Improving your heating: Save money whilst saving the world!

There are various ways that a heating system can be improved to be more efficient. Updating the current system, installing a completely one, or adding heating controls to the existing system are all ways that you could lower the energy demand of your heating.


In the UK, the built environment accounts for 40% of the nation’s carbon footprint[1], of which 25% is made up of heating. This means heating is responsible for 10% of the UK’s annual carbon emissions. With actions greatly needed to drive carbon emissions down[2], and the current energy crisis occurring in the UK, reducing heating energy usage is something that all individuals and businesses should be undertaking.

Different systems may be needed for different premises, and the appropriate technology needed will also depend on how your heating is used. What might work for one business will not work for another, and so it is important to consider what will work best for you.

What types of heating systems are available?

There are various ways that a heating system can be improved to be more efficient. Updating the current system, installing a completely one, or adding heating controls to the existing system are all ways that you could lower the energy demand of your heating.

Boiler: One of the simplest ways to increase heating efficiency is to upgrade old gas boilers to newer, more efficient models. As technology improves, newer boilers produce the same heat, with less gas. Older boilers degrade over time, so a 15-year-old boiler is also unlikely to be as efficient as it was on installation. To further lower the carbon output of your system, hydrogen-ready boilers[3] may be installed, which are able to run using a cleaner natural gas/hydrogen mix, currently being tested across the UK.

Heat-Pumps: These systems have gained much attention recently, with the UK government announcing funding for heat-pump installations at domestic premises. Whilst these systems require more work to install, by using external ambient temperature to provide heat[4] they are one of the most efficient methods of heating available. Both air and ground source versions are available, and the most suitable option for your business will largely depend on the space available to you.

Smart radiators/controls: Smart heaters may be used in place of conventional storage heaters or radiators. Smart controls can be installed into existing heating systems to better regulate when heating is used, providing maximum efficiency. Controls can vary in complexity from a basic thermostat with timed controls, all the way to intelligent systems which monitor weather forecasts and occupancy times. Ensuring that systems are set to optimal heating bands is also key to using the least energy to maintain a constant temperature.[5]

Those listed above are just some of the heating solutions available. Whilst they may be some of the most popular, and suitable for business premises, there are certainly a whole number of other solutions that could be utilised by your business to give you the benefits that come with a heating upgrade.

What are the benefits?

Spending additional money on monthly outgoings is undesirable at any time. However, with record increases to energy prices being seen[6], maintaining a low energy usage is more important than ever for businesses. Installing a more efficient system ensures less money is spent per month; savings that will increase exponentially as energy prices continue to rise.

Lowering the amount of energy you use is also a key action in reducing your carbon output and getting your business on the road to net zero. Putting all sectors of the UK economy on this path is a key part of the UK Government's net zero strategy[7], and will certainly continue to guide major legislation in coming years. Reducing the carbon footprint of your heating will put you ahead of the curve and increase eco-credentials, which impact 52% of consumers when choosing products.[8]

Ensuring that your workplace is well heated is key to employee productivity. It has been found that 82% of workers notice a decline in productivity when the temperature is lowered[9]. If your current heating system is not up to standard, it may well be costing more than just your bills, production could very well decline as a result. Improving your heating will help keep output high and improve the wellbeing of your workforce.

A major benefit of upgrading your heating to a newer, more efficient system is that you may be able to access Low Carbon Workspaces grant funding to cover a third of the cost of these works!

How can the Low Carbon Workspaces team help?

Low Carbon Workspaces offers small and medium-sized businesses in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Milton Keynes grants of £1,000 - £5,000 to cover up to a third of the cost of upgrading heating systems to be more efficient.

The Low Carbon Workspaces team is on hand to support you at every step and will provide a free Green Diagnostic to estimate how much energy you can expect to save from your heating upgrade, and help you decide what system may be best for you!

The Low Carbon Workspaces team can be contacted on 01494 927131 and at or to find out more go to


[1] Climate Change – UK Green Building Council

[2] AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis - IPCC

[3] Hydrogen-fired boiler – Worcester Bosch

[4] How Does A Heat Pump Work – The Renewable Energy Hub

[5] Heating, ventilation and air conditioning – The Carbon Trust

[6] Price cap to increase by £693 from April - Ofgem

[7] Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener – UK Government

[8] Eco-credentials impact purchase choices – YouGov

[9] A Warm Workplace Will Boost Employee Productivity – Andrew Sykes

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