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seen the last of the traditional boiler. In fact, many of these new technologies are designed to run alongside a traditional heating system and supplement a household’s heating and hot water. As a result, Ariston Thermo UK is taking a lead in this area by ensuring optimum boiler control combined with simple operation. It has integrated the latest control technology into its CLAS HE ‘intelligent’ gas boiler ranges. The AUTO Function is an intelligent temperature management system that is integral to the CLAS HE ranges of gas boilers, achieving energy savings of up to ten per cent when used in conjunction with additional controls. It’s already proving its worth to systems which are integrating renewables and traditional technology. Viessmann is another firm that believes that an effective step for most UK homeowners now is the installation of a weather-compensated gas condensing boiler combined with renewable technology – in this instance a solar thermal system. Such a combination promises reductions of up to 35 per cent in fuel bills if the system


“The condensing boiler is still the best technology available to suit the UK’s present needs and capacity.Yet, currently, around 20 million homes are without condensing technology”


is used for domestic hot water and central heating. “The condensing boiler is still the


best technology available to suit the UK’s present needs and capacity. Yet, currently, around 20 million homes are without condensing technology,” explains Graham Russell, head of domestic sales and communications at Viessmann. “It is unrealistic to expect the average consumer to move from an old boiler to a fully renewable solution overnight. The UK’s 20-year window as a gas- burning nation should buy time for the industry to train itself and for customers to educate themselves on the right applications for their circumstances.” Gary Belgium, managing director of


Warmworld UK, agrees. “Renewables are good, but given the very cold winter of 2010/2011 air and ground source heat pumps would have struggled to get the property up to temperature, so I feel the humble gas boiler is still required even if it is only a rarely used back up.” There are in fact over 6,000 humble


gas boilers installed in the UK every day, meaning that the potential for the renewable industry is huge – even if it does work in conjunction with more traditional technology. Whether the industry is successful in its goal however is down to the manufacturers. “We have to work closely with government if we realistically want to achieve the long-term goal of electrifying the heating and hot water sector and ultimately move away from using fossil fuels to utilising renewable technology at the domestic level,” points out Paine. Apart from cost savings, the other consideration that end users have is that of aesthetics. And as it is just as important for a home to look good as well as offer heating efficiency, it is probably worth considering installing


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