Coming from a background in gas central heating, Craig Bonnyman sees the dramatic changes in the heating industry from the inside. As the UK government begins to shorten the lead on gas and oil heating, Bonnyman sees electric radiators as the one potential way forward.
“And I’ve really come to the conclusion that electric heating is the future. We know that the government, in the UK anyway, certainly want us to move to electric.”
The UK still has a major dependence on gas heating, as shown in the 2019 Department of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy Survey. Eighty-five percent of UK homes still use gas central heating. In contrast, only 5 percent use electric heating of any kind as their primary source. These figures stand in sharp contrast to the UK’s stated goals for the future.
Craig Bonnyman has held numerous roles in the gas central heating industry over the years. Eventually, he gravitated towards sales and marketing, extolling the benefits of gas central heating products to potential customers. Doing so, he finally stumbled onto Combi-Radiators, a new type of electric radiator that he found to meet or exceed the benefits of gas.
These new Combi-Radiators are a far cry from the nighttime storage radiators and their lasting reputation. They provide much greater efficiency by incorporating more reasonably sized heat banks, eliminating the need to rely on special nighttime electricity tariffs to make them economically viable. Sleek and stylish, they are suited to any home.
The advent of these new radiators comes at a time when the UK is pushing for low-carbon heating sources like never before. Parliament has passed legislation committing the UK to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. While many critics note that the UK is unlikely to meet this goal, there is a concerted effort to move in that direction
Gas boilers, of course, emit greenhouse gases and do not qualify as low-carbon heating systems. According to a commitment in 2019 by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, new homes built after 2025 will not have gas boilers as an option.
This leaves a variety of alternative heating options, of which Craig Bonnyman believes Combi-Radiators to be a viable solution. There are biomass boilers that provide net-zero heating, but they are costly. Likewise, air source heat pumps are also expensive to install. The payback periods for these options can be quite long, and there is no guarantee of government incentives.
Craig Bonnyman also asserts that Combi-Radiators are a better choice than other electric options. Underfloor heating is much more expensive to install. The same is true of electric boilers, which share most of the same installation and maintenance costs as gas boilers.
Craig Bonnyman’s advice to those currently undergoing new construction or looking for a new heating option for an existing home is to consider all the facts before making a decision, as alternatives to gas central heating are often overlooked. As the man himself has put it, “I would tell them that there is life beyond gas-fired central heating.”