The new NIBE S-series was introduced online last week, a little differently to how the launch was initially planned. This was set to happen at the Homebuilding and Renovating Show at the NEC, but such plans changed following the social distancing measures that COVID-19 so urgently demands. Could we have waited a little longer? Probably. However, with the clock ticking on climate change, we need to keep moving forward wherever we can. Coronavirus has already hijacked the year of climate action enough, pushing back events such as COP 26 until next year; we can’t let it dictate action completely. Whilst the fight seems a little lost right now as governments around the world pull resources together to tackle the most disruptive pandemic in a lifetime, I am hopeful that industry will continue to stay positive and productive. Even as we go about our business differently, our priorities must remain the same.
The National Grid documented the importance of heat decarbonisation within their report on future energy scenarios last week, recognising the importance of managing peak electric heat demand. As we strive towards our net zero target, switching out high carbon fossil fuels to heat our homes is the only option, and all decarbonisation pathways point towards electrification. The low carbon heat transition has never been described as easy: it demands policy decisions from government; a change in consumer perception; the training of new and existing installers; and the transformation of an electricity system utilising new technology to meet demand.
Heat pumps are widely recognised within the report as a readily available solution for heating, and one that any future energy system will need to embrace. Noting anxieties about the electricity demand of heat pumps across different housing types, performance levels and varying weather conditions, I am reassured that the launch of the NIBE S-series came at the right time.
Complete with new features to increase efficiency, the new S-series will help to ease these worries about managing demand. The heat pumps will automatically adapt to upcoming climate conditions thanks to weather forecast compensation (with GPS services), complimented by smart guide prompts to help the household adjust the indoor temperature to suit their needs.
With improved thermal comfort and integration with solar PV systems and flexible energy tariffs, homes with an S-series heat pump will benefit from the lowest cost and greenest energy available. These time of use tariffs will help to unlock demand-side flexibility, which will be key to increasing the penetration of renewable intermittent energy sources such as wind power. This won’t just help to drive down energy bills and reduce consumption, but it will help to balance the energy system and ease the existing worries about managing peak electricity demand.
The new product line is all about making low carbon heating easier and more efficient for everyone, all year round. Complete with new touchscreen control, Wi-Fi connectivity and voice assistant support, homes will have a modern and more interactive experience heating their home and the value in this shouldn’t be underestimated.
The new range can also be monitored and controlled through the newly developed myUplink app, enabling the user to optimise and control the operation of their heat pump through their smart device. By allowing them to view their heat generation and understand the performance of their heating system more simply, we’re not just inviting people to play a role in the low carbon transition: we’re also making it easier to be smart.
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