Going gas free: make your home gas free with infrared heating

Decarbonising homes is one of the UK’s greatest challenges to reaching its 2050 net zero target – and gas boilers are seen as one of the biggest barriers.

Here, we explore the greater adoption of electricity for heating our homes, what’s stopping the UK from embracing electric heating systems, and how to make your home gas free with infrared heat panels.

The National Housing Federation reports that gas boilers produce 58.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. In short, they generate more carbon dioxide than cars, with 27 million vehicles on the UK’s roads emitting 56 million tonnes.

While the government has set a target to reduce gas boiler installations in domestic properties by 80% by 2035, most people are keen to move towards a more sustainable way of living.

As such, it’s clear the UK is entering a new era of electricity usage. From the rise of electric vehicles to electric home heating, more and more is being done to ensure that electricity is being generated from renewable sources. In fact, the UK government’s most recent energy trends found renewable electricity generation increased to 44.5% in Q3 2023, outpacing fossil fuel’s share for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Unlike gas, which releases harmful pollutants into our atmosphere, electric heating offers a range of undeniable benefits.



So, what’s stopping us from embracing electricity for heating our homes?

  • Suitability

This is the big reason; while heat pumps are often cited as one of the leading alternatives to gas, they’re not suitable for every type of property or household. Whether due to technical restrictions – perhaps you live in an apartment in a tower block, with limited available space for a heat pump installation – or financial constraints, whereby you simply might not have the necessary budget to opt for this system, heat pumps are often not suitable for smaller homes or multi-occupancy buildings.

  • Skills

Not nearly enough heat pump engineers have been trained to meet UK targets for heat pump installations. The government is aiming for 600,000 installations a year by 2028. But with annual installations averaging around 55,000, there’s a huge gap between ambitions and reality. This is exacerbated by the fact that estimates say there’s currently only 3,000 qualified engineers, and around 27,000 will be needed to hit these targets. Speaking about the issue, Rico Wojtulewicz, the National Federation of Builders’ head of housing and planning policy, simply said: “We don’t have enough installers and we only have a few years to get ready.”

  • Cost

There’s no getting away from the fact that gas is cheaper than electricity – but it’s important to balance this perceived saving with other expenses. From gas boilers being more inefficient than their electric counterparts, to boiler maintenance, repair and replacement costs, all these need to be taken into account. And when electric systems are coupled with time-of-use tariffs, there’s a real potential to save money with electric heating.

Bearing all this in mind, which low carbon electric heating technologies are best suited for smaller houses or multi-occupancy buildings?


Warming up to infrared heating

For smaller homes and multi-occupancy buildings, low carbon heat panels are cited as the most promising electric heating solution. An infrared heating system, these panels heat objects directly, rather than warming the air in a room. The result? An efficient electric heating solution that solves the problem of heat escaping through a property’s windows and doors.

Whether a flat, or a terraced or semi-detached home on a new estate, low carbon heat panels are perfectly sized for smaller homes. There’s no barriers around limited space, which a heat pump demands. Instead, installation is a quick and hassle-free process.

There’s good news if you’ve already taken steps to futureproof your home with other low-carbon technologies, too. For instance, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme recorded 183,022 certified solar PV installations across the UK in 2023 – an increase of a third when compared with the 138,000 installations completed in 2022. Many will be seeking a complementary electric heating system, to support their solar PV installation.

While traditional heating systems typically come online during periods of low solar PV generation, Ambion’s low carbon heat panels use constant dynamic pulsing technology to keep homes warm and comfortable. By drawing energy constantly and consistently throughout the day, it makes this infrared heating solution the perfect partner for solar PV. You can read more about how solar PV and low carbon heat panels can work in tandem.

Once a system reaches its target temperature, it then takes very little energy to maintain this. So, unlike other electric heating systems, there’s no jump in energy usage during costly peak periods. This ensures households can stay in control of their energy bills, and take a smarter approach to managing energy costs.

Finally, Ambion’s low carbon heat panels can be easily wired to the mains by any qualified electrician – overcoming the skills shortage of qualified heat pump engineers. This makes them more straightforward and cost-effective to install than other low-carbon electric heating options. And with no moving parts, Ambion’s low carbon heat panels are extremely low maintenance too, eliminating the ongoing maintenance costs associated with the likes of gas boilers. For those responsible for new build developments, you can read more about how this technology is helping solve the net zero puzzle.

The truth is, there’s not one electric heating solution that’s suitable for every type of home – whether it’s heat pumps or battery storage, solar PV or infrared heating. But for smaller properties and multi-occupancy buildings looking to go gas free, low carbon heat panels are difficult to fault.

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