Most people building a new home want it to be energy efficient. Thankfully, the EU's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive ensures that process is met with regulations with most EU countries nearly at nZEB standard currently. This change in standards which occurred aggressively since 2008 will be a shock to anyone not having built a new home or lived in a post 2011 home. nZEB may be a new phrase to the general public but it is well known among the building professionals as it is the new EU standard for homes to be built from 2020. nZEB stands for near Zero Energy Build. For example, Ireland has a current EPC (Energy Performance Certificate (BER)) requirement of less than 75 kWhrs/m2/year of energy consumption (A3) and nZEB in Ireland will be less than 45 kWhrs/m2/year. HONE already delivers nZEB standards of energy performance and is the only renewable technology to meet this standard.
German Government Social Housing is currently using nZEB as the standard of choice and HONE systems are being deployed in large German Social Housing Projects as only HONE is meeting the standard up front. Other EU countries such as Ireland are close with an implementation date of 2017/2018 for residential and commercial buildings. Germany and Denmark has already banned oil boilers.
nZEB should be the standard that every new build home owner wants for their new home and amazingly HONE gets you there simply by putting a HONE Thermal/Electric system into the building. We can advise on how its done but read the FAQ at the end of this category for more info.
Model Home Specification
Retrofitting an existing Home with HONE is very easy. This is exactly what it was designed for. It makes no difference what existing system you have in your home. If your home is 200 years old, oil fired with radiators, it won't make any difference. HONE works on every building as it is a high temperature heat source which also produces electricity. Most people are unaware that a new tax under non-ETS emissions will apply to all EU countries not meeting Renewable Heating targets by 2020. At the moment this is a approx €645 per domestic household in Ireland & £540 per household in the UK per year after 2020 based on current data.
You don't need to change your radiators but you won't need to use your electric shower or immersion any more as you will have hot water on demand and all the energy HONE uses is Daylight.
For domestic projects, installation options are very simple, if you are designing a new home, HONE can be added very easily. If you are retrofitting to an existing home, then the main question is the amount of roof space available. We have only 2 types of systems, heating & hot water OR just hot water. Of course both systems will also produce free electricity.
New Build: adding a HONE system to a new build is easy, and it is also the quickest payback as the NET extra cost does not include hot water cylinder, installation, etc. as you would have to do this work regardless.
Retrofit: adding a HONE system to a retrofit building is also easy in most cases. There is a requirement to upgrade your hot water cylinder with a high temperature energy store and install it but your energy bills will collapse so payback period without any grant/subsidy support is still typically 5 years. There is no need to change radiators or anything else. This is a major advantage HONE has over Heat Pumps in retrofitting.
Under floor heating may be a good idea in some countries and projects but may not suit yours. It is about 6-8 times more expensive to install than using radiators and it costs the same to install under floor in a 200 sqm old home as in a 200 sqm brand new one except your new home uses a lot less energy. Certain countries which have changeable weather should always be careful about under floor heating as it actually is a storage heater. The concrete slab wrapped around your under floor heating piping needs about 3-4 hours to warm up and the same to cool down. In places such as the UK and Ireland where you can experience 4 seasons before lunchtime, under floor could be an expensive mistake.
Imagine, it is raining heavily and you have your under floor heating running and then the sun comes out and starts shining in the windows of your nice new energy efficient home, the temperature will climb rapidly and you won't be able to stop your heating system for 4 hours and all that energy will make your home very uncomfortable for several hours.
By using radiators, you can turn your heat on instantly and turn it off instantly; thus using the correct amount of energy, the lowest running cost and keeping your home at the right temperature. This is worth considering especially if your building has lots of glazing. Using radiators in a modern A3 (75 kWhrs/m2/year or better means only a few slim radiators are needed, typically only 6 in a 2,000 sq ft home and not under any window so your walls are clear. The design considerations have all changed. Under floor is really expensive in a new build compared to the alternatives. Under floor is being promoted as installers get bigger profits than alternatives and heat pumps can't use standard high temperature options as they don't get hot enough. It's advisable to do your homework.
Inside the home, we need to install the HONE energy store instead of your existing hot water cylinder so that would typically go in the same location. The electricity inverter is a small device and can go into the attic. The plumbing/electrical controls, pump sets, etc. as located alongside the energy store.
Example from a 2001 detached home with a HONE central heating/hot water & electricity system, this is the ony equipment in the home and there is no hot water cylinder required as hot water is available on demand 24/7, all FREE Daylight energy, day and night.
If you think about this for a minute. Your heat pump needs to work its hardest in winter, uses electricity to provide that heating. The Solar PV system will work in summer and not contribute anything to running your heat pump. Unless you have a large Solar Government Tariff in your country, all the energy will be spilled into the grid for free for the energy companies to sell. The benefit will help Government as each Solar PV system will reduce the countries emissions and the home owner will have paid for the system !!.
This approach is about just meeting regulations for a builder to complete the project but the homeowner is left with the electricity bills. (see the UK Governments own report on Heat Pumps April 2016, which showed that 43% of Heat Pumps were so inefficient that they did not even meet the minimum requirement to be considered a renewable technology under the EU renewable energy directive and most gas and oil boilers would have been cheaper to run. (see full report on our blog)
This is a complex question and you should make your own mind up from the facts.
1/ Air Source Heat Pumps (the least efficient ones) are easy to install and need full under floor heating all over the home, upstairs/downstairs, its a nice big job for a plumbing contractor. It is also likely to require nice service and support income. Try getting a quote for a passive house plumbing job with 2 or 3 radiators !!.
2/ Heating that is not produced using electricity falls under EU non-ETS emissions which are fines falling directly on the Government of each EU country. Electricity is part of the ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) so is not a liability on Government so they like electricity doing stuff, electric cars, electric heating, all starting to ring a bell !!. Countries are way behind in their 2020 targets and face fines from 2020 (€350 Million a year in Ireland, potentially £6 Billion a year in UK) and so on across Europe. If Governments can force people onto electric heating and not just heat pumps but any electric heating, they will save billions in fines. Ironically, if you look at the emissions of electric heating, it is higher than oil & gas and electricity is produced from coal in all the big plants so heat pumps are in a large way coal fired heating. So it begs the question why Government want to do this; but we already explained that. Just because your Government tells you something is good, they may mean it's good for them and if all heating went onto the grid, the liability of fines would move onto the ETS scheme and away from Government.
Note: Last Nov 2015, the state of the nation in Paris at the Climate Change Conference, Ireland and the UK were at approx. €650 per household in potential fines starting 2020. This is why Governments are desperate to move everything to electricity.
Your solution is to just make your own free energy using HONE and outfox them.