If we continue burning fossil fuels which will cause the ice caps to melt, this is what will happen to the earth landmass.
Currently, there are more than five million cubic miles of ice on Earth; if we continue to use fossil fuels for our heating and adding carbon to the atmosphere, we are likely to create an ice-free planet.
This map shows the word with what may happen in the future if we don’t take action;- all the ice on land has melted and drained into the sea, raising it 216 feet and creating new shorelines for our continents and inland seas.
To find out more and to see the interactive map, visit here:
Bathrooms for a high-end new build
Size of installation:
Main bathroom and en-suit
The customer contacted us half way through the development of their new home to discuss the installation of bathrooms. We worked closely with Cambridgeshire Bathrooms, the bath room supplier and designer to ensure our customer was getting the most suitable package for their requirements; we are delighted with the final look. We are currently in the process of installing under-floor heating and an air source heat pump.
Process heating at temperatures as high as 38°C
Size of installation:
199kW Biomass boiler
System being replaced:
We were contacted by our client at the beginning of the summer to discuss the requirements for a renewable heating system on their farm. We arranged a site meeting to enable us to investigate the most suitable energy efficient solution. We took in to consideration the area that needed heating, the insulation of the building and the space available for a new install. The best option was a 199kW Woodpecker Biomass Boiler.
Renewable energy is of increasing importance for farm and rural businesses. A recent survey conducted by ‘Farmers Weekly’ indicated that 38% of farmers have already installed at least one green technology. 75% of the farmers are likely to invest in renewable heating solutions.
4kW Solar PV Installation – South facing roof
Size of installation
3400 kWh per annum “green energy” generation
Our client had been improving his property with wall and loft installation, plus the latest energy efficient windows and doors.
We were contacted to help with the home improvements and installed a brand new condensing high-efficiency gas boiler. We also updated his bathrooms with the latest water saving showers and taps. Following this, we installed a 4kw Solar PV.
Within the next few months when he has completed the other internal building work, we will return to install a log burner in the lounger and front room.
Our client has take his property from a energy performance certificate G to D and when we have competed the rest of this installation, we would expect his property to achieve at least a band C.
Our client is already noticing the improvements in his energy bills and can’t wait to receive his first quarter cheque from the government for the 4kW Solar array we completed in October 2013.
As we write this blog, another energy company will be planning the next price increase for their loyal customers. This seems to be happening more often and the only way to prevent being effected is to switch to a ‘green’ alternative.
Following on from a long recession resulting in households and companies becoming tighter, the one thing you can’t make redundant is a heating system. By switching to a smart alternative from Gas, Oil and electricity you will benefit from reduced and index-linked energy costs, Government Incentives (Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments), increased boiler efficiency and also lowering your carbon footprint.
Instead of being reliant on expensive fossil fuels, there is now a big increase on the use of air, sun and wood to provide our heating. Biomass boilers, Air Source Heat Pumps and Solar Panels use sustainable fuel, but also give you an income for using Green solutions. A biomass boiler uses wood pellets which can be locally sourced resulting in less chance of inflation.
Not only do the biomass boilers we install have environmental advantages but they also have many technical advantages including smokeless combustion (stopping your smoke alarms going off), they can run maintenance-free for long periods of time and they also produce very little ash.
Our suppliers (OkoFEN and Woodpecker Energy) provide a range of biomass boilers suitable for domestic and commercial which include industrial and agricultural; we have a solution to meet your requirements. As biomass boilers are over 90% efficient, you will require less fuel to generate the same amount of energy when compared to using less efficient oil or LPG boilers, giving you a further saving.
The RHI is the government’s most recent and effective way of encouraging the use to renewable technologies. The RHI is a 20year scheme that pays you for the heat you use when generated through a renewable source. Most users benefit by earning more from using renewable energy than what you spend on fuelling your biomass boiler. After the initial payback period which is roughly 7 years, the RHI payments will make you a profit.
Now we have hit winter, people are reluctantly putting on their heating systems whilst worrying about the next heating bill. Invest in a green technology which will make you a profit and will keep warm throughout the year.
Installation of air source heat pump
Size of installation:
6kW Air source heat pump
We were contacted by Sarah to discuss the benefits and installation process of an Air Source Heat Pump.
