Use a renewable source of heat

Anyone can generate their own heating from clean, renewable sources.

Fortunately there are a range of alternative and climate-friendly ways to generate heat from renewable sources, rather than relying on fossil fuels such as natural gas and oil.

This section describes how you can generate electricity using Solar Thermal systems, Heat Pumps, and Biomass or wood-fuelled boilers. At the bottom of the page you’ll also find details of how to apply for Government Grants towards the costs.

Install a solar thermal system

Solar thermal systems use energy from the sun to pre-heat water for your hot water or household heating needs. Like Solar PV systems they are straightforward to install.

There are two main types of solar thermal system – solar tubes and solar flat plates. They collect the sunlight in slightly different ways but in both cases it used to heat water which is them pumped through your water or heating system.
Solar thermal systems are one of the most efficient renewable energy technologies available – they can provide up to around half of your hot water needs, thus reducing your domestic carbon dioxide emissions by up to 30%.

The following are recommended suppliers and installers of solar thermal equipment.

  • AES Solar
  • Bright Light Solar
  • CEL-F Solar
  • Devon Solar
  • Eco-Nomical
  • Eco Solar
  • Ecowarm Solar
  • Fil Sol
  • Fountain Solar
  • Genersys Solar
  • Green Earth Energy
  • Green Energy Solutions
  • Green Heart Heating Systems
  • Horizon Solar
  • Imagination Solar
  • Microgeneration
  • Powertech Ireland
  • Powertech Solar
  • Rayotec
  • Renewablenergies
  • Riomay
  • Sol Heat
  • Solar Century
  • Solar Fusion
  • Solar Green
  • Solar Sense
  • Solar Solar
  • Solar Thermal
  • Solar Twin
  • Solar UK
  • Solartec
  • Solex Energy
  • Southern Solar
  • Sunpowered
  • Sunwarm
  • The Sun Is Green
  • Viessmann
  • Willis Heating
  • Zen Eaga Solar

Install a heat pump

Heat pumps are a great renewable way of providing your hot water and space heating needs whilst reducing your climate change impact. There are various types but all make use of heat naturally available in the surrounding environment.

The most common are ground source heat pumps, which make use of the fact that a few metres under the ground the temperature is a constant 12°C all year round. This energy can be converted for use as heat in your house, but you need a big enough area outside in which to lay the ground loop required to capture the heat.
Alternatively air source or water source heat pumps can be used to extract heat from the air or from a nearby moving source of water.
The following are recommended suppliers and installers of heat pump equipment.

  • Eco Heat Pumps
  • Geo Warmth
  • Geo Heat
  • Greener Energy Systems
  • Green Heart Heating Systems
  • Ground Source Solutions
  • Ice Energy Scotland
  • Invisible Heating
  • Kensa Engineering
  • Microgeneration
  • Powertech Ireland
  • Radiant Heat
  • Renewablenergies
  • Sol Heat
  • Solterra
  • Viessmann
  • Willis Heating

A point to note

Heat pump systems require electricity to operate. However, they still lead to significantly lower carbon emissions than a normal boiler heating system even when this electricity is taken into account. If you switch to a renewable electricity provider then your impact on climate change is even less.

Install a biomass heating system

Biomass is a natural form of energy from wood sources (such as forest residues) and non-wood sources (such as animal waste). Using it for heating replaces the need to burn fossil fuels like gas and oil.

There are various biomass heating system options available. You can buy a standalone stove for heating a specific room space. You can also buy a biomass boiler to power your hot water and central heating systems. Alternatively you can buy stove which can supply hot water and be used for cooking too.
Burning biomass does release carbon dioxide into the environment, but this is equivalent to that which the biomass crops absorbed during their life. Biomass sources are sustainable, in that they are replaced with new crops once used, so as a result biomass is a carbon-neutral energy source and has much less climate change impact than burning fossil fuels.

The following are recommended suppliers and installers of biomass heating systems.

  • 3G Energi
  • Ashwell Engineering
  • Bioenergy
  • Charnwood
  • Renewable Resources
  • Econergy
  • Farm 2000
  • Microgeneration
  • Powertech Ireland
  • Renewablenergies
  • Rural Generation
  • Solar Thermal
  • Talbotts
  • Willis Heating
  • Wood Energy