Here, Steve Holton, Strategic Marketing Director at Redring Xpelair Group, explains why electric point of use hot water products are the future.
Electric point of use hot water products are set to dominate the water heating industry in the coming years. This may sound like a bold statement, but there are numerous trends driving the market in this direction, and what’s more, electricians are set to benefit.
The growing demand for energy efficiency
Debate surrounding the cost of energy continues, with the average UK household energy bill rising by a staggering 268% in the last 10 years. This is driving more and more householders and building owners to look for new ways of reducing energy use to try and counter these spiralling costs.
Add in the introduction of the Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive in September for water heating products and the demand for water heaters with proven energy efficiency credentials is reaching new heights.
The issue with centralised water heating systems
According to our estimates, 18 billion litres of clean water and 3,400 terajoules of energy are wasted every day in the western world, due to the use of centralised water heating systems, with stored hot water and the movement of heated water being the main culprits.
The heating and storage of large volumes of water inevitably uses more energy and hot water tanks have often also been criticised for taking up valuable space within a property. Interestingly, the introduction of ErP legislation has meant that many stored water units are now even bigger and bulkier, as additional insulation has been added to their design to minimise standby heat loss and improve their energy efficiency. As a result, many stored water units have become more expensive and now use even more space.
“Interestingly, the introduction of ErP legislation has meant that many stored water units are now even bigger and bulkier, as additional insulation has been added to their design to minimise standby heat loss and improve their energy efficiency.”
The subsequent movement of hot water from a stored water tank (or boiler) to a basin, shower or bath results in further energy and water wastage. Many users will run taps until the water reaches the desired temperature, draining off and wasting dormant or cooler water, and once the outlet is closed, any residual heated water will sit stagnating within pipework.
Crucially, energy wastage also occurs when hot water is forced to travel through long pipe runs. A household can have the most energy efficient boiler on the market, but this can be compromised when so much of the energy saved by this unit is then wasted due to the system’s centralised design.
The point of use solution
Point of use electric water heating addresses many of these issues. Instantaneous point of use products will only heat the amount of water required and in as close proximity as possible to where the hot water is needed.
Advances in water heating technology mean there is a vast array of point of use options available to suit a variety of applications.
One particular area of growth is instant boiling water taps, which are increasingly being used for preparing food and making hot drinks in householders’ kitchens. They deliver cold, hot and boiling water on demand from one neat electric tap. The newly designed Redring 3-in-1 Instant Boiling Water Tap offers a boiling water tank with higher capacity than kettles at 2.3 litres, which equates to four full mugs.
Another interesting area of product development is the introduction of electric taps that deliver hot water on demand in any location where it’s needed. The newest plug-in electric taps, such as the Redring
Instant Electric Hot Water Tap, provide highly effective and eﬃcient handwashing facilities with only a cold water and mains electricity supply required.
Finally, point of use water heating is increasingly being adopted for bathrooms with restricted access to stored hot water. Electric showers such as the Expressions Revive have long been popular but unvented water heaters, like the Redring Powerstream range, are also being used to provide hot water on demand to dual basins or a basin and mixer shower from one convenient and space-saving unit, with no need for hot water cylinders or long pipe runs.
Why cold is better than hot
The true strength of point of use water heating lies in the movement of cold, rather than hot water, which is fundamentally more efficient. Add in the space-saving beneﬁts, convenience and speed of hot water delivery and it’s easy to see why point of use is becoming more widely adopted. By installing the newest A energy efficiency rated water heating innovations from trusted brands, electricians are best placed to take advantage of this trend which is expected to shape the future of water heating in the years ahead.