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Future-proof your Self-build with a Renewable Heating Solution

a biomass boiler in Cornwall

Whether you’re going to live in your self-build or building to sell or let, renewable heating has something to offer.

Most self-builders are aware of traditional heating but not many consider the numerous advantages that renewable heating offers when building a new home. Whether it’s help getting your plans approved by Building Regulations or future proofing your home for years to come, renewable heating solutions are perfectly tailored to the self-build market.

SAP Concerns

When undertaking a SAP calculation – the standard assessment procedure for new houses – to attain permission to go to build, low carbon technologies always score favourably.

To achieve permission to go to build, a new home must pass a SAP calculation. This calculation considers all the factors that make up the building. For example, insulation factors, wall construction, windows and doors. Part of this procedure is a grading of a property’s proposed heating system. If mains gas was the average score, LPG and oil would score negatively and renewable heating would score positively.

Installing renewable heating brings a property’s overall score up, which can be the difference between passing or failing SAP. It can also allow greater flexibility in other sections of the build.

Minimise Running Costs

Renewable heating solutions offer year-on-year cost savings when compared to non-renewable systems.

Mains gas is considered the cheapest fossil fuel heating solution, but its running costs are only comparable to that of a heat pump. In the absence of gas, heat pumps and biomass boilers can be as much as 50% more cost-effective to run than oil or LPG. Generating a significant saving over a system’s lifetime.

Furthermore, costs of gas and oil are likely to increase as fossil fuels become increasingly scarce and legislations on carbon emissions become more strict. Installing a renewable heating technology now provides the protection customers desire going into the future.

Government Subsidy for Self-Builders

Self-build customers installing renewable heating for the property are eligible to receive government subsidy from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

To encourage uptake of renewable heating in both existing and new builds, the RHI provides a financial incentive to customers opting for renewables. The scheme aims to bridge the gap in costs between renewable and not renewable technologies but it often works out more lucrative. This is especially true in a self-build scenario.

Look at it like this. Undertaking a new build, extension or renovation means a likely change to the heating system. In this instance, RHI payments need only bridge the gap in costs between the first option and a renewable solution. This means customers recoup their investment sooner.

Living Comfort

With modern building regulations being as they are today, heat retention in new homes is much greater. This is ideal for lower temperature, renewable heating. Particularly, heat pumps.

Heat pumps emit heat at lower temperatures over longer periods of time. This is ideal in new builds. Increased insulation keeps heat within the building. This reduces the work a heat pump must do to maintain a constant internal temperature. In effect, running costs and system size are reduced and the property should never feel too hot or cold.

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