Wolseley increases sustainable heating options for millions more UK homes with Alpha hybrid boilers
Wolseley, the leading trade specialist, has announced its partnership with heat pump manufacturer, Immergas to bring its Alpha hybrid heating range to the UK. The hybrid heat pump / boiler market offers heating installers and householders broader options in the UK’s net zero energy transition. This is part of Wolseley’s ongoing innovation programme that will support the reduction of carbon from heating and ensure UK households and installers are at the forefront of energy transition.
Alpha’s E-Tec Hybrid range offers a combined package of an external heat pump unit and internal gas boiler, so that depending on demand and outside temperature the system switches automatically between heat supply sources when required.
This combines the very low running costs of a heat pump with the effectiveness of gas as an energy source. The hybrid solution costs between £5,000 and £6,000, which is less than a typical air source, or ground source, heat pump-only solution. The availability of hybrid boilers makes a more cost-effective way for UK households to adopt sustainable heating technologies without also having to make an investment in improving the central heating system, or thermal efficiency of their home.
The Alpha E-Tec Hybrid provides instant hot water, with no need to upgrade radiators from those used with conventional boilers, which means that it can be installed in practically any home that currently has a gas or LPG boiler, in both rural and urban areas. Depending on the demand and outside temperature, the heating flow temperature is adjusted to heat the property effectively, and the system will automatically vary the water temperature in the radiators.
John Hancock, Chief Operating Officer, Wolseley Group, said: “Hybrids are the bridging technology to sustainable home heating that the UK has been waiting for. The scenario is familiar: householders want to switch from gas but are put off by the purchase and installation costs of heat pumps, and concerns about whether their homes will stay warm.
“In time all heating will use fully sustainable heating sources, but until then hybrids hold the key to achieving the scale of transition that the Government has committed to. By broadening the scope of public subsidies to include hybrid heating technology, the Government can accelerate that transition, and drive the change in the plumbing and heating trades that will need to support it,” he added.
In a recent study by Wolseley, more than half of a sample of UK householders questioned said they wanted to consider the environment with their choice of heating technology when next replacing their boiler, but 60 per cent said a lack of knowledge or wanting more clarity on government subsidies about more sustainable heat sources stood in the way. Almost three quarters would look to switch from gas, oil or electric heating for cheaper long-term energy costs.
The UK Government has a target of installing 600,000 heat pumps in the UK by 2028, and currently plans to ban the installation of new gas and oil-fired boilers by 2025. Yet this remains an enormous challenge given that 85 per cent of UK households currently use gas boilers, and heat pumps provide relatively narrow options for the transition to sustainable energy.
More information on the Alpha E-Tec hybrid can be found here.
Wolseley is a leading specialist provider of plumbing, heating, cooling, and utility products to trade customers. Trading under a number of leading brands including Wolseley Plumb & Parts, Wolseley Pipe, Wolseley Climate, William Wilson, Jointing Tech, Burdens, and Fusion Utilities. It has over 560 branches nationally, three centres of excellence in the utilities space, support centres in Warwick and Ripon, and four distribution centres.
In each of the sectors it supplies, Wolseley acts as a trusted partner, providing a range of enhanced services and expertise to help customers to win more work, trade more efficiently and ultimately be more profitable. Customers benefit from the skills, knowledge and expertise of its people, the range of complimentary products and service offerings, its scale, its bespoke logistics network and a market leading digital suite of services.
Steve Earl/Cameron Stone