ES Catapult maps out pathways to low carbon heating

Home energy simulation could revolutionise low carbon heating design, according to the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC).

On 21 May, the ESC published a study, using its Home Energy Dynamics (HED) simulation toolkit, in which it mapped low carbon heating upgrade pathways – noting that despite 20% of UK carbon emissions being produced from domestic heating, uncertainty remains over the ability of low carbon heating solutions to match the comfort currently provided by gas central heating.

Improved heating control was found to be key to the design of low carbon heating solutions that, combined with modest energy efficiency retrofit, was found to have the potential to ensure the switch to low carbon heating that also delivers improved outcomes for householders. Electric heat pumps and hybrid heating systems were considered stepping stones to low carbon heat, while thermal storage was found as being able to manage the demand placed on energy networks, especially at peak times.

Richard Halsey, Director of Capabilities at the ESC, said: “Our research has previously found that 85% of households that trialled improved heating control, were open to switching to low carbon technology – compared to just 36% of general population – as long as current or improved levels of comfort and cost could be guaranteed. This represents a huge opportunity for the development of better integrated heating solutions and related products and services to deliver low carbon heating at home.”