New trial opens the door to low carbon heating

Carbon emissions

Newly installed zero-emission smart heating systems could enable millions of small households to slash their carbon emissions.

The roll-out of UK Power Networks’ NeatHeat project is seeing new boiler systems trialled in 30 homes across London, the south east and the east of England – offering a low emissions solution for homes which may be unable to install a heat pump.

The OVO Energy customers participating could cut their emissions by 2.5-3t of CO2 a year during the trial – which runs for 12 months from when they sign up. That’s the equivalent to driving over halfway around the world in a diesel car.

With installations currently underway, NeatHeat will seek to understand how the tepeo’s Zero Emission Boiler (ZEB) interacts with the electricity network. This will allow UK Power Networks to understand its charging pattern and test optimisation mechanisms that will provide flexibility to the local electricity network and use existing infrastructure in a smarter way.

Using the heating systems already present in many UK households, the ZEB charges up when electricity is cheaper or greener, rather than using carbon intensive solutions such as gas or oil. With a high-density storage core, the ZEB makes the most of off-peak tariffs to charge up overnight, efficiently storing this energy and releasing it whenever the thermostat calls for heat or hot water. Its software will also create a unique heating plan and a charging schedule to enable the most cost-efficient heating for the home.

Ian Cameron, Director of Customer Service and Innovation at UK Power Networks, says, “Decarbonising heating is an essential step in our country’s journey towards net zero. Homes are already transitioning to electric heat pumps, but for some, that is less straightforward.

“Through NeatHeat, we can open the door to millions of UK homes who don’t yet have access to decarbonised heating solutions. This is a new technology with tremendous potential to expand low carbon heating across the UK. With installations underway, we’re putting it to work on the electricity network, finding out exactly what it can do and how it can benefit customers and the network. It is an important step towards a wider roll-out.”

Working alongside the boiler’s smart system, tepeo and OvO Energy are initiating a first-of-its-kind ‘type-of-use’ tariff bolt-on, charging trial participants a lower rate to encourage them to charge during off-peak hours.

Johan du Plessis, CEO of tepeo, says, “We urgently need to deploy solutions for low carbon heating at scale – helping UK customers transition away from fossil fuels as fast as possible.

“It is fantastic to be working with UK Power Networks and OVO Energy on this project to demonstrate how low cost, low carbon, flexible heating solutions like our Zero Emission Boiler provide an option for millions of homes across the UK to go electric while supporting the UK energy system in the shift to net zero heat.”

Alex Thwaites, Head of Zero Carbon Living, OVO Energy, says, “With household heating accounting for 17% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the project drives forward our commitment to promoting zero carbon living and a sustainable future, whilst helping our customers to lower their energy bills through the provision of smart green tech solutions.”

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