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The clean air battle

It is no secret that our global community is facing a climate emergency; governments, businesses and homeowners have been joining forces in the battle for clean air. Through everyone reducing their carbon footprints and limiting the pollutants they emit into the atmosphere, clean air is easier to achieve than we realise. 

Keith Bastian, chief executive of Fischer Future Heat and Outfox the Market

Two business fighting this battle for clean air are Midlands-based home heating solutions provider Fischer Future Heat, and sustainable energy provider Outfox the Market.

Based in the heart of Leicestershire, these two sustainability-focused heating and energy businesses are keen to demonstrate exactly how damaging pollution can be to our air. Keith Bastian, chief executive of Fischer Future Heat and Outfox the Market, explains how people can make the easy steps towards winning the fight for an altogether cleaner future.

It may come as a surprise to learn that the levels of air pollution in the UK have been above legal limits for more than a decade. However, it is not a permanent problem, and could be slowly reversed in time and with the combined efforts of everyone in the country.

The Midlands is notorious for its high levels of pollution. Leicester is particularly renowned for its use of fossil fuels; research conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding it as one of the most polluted places in the UK.

At both Fischer Future Heat and Outfox the Market, we are working tirelessly to reduce air pollution. It is our mission to help guide homeowners and businesses in the reduction of their carbon footprint, firstly in Leicester, then the Midlands and then, nationally.

Of course this is a much wider global issue, but everyone has their part to play, no matter how small. We must start somewhere, and that somewhere is right here in Leicestershire.

Gas vs electric

77% of households are heating their property using gas and centralised heating systems. This is a significant proportion of the population emitting harmful pollutants into our atmosphere. When compared to the 7% of households using an electric alternative, it is clear to see how our actions can have detrimental consequences for our environment and our health.

With such a small proportion of the population using electric alternatives, we must ask whether homeowners are educated sufficiently on the benefits of heating their homes with sustainable electric options, or whether they understand how to make the switch.

One of my strongest beliefs is that many homeowners are yet to make the switch to electric due to the cost. Until recently, 23% of the total cost of electricity is made up of levies compared to just 2% for gas.

However, the Government has announced plans to reverse this levy, with rates reflecting changes in the fuel mix used in electric generation. This is expected to help in the Government’s objective of reaching a ratio of 1:1 by April 2025, in line with the introduction of the Future Homes Standard.

Electricity is a much cleaner and more renewable source of fuel, however many consumers still believe that electricity is an unsustainable energy source due to the secondary carbon footprint made through the acquisition of the fuel. Nonetheless, the secondary carbon footprint of using electricity simply does not outweigh the pollution and damage caused by the consumption of fossil fuels.

Furthermore, a significant proportion of our electricity is now being generated via renewable energy sources. This undoubtedly reduces the secondary carbon footprint of using electricity as an energy source. According to current statistics, 43% of the UK’s total electricity is generated via renewable sources, outperforming fossil fuels for the first time ever in 2020. As a nation we have made significant progress in the reduction of fossil fuel consumption to generate electricity, with renewable sources increasing year on year, up by 18 per cent on 2019 figures in the wind energy department.

In 2019, almost 25% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions were produced through fossil fuel energy supply. Is cutting corners and potentially saving a few pounds really worth this detrimental damage to the environment? This is without considering the tremendous impact this pollution has on our health and the potential future costs these actions may incur.

How to make a change

Through the simple installation of an electric radiator to your home, it is possible to make the small but significant step towards winning the battle for clean air. Where centralised heating systems place a dependency on being fully operated each time the home needs warming, electric radiators are only used where needed in the home, minimising energy waste and pollution. You only heat the rooms to the temperature you need with wireless room thermostats.

Electric radiators also provide homeowners with full control and agency of the heat in their home from any room, thereby limiting wasted energy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released through energy consumption.

An alternative method of making an impactful change, with no additional costs for the homeowner, is to switch their energy supplier.

Switching to a renewable energy provider can reduce the carbon footprint of a household, and therefore reduce the UK’s total greenhouse emissions and aid in the cleaning of our air. Through the use of clean wind energy and the limitation of fossil fuelled centralised heating systems, we can slowly start to reverse the damage done to our environment through the emission of greenhouse gas. This will not only contribute greatly to the clean-up of our environment, but will also have lasting improvement on the population’s overall health too.

We are recognised as the ‘electric generation’, something only accelerated by social media. Posted more than one million times on Instagram, the hashtag #renewableenergy is proof that sustainability and renewable energy sources are at the forefront of the minds of consumers.

Renewable energy and electric radiators makes for the perfect combination for homeowners seeking to make greener and more aesthetically pleasing choices for their homes.

There is no better time than the present to begin fighting the battle for clean air, and we can start right from the comfort of our homes.

29 June 2021

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