On Friday 22nd April we welcomed James Morris MP to the Jigsaw offices in Halesowen. The meeting comes after video calls during the COVID lockdowns in which developments to the Government policy on decarbonisation were discussed. To reach Net Zero by 2050 for the UK is a massive target to aim for. It will take a huge effort from all involved for the UK’s homes and businesses to reach zero.
In order to reach Net Zero, Jigsaw has been pushing for changes to the way electric heating is measured against other forms of heating for years. Our research with EnTRESS at Wolverhampton University has evidence that the combination of Infrared Heating and Smart controls is on a par with energy use as an ASHP. The main difference is the installation and maintenance cost of the two systems. Infrared works out to be significantly cheaper and easier to install. The issue that was raised with Mr Morris was that ASHP’s are funded by the Government’s green incentives and Infrared heating is not.
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Future Home Improvements UK
There have been many changes in the Future Home Standards building regulations recently. These have all been introduced to ensure that there is a higher standard of homes being built in the UK. These ensure that new homes reduce the amount of carbon that is emitted into the atmosphere. If we are to continue with the push to Net Zero for 2050 these standards must be developed year on year. One of the biggest changes to our current regulations is the changes to SAP. Moreover, SAP is the process of measuring the efficiency of the building and its materials which then produces the EPC grade for the building.
Mr Morris was shown a SAP calculation of a 5 bedroom property with average insulation. The calculations evidence the difference between different heating types being used in the same property. Firstly, a gas central heating system, electric heating with solar and electric heating with smart hot water and solar. The difference between the gas and fully electric systems shows a reduction of up to 70% of the carbon emissions. Furthermore, this is shown in the CO2 emissions line (Measured in tonnes/yr). Over a year, a large building's CO2 savings could be very significant. Many tonnes of CO2 would be saved from entering the atmosphere. When this is measured over the building's expected life, we can see how important charges become now rather than later.
Does EPC Rating Matter?
The key issue within the SAP calculations is that they currently show the cleanest and greenest way of heating a home and its hot water as one of the most expensive to run. Therefore, the EPC ratings are graded as a B and the gas an A. This is because gas is still the cheapest fuel. There are changes required to the way this is measured as we are moving to insulate our homes better and have renewable energy fuelling our properties.
Matt Billington, Managing Direct of Jigsaw Infrared, discussed "people are changing the way we run our homes. We are now very conscious of renewable energy such as wind and solar, how and when we heat and how much hot water we use. This has all come from the rise in fuel prices recently. This will only escalate as everyone does as much to reduce their energy bills and the CO2 footprint."
The BRE (Building Research Establishment) is making some changes this June to the SAP calculations. The 2022 release marks the longest period of no change to SAP since its inception in 1993. The last revision was in 2012. And a lot has changed in that time. The key point is the decarbonisation within our national grid. Today, 24/4/22, the National Grid ESO app was showing an 81% use of green energy. In addition, this is extremely important as the electricity that we are using is becoming greener and greener. This potential is not being recognised in SAP.
The electrification of heat has become a priority for the decarbonisation of domestic and commercial properties. New technologies, such as Infrared heating, must be given the opportunity to evidence the capabilities within a wider case study. Innovation is one of the foundations of British industries. Jigsaw's combination of renewable energy and smart heating and hot water systems are paving the way for a more efficient home now.
James Morris MP states
“As we move to fulfil our target of moving to net-zero by 2050, investment in innovative green technologies is going to be important. The Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, along with our Energy Security Strategy and Net Zero Strategy, underline our commitment to tackling climate change.
it is great to see local businesses like Jigsaw Infrared creating the sustainable solutions we need and helping reduce carbon emissions in residential and commercial settings. I was pleased to hear how Government investment has helped Jigsaw grow their team and develop capacity for manufacturing, and I hope that more properties will be taking advantage of infrared technology to improve efficiency.”