Take the simple steps to save more energy
The simple heating solution that will keep capital investment costs low and minimise disruption in many commercial and public buildings is to upgrade to new, modern and more efficient boilers, argues Eleanor Fox
The UK economy may be showing signs of recovery, yet fuel prices continue to spiral upwards, adding significant and unwelcome cost pressures to business.
When DECC published its first Heat Strategy in 2012, it estimated that the UK will spend over £33 billion on heating homes, businesses and public buildings, generating around 40 per cent of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions in the process.
We know too that the UK has some of the oldest building stock in Europe. Data collected by the Carbon Trust and the Building Research Establishment show that around two thirds of the buildings that will be in the UK in 2050 have already been
built and 40 per cent pre-date 1985, the year that Building Regulations regarding fuel and power were first introduced under Part L. Many of these older buildings still rely on inefficient atmospheric boiler systems for their heating which are wasteful of energy and unnecessarily expensive.
Fear of the unknown
At the same time, we know that there is a fear of the unknown when it comes to embracing new technologies, such as renewables.
Faced with this situation, surely the simple heating solution that will keep capital investment costs low and minimise disruption in many commercial and public buildings is to upgrade to new, modern and more efficient boilers.
Commercial boiler technology has increased significantly in recent years. Modern condensing gas boilers are designed to burn substantially less fuel than their predecessors. They are a cost-efficient solution, ideal for retrofit applications.
Condensing technology with premix combustion delivers a combination of performance, efficiency and low running costs, with a minimum of polluting emissions due to the controlled pre-mix burner and micro-flame burner combination. Electronic control and modularity mean that these modern boilers
can be quickly connected to any type of heating and hot water system. Built-in
temperature control and weather compensation are standard to maximise energy efficiency.
High efficiency boilers can achieve massive reductions in fuel consumption while, at the same time, reducing the levels of harmful greenhouse gases, such as CO2 and NOx.
Ease of installation can again be an important factor in this type of application. Modern commercial boilers feature an intelligent frame which enables free-standing installation in both cascading and stand-alone configurations. Using such a frame makes it very easy for contractors to build a system and help save additional time on site.
Gas boilers still have a big part to play in reaching the UK's low carbon targets and combatting the effect of fast rising fuel prices.
The grid infrastructure in this country is built for gas heating and surely it makes sense to take the simple steps first rather than over-complicate the issue. Replacing an old, inefficient gas boiler with a new, modern, condensing solution to cut fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions is a sensible, affordable and desirable option in many projects. So, let's make sure we take it.
The author is marketing director of Vokera
10 September 2013