Water Efficiency in Homes Roundtable
Boiler Plus which was implemented last year focused on improving the efficiency of space heating and encouraging the uptake of energy saving technologies. Whilst space heating represents a significant decarbonisation challenge, domestic water heating is responsible for 5% of UK CO2 emissions and between 10-25% of the average household energy bill. As our homes become more energy efficient and we reduce space heating demand, the provision of hot water may become an increasingly substantial element of a household’s energy bill.
The Committee on Climate Change recommend “Defra should set an ambitious per capita consumption target for water to be met through water efficiency measures, increased metering, compulsory water efficiency labelling, improved behaviours and more ambitious Building Regulation standards. Water efficiency should be included in energy retrofit programmes as standard”. This emphasises the need to address water efficiency in terms of carbon savings, environmental impact and cost reduction for consumers.
The recent consultation on the Future Homes Standard proposes that new homes would typically have a waste water heat recovery system and highlights the role of hot water storage in future-proofing homes for low carbon heating. BEIS state that the “electrification of heat requires changes to all gas appliances, and many buildings converting to heat pumps will require additional insulation, hot water storage, and larger radiators.” However relatively little is known about the need for hot water storage in UK households. The number of homes without hot water tanks has risen substantially with the introduction of combi-boilers. In 1996 12% of households were without hot water tanks, rising to 54% in 2016. This represents a significant challenge for the deployment of heat pumps.
The SEA are hosting a roundtable discussion on what can be done by policy makers and industry to support the deployment of technologies which improve the efficiency of hot water provision and reduce waste. We will explore system design, future-proofing, the role of storage in a smart energy system and reducing water usage in our buildings.