Date posted: 21.03.24

A low-carbon space heater is a more formal and far less glamorous name given to gas fires, electric fires and wood-burning (solid fuel) stoves. As the name suggests, they heat spaces, such as a living room or bedroom, with a low carbon impact, which is incredibly important in today’s world. Low-carbon space heaters sit very much in stark contrast with high-carbon space heaters, which include outdated wood-burning stoves, inefficient gas or electric fires or, the worst, open fires.

Here’s why low-carbon space heaters are so important…

Supporting 9 Million UK Homes:

Low-carbon space heaters are incredibly important. They are important because around 39% of UK households, almost 9 million homes, have some form of secondary heating, which has an approximately even split between electric, gas, and solid fuel.

According to a recent Defra report, it’s estimated that almost two million homes in the UK use wood fuel for heating.

The solid fuel local heating sector supports 25,000 jobs and contributes £700 million to the UK economy.

The Ecodesign regulation, which came into effect in January 2022, has significantly reduced emissions for stoves. A modern stove produces up to 90% less particle emissions than an open fire. Solid fuel local space heaters are very important as, for many people, the only way they can provide heat in times of need is to burn wood. Despite some of the misinformation in the media, burning wood is environmentally friendly as long as you use an Ecodesign stove and burn correctly seasoned firewood. With this in mind, it’s important that there is a continued drive to replace open fires with high-efficiency, low-carbon solid fuel options like an Ecodesign stove.

Rising Fuel Costs and Cost of Living:

During times of higher energy costs, such as those the UK has witnessed in the last two years and the general cost of living, people tend to reduce central heating and focus much more on heating their immediate living spaces. In Fife, Scotland, a survey conducted in September 2022 discovered that almost 25% of residents in this area were considering disconnecting their gas supply and relying on local space heaters.

Local Space Heating – Here is How You Can Save:

According to the Energy Saving Trust, residents can save around £80 a year for every 1C reduction in thermostat temperature. By using local space heating people can turn their thermostat right down and use a local space heater to help maintain a comfortable room temperature. The rest of the house they’re not in will still have some degree of warmth, perhaps not enough to relax in during the evening, but warm enough when they go to bed.

If more people adopted this approach, then local space heating would play an even larger part in helping people save money and significantly reduce the carbon footprint of homes around the UK.

We don’t usually refer to our fires as low-carbon space heaters. It’s not a particularly catchy description. But it’s exactly what they are, and it’s important that their significant advantages are highlighted. In a world that is focusing more on low-carbon and sustainable ways to live, there is a growing relevance and need for them.

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