Time to power up new ideas on energy consumption?

Time to power up new ideas on energy consumption?

When the energy Performance Certificate (EPC) system was introduced in 2007, it was lauded as the ideal way to summarise the energy efficiency of buildings.

However, as time has gone on, most of those involved in the housing sector have found it to be - at best - flawed.

We’d go further than that; we think the system is entirely broken!

Especially when it comes to night storage heaters (NSH)

Here’s why:

At present there are two types of NSH: the ones that charge up during the night and release the next day and the high heat retention storage heater. These must retain 40% of each heat for up to 14 hours and must still have 40% of heat at their core.

At present, only Dimplex, Creda and Elnar products have this capability.

The problem with these heaters is that they are not compatible with our modern way of life yet score highly: A – C.

However, our modern storage heaters (MSH) do but…they only come in around the D-F on the current EPC mark. 

So here’s a suggestion - “smart tariffs”

The problem with the majority of today’s electric tariffs is they offer either a flat rate that doesn’t offer any help to the consumer when it comes to heating their home or the alternative is an Economy 7 type of tariff.

Now, remember that system was originally designed for storage heating in the 50’s! Let’s travel back in time. There were two principal driving forces leading to their development.

  1. All things electric were seen as being modern and efficient.
  2. Electricity companies were generating lots of power to meet the demands of industry and domestic users during the day but that demand then slumped at night.

Keeping power stations running was more efficient so creating a demand for power at night was one answer – and so the economy 7 tariff was created. Currently, energy companies offer a slightly cheaper tariff from the hours of 12:01 am till 07:00 am, which at first glance, appears to offer a benefit to the homeowner.

However, in reality, unfortunately this tariff merely offsets the cheaper night rate to the considerably more expensive day rate from 07:00 am till midnight. During this period, the consumer uses more electricity than during the cheaper rate, having to power the home through breakfast to early evening using the inflated flat rate tariff – it costs a bomb to put your kettle on!

We’d like to put forward a suggestion - why can’t we create a smart tariff in the way that energy providers such as Octopus have done, that will eliminate heat and energy poverty?

This could come in the form of an E7 tariff, where we take the 7 hours and put them into a daytime period. The more expensive rate could kick in while the heaters won’t actually be on, giving 7 hours of 30 minutes of cheap and 30 minutes expensive heating all the way from 7am–9pm.

Life was very different when EPCs were introduced 15 years ago; it’s time the industry moved on - we think our plan will help landlords who want to introduce more sustainable heating into their properties, the energy companies themselves and residents who are having to cope with the cost of living crisis.

It’s time to think outside the box as far as energy consumption is concerned - so who is willing to listen to our plan?

Tags: Running Costs, Regulations.

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