Government Issue A Consultation Paper On Smart Electrical Heating

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The government, through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has recently issued a consultation paper on smart electrical heating.

BEIS state that the reason for the consultation is ‘A smart and flexible electricity system is critical to decarbonise our economy, help manage electricity demand and reduce consumer bills.’

It will be the electric heating appliances with the greatest potential to be used flexibly (i.e. with the greatest ability to shift demand for electricity). They are also limited to domestic appliances (up to 45kW rated thermal capacity) which provide space heating and/or sanitary hot water as part of a central heating system. The technologies being reviewed are;

  • Hydronic heat pumps that extract low temperature heat from a renewable source such as the air, water or the ground and upgrades it to higher temperature heat to feed a central heating and/or a sanitary hot water system. This includes the hydronic heat pump element of any hybrid heating system which combines an electric heat pump with a combustion boiler using fossil fuels or low-carbon alternatives.
  • Storage heater space heating appliance that can be used flexibly to utilise periods of cheap and clean electricity generation by using electricity to heat a solid storage medium which can be discharged to provide heating during peak demand.
  • Heat battery (thermal store) that can be used flexibly to utilise periods of cheap and clean electricity generation by using electricity to heat a thermal storage medium, which is then used to heat water to feed a central heating system and/or a sanitary hot water system.


The consultation document states “Government is seeking enabling powers in the Energy Security Bill to require minimum levels of smart functionality for electric heating appliances and intends to implement the smart mandate for the initial cohort of devices proposed above in 2025 through secondary legislation. This would see a phased introduction of requirements for heating appliances, with the smart mandate introduced ahead of the proposals set out in the ‘ESA Standards’ section of Chapter 4 – similar to the phased approach that has been taken for electric vehicle charge points.”

“Heat pump deployment is scaling up rapidly and we want to ensure that heat pumps, storage heaters and heat batteries are being installed as smart from the outset to maximise the benefits they offer. Given the long lifetime of heating appliances, e.g., 15 to 20 years for heat pumps, mandating smart functionality from 2025 will future proof installations, and ensure that appliances installed in this decade are able to support and participate in a smart and flexible energy system. Implementing in 2025 will also align with the introduction of the Future Homes Standard and the Future Buildings Standard, ensuring that the projected 200,000 heat pumps that we expect to see installed annually in new build domestic properties will be able to operate smartly, eliminating further costs and disruption which can be associated with retrofit.”

Click here to see full report.

See our complete range of thermal stores and how they can work with smart technology.

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