“When designing our new home, our architect advised we may have to look into very high spec (and expensive) windows or an air source pump in order to reach our energy efficiency ratings (SAP calculations). As we proceeded through the planning process it transpired that we wouldn’t be forced into this but could revert to an oil boiler if we wanted. Our builder decided to use Eco Installer for all the plumbing elements in our build. My husband and I met with the guys from Eco Installer and went through all the possible options. This meeting was invaluable as it enabled us to really understand the different options and their implications, costs and benefits – we felt we could ask plenty of questions. In the end we decided on an air source pump combined with underfloor heating throughout, mainly due to the fact that our home is new and therefore so well insulated – and the funding available from the government made it a very attractive option too. My husband is an oil boiler service engineer himself so it was a decision we took very seriously – to go away from a technology he understands so well. The installation was very simple and as Eco Installer are MCS qualified, they were able to help with the applying process for the Government Incentives available. We moved in June 2013 and have found the hot water is running really well and am confident our new technology will be as cost effective in the winter.”
There seems to be a high usage of Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) being installed as planning Approval for new builds often come with a condition of including a renewable technology. ASHP are frequently being installed as they can be cheaper than other renewable heat sources.
There seems to be a continuous issue with the installation of ASHPs as lots of builders are employing non-MCS qualified plumbers to install their Air Source Heat Pumps without fully understanding how they work or how they should be installed resulting in an inefficient system, requiring more electricity to compensate for it.
Air source heat pumps (which are situated outside the building) works by pulling energy out of the air in order to warm a house or commercial building and can also heat your water. Some heat pumps can be reversed in order to cool the same space which is a big advantage in the summer months. The reason heat pumps are considered so efficient is because they merely transfer heat; they don’t have to burn any fuel in order to create it. Another big plus is that the pump can be integrated with other renewable technologies such as providing you with hot water and underfloor heating.
What some builders are failing to notice is that they HAVE to use a MCS certified plumber to install the Air source heat pump for the user to be able to apply for the Government Incentives.
ASHP need little maintenance and are called ‘fit and forget’ technology. This gives the user peace of mind that they will not need to have a local plumber on speed dial. The installation is fairly simple and can usually be completed within a day.
The main benefits of having an Air source heat pump are:-
• Will lower your fuel bills, especially if you are replacing conventional electric heating
• Could provide you with an income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
• Lower your home’s carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing
• You won’t need fuel deliveries as the system uses energy from the air
• Can heat your home, underfloor heating and provide hot water
If this is one of the first few times you have read about ASHP, you may wonder what they may look like, below are two examples.
We were contacted by Sarah last year when she decided to include a renewable system for their new development. She had the following comments:
“When designing our new home, our architect advised we may have to look into very high spec (and expensive) windows or an airsource pump in order to reach our energy efficiency ratings (SAP calculations). As we proceeded through the planning process it transpired that we wouldn’t be forced into this but could revert to an oil boiler if we wanted. Our builder decided to use Eco Installer for all the plumbing elements in our build. My husband and I met with the guys from Eco Installer and went through all the possibly options. This meeting was invaluable as it enabled us to really understand the different options and their implications, costs and benefits – we felt we could ask plenty of questions. In the end we decided on an air source pump combined with underfloor heating throughout, mainly due to the fact that our home is new and therefore so well insulated – and the funding available from the government made it a very attractive option too. My husband is an oil boiler service engineer himself so it was a decision we took very seriously – to go away from a technology he understands so well. The installation was very simple and as Eco Installer are MCS qualified, they were able to help with the applying process for the Government Incentives available. We moved in June 2013 and have found the hot water is running really well – we are now about to embark on our first winter using the technology. Watch this space for an update on how we get on!”
(Sarah Crick 2012)
Our fully qualified team are able to discuss how ASHP’s and other renewable heat technologies work in more detail. Our knowledge equips us to advise you on the potential savings that are available by taking a whole house approach to energy efficiency.
On Thursday 10th October our Directors and Engineers attended a days training with OkoFEN/Organic Energy who are one of Europe’s leading suppliers of Biomass Boilers. Our adventure started the night before when we booked in to a Yurt which is classed as ‘Glamping’, with a wood central heating system, camp beds and an outside toilet. I would thoroughly recommend a Yurt if you are looking to exploring the outside without the hassle of putting up a tent and blowing up a bed.
Our day with OkoFEN began with meeting the team and furthering our understanding of the company’s background and the passion and commitment they have to the environment and reduction in CO2 emissions which is at the heart of the company ethos.
