UK Power Networks is leading the NeatHeat project with smart boilers as an option for low-carbon heating in homes that may be unable to install a heat pump.
The project, which is being undertaken with Ovo Energy and boiler supplier tepeo, is planned to trial the new boiler systems in 30 homes across London and the east and southeast of England
With installations currently underway, NeatHeat will seek to understand how tepeo’s Zero Emission Boiler (ZEB) interacts with the electricity network.
This will allow UK Power Networks to understand its charging pattern and test optimisation mechanisms that could provide flexibility to the local electricity network.
Further, the participating Ovo Energy customers could cut their emissions by 2.50-3t of CO2 a year, during the trial which runs for 12 months from when they sign up.
“Decarbonising heating is an essential step in our country’s journey towards net zero. Homes are already transitioning to electric heat pumps, but for some, that is less straightforward,” says Ian Cameron, director of customer service and innovation at UK Power Networks.
“Through NeatHeat, we can open the door to millions of UK homes who don’t yet have access to decarbonised heating solutions. This is a new technology with tremendous potential to expand low-carbon heating across the UK. We’re putting it to work on the electricity network, finding out exactly what it can do and how it can benefit customers and the network.”
Using the heating systems already present, the boiler charges up when electricity is cheaper or greener. With a high-density storage core, the boiler stores the energy for release when the thermostat calls for heat or hot water.
Its software will also create a unique heating plan and a charging schedule to enable the most cost-efficient heating for the home.
As part of the trial, tepeo and Ovo Energy are initiating a first-of-its-kind ‘type-of-use’ tariff bolt-on, charging participants a lower rate to encourage them to charge during off-peak hours.
UK Power Networks also has reported that the NeatHeat project has been recognised as part of National Grid’s ‘bridging the gap’ scenarios to net zero.