Most of the energy we use in our homes is for heating. Moving away from fossil fuels and on to renewable energy will play an important role in reducing our carbon emissions. In the UK, there are three major forms of renewable heating:
- biomass means plant-based fuel - typically wood. As long as the fuel is sourced sustainably and the trees are replanted, biomass can be a sustainable source of energy. There are now appliances such as pellet boilers which make burning biomass more convenient and efficient than traditional stoves. To learn more please visit our page on biomass heating
- heat pumps which use ambient heat - heat energy from the ground, from water courses or even from the outside air - to heat buildings. Heatpumps require electricity to run but under suitable conditions they can be much more efficient than other forms of electricity. To learn more please visit our page on heat pumps
- solar water heating panels produce hot water for baths and showers, especially in summer. In the UK it is usually not possible to use solar panels on the roof for space heating but they can produce more than half the hot water we need over the course of a year. To learn more please visit our page on solar water heating
However, more importantly, there are many ways to reduce heat demand in the first place, for example through insulation and through so-called passive solar design principles which utilize sunlight entering a building through windows. You can learn more in our sections on eco building and energy conservation.
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) offers financial support for both domestic and non-domestic installations of renewable heating technology. You can learn more from our RHI page.