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Despite funding cuts for energy-efficient homes, switching to renewables sources of energy and heating remains a major priority for hundreds of thousands of UK homeowners frustrated by the recent rise in energy prices.

Prices for electricity and gas have crept upwards over the past year, which, combined with one of the worst cold streaks on record, has resulted in an increase in interest in renewable energy and heating amongst homeowners.

In addition to the surge in recent gas prices, the UK’s electricity market has reached its highest prices in more than a decade, reports The Telegraph. This means that homes reliant on non-gas electrical heating could face particularly high costs over the coming weeks and months.

As a result, it’s no surprise that there’s an increase in interest in renewable heating for homes throughout the UK. Luckily, homeowners today have a variety of options to consider, many of which have become more affordable in recent years.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps have remained consistently popular as a renewable home heating option over the past decade, accounting for a significant percentage of renewable heat system installations across the UK.

For many homes, a ground source heat pump can provide as much as 80% of the necessary heating and hot water for normal use. The technology is safe, extremely well optimised and a major “green” upgrade for any home, resulting in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.

Despite this, many homeowners have been put off ground source heat pumps by their cost — a system can cost up to £18,000 to install according to consumer website Which?, although these costs are made up over the long term in significant energy savings.

Biomass Systems

Biomass systems, which are also known as wood-fuelled heating systems, remain a popular and reliable choice with UK homeowners thanks to their ability to heat large rooms at a lower cost than alternative heating systems.

Although biomass has received less attention than other renewable home heating systems in recent years, it remains a popular choice. Its fuel source is affordable, its carbon output 100% sustainable due to plant carbon absorption and the potential cost savings significant.

Solar PV

The UK’s solar photovoltaic energy capacity has risen continually over the last few years, with a 7.6% increase on year to the end of January. It’s widely used not only as a large-scale source of energy, but also on a smaller scale to power and heat homes.

Yes, heat homes. Although solar PV technology produces electricity, it’s increasingly being used as a source of electricity for electric boilers, storage heaters and infrared heating technology in UK homes, including off-the-grid properties.

For the majority of those who remain “on the grid”, solar remains an appealing option in 2018 as schemes such as the Feed-In Tariff continue to make residential investment in solar technology more financially viable for UK homeowners.

Of the above, which is the ideal option for your home? That depends on a range of factors, from its location to your budget. Whatever the case, making the switch to an energy efficient home is certainly one way to hedge against current fears of a gas and conventional energy shortage.

Elliot Preece

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