceramic electric radiators have high thermal inertia to maximise efficiency. VeriSmart Heating offer a range of units to suit most budgets and projects. The EcoSlimline and EcoCurve are a popular choice for apartments. They get the room up to temperature quickly and then retain the heat using the ceramic core. The EcoHeat is great for trickier spaces such as village halls or old stone properties, which themselves have high thermal inertia. The EcoWifi is great for holiday lets, serviced accommodation, or anywhere where the client wants more control over their heating. It is now available with geolocation and Amazon Echo compatibility.
|Convector||Cheap to buy
Easy to install
|Low thermal inertia
Expensive to run
May not be Lot 20 compliant
|Panel||Cheap to buy
Easy to install
|May be more expensive to run|
|Storage||May work out cheaper for the elderly||May not suit lifestyle for working families
Difficult to install
Uses more energy than required
May not be Lot 20 compliant
|Ceramic||Easy to install
High thermal inertia
|Mid price range|
What do YOUR customers care about?
Your customers want a stylish, easy to use product. They want to know roughly how much they will cost to run. And they want great post sales service.
We will support your customers or end users with programming queries and warranty issues to make it as easy for you as possible.
When it comes to running costs, unlike many companies, we do not make any claims. The cost depends on so many variables, such as insulation, glazing, occupancy levels, external temperature. However, we are pulling together a series of case studies and leaflets, which we are more than happy for you to disseminate with your customers.
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At VeriSmart Heating, we understand that trade customers have a different set of requirements. That’s why we have created our Trade Accounts. Trade Customers can apply for an account by completing the simple form below. After this you will be given access to your trade account and the benefits of an account manager, free quotations and much more.
Apply for your trade account today