The course covered the following topics and gave an overview to the systems available in the OkoFEN range:
- Basic information on wood pellets
- Boiler technology and combustion
- Pellet storage and conveyor systems
- Hydraulics basics and controls
- Boiler function and practice
Organic Energy explained the significance of high quality wood pellets and the correct storage methods. I was eager to discover the OkoFEN energy a box which is an ideal solution if you don’t have room inside your building for a wood pellet boiler, or if you would simply prefer it to be installed outside. The energy box is ready-made and lifted straight onto a suitable base meaning your new sustainable boiler system can be up and running within hours (photo top right).
We look forward to embracing our working relationship with OkoFEN and are excited about the future of their products.
With the latest round of energy price increases happening as (SSE, British Gas and Npower has just announced 8-10% price increase), is this really the end of “affordable heating” as we know it, or is there an alternative?
Wood pellets have remained at a consistent price for the last 10 years, seemingly unaffected by the wholesale pricing rises of heating oil and natural gas. Fossil fuel supplies are running out. In the 1970’s the UK was a net importer of energy. Following development of oil and gas production in the North Sea, the UK became a net exporter of energy in 1981. North Sea production peaked in 1999 and the UK returned to being an energy importer in 2004.
Herbert Ortner, Managing Director of OkoFEN Pellet Systems in Austria recognised the need for a more sustainable way
to provide heating and launched his first automated wood pellet heating system. 16 years later his company now has
45,000 customers across 14 countries. 80% of the boilers they manufacturer are exported overseas with a growing number
coming to the UK.
In the UK, if you thought of pellet heating you’d probably conjure up images of Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal heating their home from left-over food waste or chopped trees but this couldn’t be further from the realisation available today.
Typical pellet heating customers today are Hotels, Landlords, Industrial and Commercial companies, Farmers and home-owners who live in areas not connected to mains gas. What links these outwardly different types of customer is the
coalition Government, and the World’s first, Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The RHI is a scheme that pays owners of certified biomass heating boilers for producing space heating or hot water generation from renewable resources.
By financially rewarding Carbon reduction at a domestic and non-domestic level, our Government knows that individuals and companies will seize upon the opportunities to save money and insulate themselves from ever-increasing fossil fuel wholesale pricing.
Pellet heating systems have a return on investment of between 4 and 6 years, and with non-domestic tariffs running for 20 years, a typical customer would see a return of over £130,000 on their initial outlay of £30,000. Eco Installer have seen installations increase from a single unit in 12 months, 3 years ago, to 3 to 4 pellet heating system each month. We put this down to increased customer confidence across the UK, good local pellet supply, reliable advice and heating design, and a significant reduction in the space needed to house a boiler and pellet store. Stored correctly pellets can last a heating year without any degradation and a new water-proof pellet store will take up the same amount of space as an existing oil tank.
Click here for our the full feature PDF…
Modernising plumbing and heating a countryside home and installing a biomass boiler.
Size of installation:
System being replaced:
We provided a complete energy assessment with heat-loss calculations and radiator sizing. Karen had already arranged installation of the best insulation, windows and doors to prevent heat loss.
As part of our installation we installed a Woodpecker 25 Biomass Boiler, Solar Ready Hot Water Cylinder, Radiators, heating controls, bathrooms and showers.
We chose Woodpecker for their Biomass boiler because they are well-established with over three generations of boiler design and in excess of 2500 installed boilers throughout the world.
We are now in the process of assisting Karen with her Renewable Heat Premium Payment and will help her with the Renewable Heat Incentive when that is officially launched later this year.
“Last year, after a lot of research, we decided to invest in a biomass boiler. We live in a five bedroom house off the gas grid and had been putting up with ugly and inefficient storage heaters for years. Being in the fortunate position of affording to make a change there were three choices open to us. Bottled gas , oil or biomass.
I have had a keen interest in alternative forms of energy for years and feel very strongly about our responsibility to our planet. For me, despite the initial cost, there really was only one option. It did feel like I was taking a gamble but having lived with it now for a some months I am absolutely delighted with the decision.
We were very fortunate to have Sam from Eco Installer recommended to us by a friend. I can not speak highly enough of the care, attention and enthusiasm we received from him and the guys at this company. There was a genuine interest in this project from them and the workmanship was superb.
They were completely trustworthy and despite working under a great deal of pressure were genuinely great to have about.
I would certainly encourage others to take this route. It is a great feeling knowing that all your heat and hot water is coming from a waste product and is carbon neutral. Also if you want a first class service I would highly recommend using Eco Installer for your project.”