Tech from the future, boilers from the past
Our societies have been completely transformed by technology since the industrial revolution, but the burning of fossil fuels to heat our homes has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years.
Homes being built today are taking advantage of many cutting-edge technologies, from the use of facial recognition software to access the home, to deliveries via drones. Heating can now be controlled through your smartphone, and yet this heat is still provided by burning fossil fuels in our boilers – not very different from the methods of our stone age ancestors.
84 percent of UK homes are currently heated by burning natural gas. The process of its extraction, transportation, and combustion to heat homes is a major contributor to air pollution. In addition, gas can be dangerous with a risk of explosions both in the home and in gas storage facilities, which are often located in residential areas.
Towards safe, affordable heat
Heating your home can be expensive.
The price of fossil fuels like natural gas can be volatile, and easily disrupted by geopolitical power struggles, market fluctuations and regional conflict.
Fossil fuels are also finite, and we must prepare for a future without them.
In practice, this means switching to a heating system that does not rely on any one specific fuel source and building homes that will not need to be continuously retrofitted with new heating systems depending on which fuel is available at the time.
Making the right decisions about heating now will deliver safe, reliable, and affordable systems for future generations. Heat, however, is more complex than other energy sectors and the right approach to heating will depend on the location, technology and the characteristics of the individual building.
Fossil-free in one generation is possible
Heating our homes reliably and affordably is important. Reducing our emissions is essential.
For our society to be fossil-free within a generation, we must be brave enough to think big, and this means doing things differently when it comes to providing heat at scale.
Heat networks can form the backbone of future heating throughout UK cities – that is why Vattenfall is forging partnerships with local government and housing providers to build a UK heating infrastructure fit for the future.
Read on to learn more about how heating works.