It’s the near future. You’re watching Journey to the Centre of the Earth on TV. The actors are getting warmer as they reach the Earth’s core. You, the viewer, find that you are feeling warm as well. It isn’t a brand new experiential feature of your TV – it’s the combination of the warmth of the TV and sophisticated building technology that are combining to make your TV an effective heating source as well as an entertainment source.

Building technology and insulation have advanced to the extent that a home could be heated comfortably by the warmth generated by the TV, according to one of the UK’s leading electrical engineers.

The heat given off by home appliances such as the television set could be enough to keep your home warm, making central heating systems all but redundant, an expert at Max Fordham, one of Britain’s leading engineering consultancies, has claimed.

Effective insulation means that the heat produced by these common appliances should be sufficient to keep people warm all year round, with central heating only needed on the very coldest days of the year. Reducing the amount of energy needed to heat our homes would not only slash fuel bills for consumers, but would also cut CO2 emissions and improve Britain’s fuel security, making the country less dependent on importing oil and gas from overseas.

Bill Watts, senior partner at Max Fordham said: “Instead of installing complicated heating systems, developers should insulate new builds more effectively. A well-insulated home should only need to be heated for a few days a year.” However, rather than giving incentives to people to insulate their homes effectively, misguided planning regulations have resulted in £1bn going up in smoke and being wasted on supposedly “eco-friendly” heating systems that actually consume huge amounts more energy than conventional systems.

Combined Heat & Power (CHP) schemes that use heat produced as a by-product from power generation, and District Heating, where a centralised heating system distributes heating to multiple dwellings, are favoured by planning regulations despite Max Fordham’s experience showing they can be hugely inefficient and waste enormous amounts of energy.

Bill Watts added: “These complicated heating systems are on all year round, producing fifty-two weeks of heating bills for heat that customers don’t use or need.”

Because they deliver heat constantly to multiple buildings, these systems burn energy all year round even when it is not needed, leading to much higher heating bills for consumers and producing large amounts of carbon emissions.

Over a lifetime of twenty-five years, CHP and District heating can add up to £50,000 to the base build cost of a new dwelling. Installed in over twenty-one thousand dwellings in London alone, these systems have taken over a billion pounds out of development funds.

These systems add a huge upfront cost to new developments which might be acceptable if they actually saved energy. The absurd fact is that not only are they a waste of money, but they’re a waste of resources too,” Watts said.

Heating currently represents nearly half of the UK’s energy consumption. Around half of that is household consumption.

Bill Watts said: “Our priority must be insulating our homes. Good insulation reduces the amount of energy required to keep our homes warm. It also ensures that all of the heat generated internally – by the kitchen fridge or even your own body heat – remains trapped inside, further reducing the need to import any additional heat energy into the home.”

About The Author

Annebot, aka Anne A. Ward, is Editor-in-Chief for WearableFOMO and MobileFOMO. She is a futurist, growth hacker and co-founder of CircleClick, LLC. As an early entrant into the field of search engine optimization, Anne has helped many of her clients monetize their SEO programs. She has helped clients to exceed their previous lead generation goals. Follow Anne on Twitter @annebot

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