How to Sustainably Heat your Commercial Premises
Sustainability has become a pressing concern for homeowners and businesses over the last few years. And so too has affordability. When we’re in the grip of an energy crisis, anything that can be done to lower consumption will have a significant effect on overall spending.
In many cases, these two concerns have a common solution: businesses should be looking to use less energy, and to source that energy in novel ways.
Why does sustainability matter?
The effects of greenhouse gases on the natural world are now very widely documented. Consumers, voters and legislators across the world are shifting their behaviour to reflect a concern about the state of the environment more generally. These concerns are disproportionately expressed by young people, which means that they’re likely to become more pronounced in the years to come, thanks to demographic pressure.
So, the short answer is that sustainability matters because a great many people think that it does. These people might include prospective new employees, who might look at how green a business’s practices are before they elect to join, and new customers and investors who might do the same thing.
Heating methods to consider
Since the energy we spend on heating adds up to a sizeable chunk of overall use, it’s worth considering alternative means of generating heat.
Heat pumps work a little bit like air conditioners. They extract heat energy from the environment and channel it to where it’s needed. Heat pumps can be air-source or ground-source, the latter drawing heat from deep in the earth, up into your premises. Ground-source pumps tend to be more efficient, but they also involve digging a large hole on your premises. You might expect to pay tens of thousands of pounds, all in, depending on the size of your premises.
Photovoltaic solar panels will harvest radiation from the sun, and turn it into electricity which can be used to power the heating on your premises. Since this source of energy is intermittent, it should ideally be paired with an energy storage solution. In the case of solar water heating, this doesn’t involve a battery, but a hot water cylinder. Sunlight heats up the water flowing through panels on the roof, which is then pumped into a storage cylinder.
It’s much easier to keep hold of existing heat energy than it is to generate more of it. Plus, any heating solution you do install will be hampered if you can’t retain it. For this reason, insulation matters a great deal. Ensure that your loft is properly insulated, and that you have double-glazing fitted wherever possible.
Smart heating controls might also make a difference to your consumption, and allow you to more easily monitor how much you’re spending over time. This data can be used to ultimately drive down your spending in the long term.