Energy bills are becoming a worry for many households. The recession continues to bite, but all six of the big energy providers have announced price rises of more than 15%. This means gas and electricity will cost £120 per year for the average household, with no reassurances they won’t rise again in the near future.
So what can you do about it? Turn down the heat, and wear an extra jumper? Or find innovative ways of making your eco home more energy efficient? One option to consider is investing in eco plumbing technology. After the initial investment – which can be subsidised with a government grant – you can make big yearly savings on your eco home’s energy bills.
Three eco plumbing options to consider:
1. Eco plumbing with underfloor heating
It’s estimated that hiring an eco plumber to install underfloor heating in your eco home can provide up to 70% of your annual hot water. As the name suggests, underfloor heating consists of laying pipes underneath the flooring through which hot water is circulated to provide a nicely warmed floor. It can be installed under tiles, eco flooring materials like FSC certified wood, laminate and carpet. And it also does away with unattractive radiators.
As well as being pleasant to walk over on a frosty winter morning, underfloor heating heats rooms more evenly than radiators. It also runs on a lower temperature, so it requires less energy and reduces your eco home’s energy bills.
2. Eco plumbing with ground source heat pumps
Geothermal heat pumps have been around since the 1940s, but their popularity has grown tremendously recently, with over 1 million installed worldwide every year.
They consist of pipes which are layed 1.5 metres underground or ground collectors which are bore holed 23+ metres deep. Heat is then absorbed from the ground into fluid passing through the pipes or the ground collector, which is then routed to the eco home. No matter what the weather is like on the surface, the heat of the earth beneath the surface doesn’t change. Consequently, ground source heat pumps can provide a constant source of heat energy all year round.
This type of eco plumbing is estimated to be able to save up to 70% on heating bills. It uses no fossil fuels, making it 100% non-polluting, and grants of up to £1500 are available from the government to help cover the upfront installation costs.
3. Eco plumbing with Air source heat pumps
Air source heat pumps work on a similar principle to ground source pumps except they take heat energy from the air. The air source heat pump can be placed against a wall on the back of the eco house, which means there’s no need to dig holes for laying pipes. The pump then extracts heat from the air which is transferred through pipes to the eco home’s central heating.
This type of eco plumbing is estimated to deliver up to 3 times more heat energy than the electricity it consumes, reducing electricity usage 30-40%. Government grants of up to £900 are also available to cover the upfront cost on this eco plumbing option.