In the Isle of Man, residential emissions make up 21% of net emissions, most of which relate to home heating using oil and gas.
What are the sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the home? The leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions in our homes are:
- Using fossil fuels (gas, oil, and coal) for heating, hot water, and cooking.
- Using electricity to power lights and electrical appliances (fridges, freezers, dishwashers, tumble dryers, IT equipment, TVs etc.). Most of this electricity is generated by burning gas and diesel.
Building standards for new houses are continually improving, but a recent survey of house conditions in the Isle of Man has also revealed that we have done little to improve the energy efficiency of older homes. It is often quoted that around 80% of the buildings that will be in place in 2050 are already built, so adapting our current buildings will be an essential part of cutting the emissions from our homes.
We are currently reliant on fossil fuel gas and oil for our home heating, with a minimal number of homes presently using heat pump technology or other low carbon options.
Green living grant
Green Living Grant Scheme, administered by the Department for Enterprise has ben developed to support up to 1,200 home owners to retrofit their homes, making them more energy efficient and increased the overall energy ratings whilst also installing low carbon heating systems. This is predicted to save around 3,000t CO2/year.
Renewable Heating Strategy
The renewable heating strategy is now complete with a report due to be published shortly. This strategy has provided recommendations on the best mix of technologies that will enable home and business heating to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The Renewable Heating Strategy considered all possible heating solutions including:
- district heating schemes including waste heat recovery options
- carbon neutral gas over existing or upgraded networks (hydrogen gas and biomethane)
- individual stand-alone systems such as biofuel boilers
- storage electrical solutions such as air-, water- and ground-source heat pumps
- hybrid heating systems including a mix of technologies including electric heating, biofuel, and solar thermal
- direct electric heating solutions
A vital part of the strategy identified technology that works in the context of the Isle of Man and suits the unique nature of the Island’s mix of buildings and high proportion of traditional and historic buildings. The strategy has also identified how building fabric will need to be improved to reduce energy usage in our homes.
The analysis has shown that the best mix of heating solutions for the island includes: biofuels, hybrid biofuel/heat pump solutions, stand-alone heat pumps. District heating schemes could be deployed in several areas of the island, capturing waste heat, which will reduce overall energy use, while keeping our homes warm at much lower cost to current options.
Hydrogen and biomethane are unlikely to play any role in the future of heating due to the high cost of fuel compared to all other options.
Solar thermal (technology that absorbs heat from the sun and uses it to heat water) is not the most cost-effective options for consumers, but can still help to play a small role.
Tips for you
Heating your home efficiently
By making your home more energy-efficient, not only will you be helping the Isle of Man to reach its net zero target, but you’ll also enjoy a warmer home and savings on your bills. Various minor changes that can make big differences around your house include:
- Keeping your home at the right temperature without wasting fuel or heat by investing in a room thermostat and smart heating controls.
- For quick wins around the house, make sure you have draught-proof windows, doors, and cracks – this will keep draughts out of your home!
- Switch off appliances when they're not being used to save energy, too.
- Fit a water-efficient showerhead and take a shorter, well-timed shower to save money on your energy bills.
- Get your boiler checked – an efficient boiler makes all the difference; you should be getting it checked once every year or so.