Are Renewable Heating Solutions Cost-Effective For The Home?

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With increasing concern about the damaging impact that fossil fuels are having on the planet, many homeowners are looking towards renewable heating solutions. We know that renewable heating solutions are better for the environment due to their ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, one concern that homeowners often have is whether or not they’re cost-effective. 

There’s no denying that renewable heating units, such as heat pumps, are more expensive to install than your average oil or gas boiler. However, the actual operating costs are significantly lower than fossil-fuelled heating sources, due to their high levels of energy efficiency. This makes them a far more cost-effective investment in the long run. 

Let’s take a closer look at the breakdown of costs involved, and how renewable heating solutions can benefit homeowners economically.

Higher Upfront Costs

As we mentioned a moment ago, most renewable heating solutions will inevitably cost you more to buy and install than a traditional boiler. This is because the units themselves are more technical, and therefore slightly more complex to install. The overall cost of installation will also vary depending on space requirements. For example, some air to water heat pumps require two units, rather than one, or vice versa. When renewable heating solutions like a heat pump are installed in a property, often the heating distribution system will need to be updated in order to optimise the efficiency of the new system. This is another reason that the initial costs are usually slightly higher. 

The higher upfront cost required to install renewable heating solutions may at first seem daunting, however it’s important to emphasise that there are grants available to help cover this cost. 

SEAI Grants Are Available

The government is actively encouraging homeowners to reduce their energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions, which is why there are financial incentives for upgrading your home heating methods in Ireland. SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) grants provide a significant contribution towards installing renewable heating solutions in your home. Currently, the SEAI are offering up to €6,500 towards the cost of an air to water heat pump system, and a €1200 grant for solar water heating. In order to decide on the best energy upgrades for your home it’s recommended that you carry out a BER assessment before applying for the relevant grant online or by post. In line with national goals to increase the use of renewable energy in Ireland, these grants are hugely important in making renewable heating solutions more affordable for homeowners. 

Lower Running Costs

Although renewable heating solutions can be more costly to install, this is balanced out by their reduced running costs in comparison to non-renewable sources, like boilers. This is all down to the fact that renewable heating solutions are far more energy efficient i.e require less energy to heat your home effectively. 

Boilers run at very high temperatures which means that they require high levels of energy, a lot of which is lost as waste when the heat is distributed. In fact, some old boilers operate at only 60% efficiency. By comparison, an air to water heating system for example, operates at very low temperatures, with just 1KW of energy usage providing up to 5KW of useable energy in a well-insulated home. Air to water heat pumps extract heat from the outside air and convert it into usable heat for the home, meaning they do not rely on expensive fossil fuels. This means that by swapping your boiler for a heat pump, you could reduce your annual energy bills by more than half. 

Potential To Add Value To Your Home

Properties that have a high energy efficiency rating are naturally more desirable than those with a lower energy rating. Buyers know that choosing an energy efficient home will enable them to save money on their energy bills, and this is a particularly important consideration in light of the cost of living crisis. Equally as important, buyers simply don’t want to invest in properties with outdated heating systems that are likely to need repairs or upgrading soon. So, along with the lower running costs that come with renewable heating solutions, the potential to add value to your home, is another way in which you could receive a beneficial return on your investment. 

These factors combined mean that renewable heating solutions for the home are a cost-effective, long-term investment. Whilst you may need to fork out a little extra to install the system, your energy bills will decrease, with the value of your home likely to be heightened, should you decide to sell in due course. 

To discuss the renewable heating solutions that could benefit your home, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Pipelife team today. 

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