A Guide to Renewable Energy in UK Homes

We all want to be a little ‘greener’ when it comes to our energy usage, but many people may struggle knowing where to start and what exactly they can change. Here at Stelrad, we provide radiators that help our customers make eco-centric choices. If you want to heat your home efficiently whilst doing your part for the environment, we can help, and you’ll find many ideal options in our radiator collection.

Firstly, where do you begin and what is renewable energy? This guide will help to explain the basics and what you can do today to have UK renewable energy as part of your home.

What are Renewable Energy Sources at Home?

Many of us have been increasingly aware of the damage greenhouse gases are having on the environment and how this is contributing to climate change. In the UK, a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 has been set by the government and using renewable sources of energy is one approach that will vastly help. As the technology improves over the next few decades, some renewable energies require further research and investment to become a reality in homes across the country and to drive lower costs for consumers.

Currently, the use of bioenergy, offshore and onshore wind farms, solar panels, and hydro-energy is increasing, with renewable capacity 6.5% higher in Q2 2022 than in Q2 2021, with offshore and onshore wind power providing the largest change in capacity[1]. So, what are the current sources of renewable energy at home?

  • Solar Power and heating
  • Heat Pumps
  • Biomass heating systems
  • Hydroelectric systems
  • Wind energy

As you can see, there are a number of options to help homeowners and customers make greener decisions when it comes to heating their homes. The government also has a green deal scheme that aims to help people wanting to improve energy efficiency with loans to make doing so easier. This can be claimed for various different home improvements to save energy including heating, insulation, draught-proofing, double-glazing, and renewable energy generation such as installing solar panels and heat pumps.

One of the actions you can make is by choosing a green energy tariff with your supplier, helping to ensure the energy you use comes from renewable sources. Many suppliers will use a mix of different energy sources including renewables, but a green tariff means the majority or all of your energy comes from renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuel generation. You can visit the Energy Saving Trust for more information on doing so, as well as enquiring with your current supplier.

Advantages of Renewable Energy

There are clear advantages to using renewable energy, with the aim that energy costs will become lower in the future in line with zero-carbon government schemes. This is helped further by using products and appliances in your home that will work as efficiently as possible. At Stelrad, we have a range of energy-efficient radiators for those looking to improve their energy use when heating their home. Using these alongside renewable sources of energy will make a huge difference to your energy cost and carbon footprint.

This is part of our commitment to a renewable energy future when using Stelrad radiators. Fit for the Future is a scheme that focuses on this, aiming to provide high-quality heating performance at much lower temperatures whilst remaining compatible with all systems. Low temperature heating systems will shape the future of UK homes and help to reduce energy costs for consumers. This means it will operate efficiently at 45 to 50 degrees Celsius when compared to a traditional system that operates at approx. 80 degrees Celsius. Other benefits of renewable energy include:

  • Lower carbon footprint – significantly lower carbon emissions result from renewable energy sources when compared with fossil fuels.
  • Higher availability – unlike fossil fuels which are a finite resource, renewable sources of energy are infinite as they come from the wind, sun and water which are always available.
  • Lower costs – as the process of generating renewable energy is less intensive, so is the cost of doing so when compared to fossil fuel generation. This can be helped even more so at home by installing a heat pump, solar panels or even your own mini wind turbine.

Types of Renewable Energy

Solar Panels

These capture the energy of the sun when installed on the exterior of a building. This can then be converted into electricity to use in your home to power appliances.

Heat Pumps

These can be installed outside your home and the pump generates warm air into energy. A heat pump draws in the air and this can then be used to heat your home.

Biomass heating systems

This involves burning wood to provide hot water and heating, which has a lower carbon footprint than burning coal or oil. The biomass system works with logs, wood chips or pellets.

Hydroelectric systems

These harness the power from flowing water to generate electricity and can be installed in rivers, streams and even oceans. Similar to wind energy, kinetic energy is created from flowing water to power the hydroelectric turbine.

Wind energy

The wind powers turbines that generate electricity thanks to the large blades that are forced to turn. The windier it is, the more the turbine blades will turn and generate energy. You’ll find these in both onshore and offshore wind farms, as well as smaller turbines that can be mounted to your home.

Heating your Home Efficiently

If you are looking to harness the power of renewable energy, whilst the technology is continuing to evolve, there are steps you can take as outlined above to do your part. Making changes to the way you heat your home whilst also looking at green energy tariffs can make a difference.

At Stelrad, if you are looking to upgrade any old radiators for more energy-efficient models that look great too, browse our range of designer radiators, vertical radiators and more. If you need any assistance, please contact us.

[1] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1107456/Energy_Trends_September_2022.pdf page 13

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