UK energy companies Bristol Energy and Baxi Heating have completed year-long trials funded by the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to explore whether offering heat as a service could drive demand for low-carbon heating solutions in the UK’s domestic building stock. The two energy companies partnered with Energy Systems Catapult to trial Living Labs, whereby 100 homes across Newcastle, Manchester, the West Midlands, Gloucestershire and Bridgend in Wales were fitted with smart heating systems. The aim of the trial was to garner how the public would interact with the systems, due to many prioritising comfort and cost over whether or not the heat source is low carbon. In response, the companies trialled selling “heat-as-a-service”, offering a “Heat Plan” where consumers purchased ‘hours of warmth’ rather than units of energy (kWh). This enabled the households to schedule and budget for heating and was offered a fixed price based on data about the thermal efficiency of their home and the number of hours of warmth needed by the customer each week. According to Energy Systems Catapult, the accessibility and ease of the smart heating systems could lead to more willingness amongst the public to adopt low-carbon heating.
Edie 26th Feb 2020 read more »