The UK’s Commercial Manager of Süka Electro Heating Systems, Abdul Raaj, argues that electricity is the power of the future – even for central heating systems. Most of us realise there are vast amounts of electricity and heat wasted every day in homes, whether it’s through poor insulation or appliances. Add to that energy lost through inefficient business premises and ageing power generation plants, and it’s not looking too good for the future.
But for many developers and housebuilders, the promotion of energy efficiency is fraught with problems. There are so many factions with so many different views – underground, over-ground, solar, wind, wave, compost, nuclear, carbon fuels, electric, gas, oil, renewable, etc.
Much of the decision-making process on innovative and planet-friendly heating systems ultimately lies with the consumer, unless we reach the stage where Big Brother insists it’s one particular way or no way. It’s the consumer who chooses what’s house or office-friendly, deciding whether it’s acceptable aesthetically and economically advantageous to their particular circumstances.
So there’s a conundrum for house developers. Do they stick with what’s popular with their customers simply because of familiarity and discomfort with change, or do they install an innovative but unfamiliar alternative?
If there’s a low-cost, no maintenance alternative to a traditional wet central heating system, is there a catch?
Well, the simple answer is no. The alternative is the new breed of electric heaters. I’ve worked extensively in Germany and witnessed the development of a technology that signals a new era in central heating systems. The electric heaters of the new millennium work to satisfy the green argument as well as reduce costs. They require a low level of investment by the builder and there’s virtually no maintenance for the user who enjoys low lifetime costs.
If ambitions for new sustainable homes are to be realised then a number of drastic steps have to be taken by builders and developers. Consider the ambition to reduce carbon emissions and atmospheric pollution by encouraging local energy generation from renewable sources to supply a significant proportion of the energy demand.
Surely that’s best achieved with electricity. And before everyone cries ‘shame’ at me for supporting the burning of fossil fuels in ancient power stations, let’s be clear about where I stand. I believe that electricity is the indisputable source of energy for heating in the future. It can be generated by several means including combined heat and power plants, solar, wind turbines, sea wave and many more. It is a truly green alternative to conventional central heating systems. It reduces the need for regular gas safety checks and means well-insulated homes of the future will stay cleaner and healthier for longer.
Our heaters can also be used in conjunction with solar panels, making them an attractive ‘package option’ for the greener home. The new generation of electric heaters are slim-line, economical, efficient, and no maintenance – ever. There’s no boiler, pump or pipework to carry the heated water. Instead of the attractively designed radiators provide heat from an internal energy cell, each with its own embedded heating element.
Products come with a 15-year guarantee and are available with a choice of top-class Energy Saving Trust recommended room clock thermostats with remote control features. Critically, rooms can be individually controlled, rather than from one thermostat control in the hallway. The secret is an intelligent use of energy, ensuring plenty of heat is available right through the day while keeping running costs low. Fifteen minutes of electricity provides 60 minutes of warmth.
Other key benefits for the trade and development market are that heaters are delivered ready assembled; they comply with relevant building regulations and safety checks; they can be an extra source of income with added value and stylish design, and lastly, there are lucrative deals for trade partners.