Boxergy: The Netflix of Heat

Part One:

We think you can stream your heat for a low monthly fee.

Decarbonising heat is one of the hardest things we have to do to meet our climate targets. Energy to power and heat our homes emits 63mtCO2 every year most of the emissions come from heating so it’s a big problem, the question is, what’s the best way to do it?

There are a few options out there to decarbonise heat. We can use hydrogen in our gas grid, or we could electrify heat in district heating schemes or in people’s homes.

Let’s look at them one at a time.

District heating Schemes

These are large schemes that create heat in a central plant and pump it round a network of pipes to local businesses and homes. They are popular in Europe and Scandinavia. In the past, the heat has been recovered as a by-product of burning a fossil fuel. Today, these countries are opting for heat generation through renewable sources.

They need scale to work. So often, everyone in a local area agrees to sign up for the scheme, this can prove difficult to organise. They are also quite disruptive as pipes have to be laid in every house and business in the area. In fact, resistance to these schemes sometimes leads proponents to suggest that locals should be compelled to sign up to them.

Due to the large initial investment, these schemes can require long payback periodswhere the private firm that sets the scheme up has to be guaranteed a return on their investment. Sometime, people have to sign up for 25 years to make this type of scheme work. Problems arise when newer and cheaper technology comes along. How would you feel if you were locked in for 20 years and other people were making savings?

So, it’s very costly, all the roads get dug up, everyone has to sign up for decades and we can’t get out of it when something cheaper comes along…