Munich, 22. March 2023 – The meteorological start of spring is upon us, meaning the time for heating homes is drawing to a close. But even as this winter period ends, the next is already on the horizon. So, if fast-approaching regulatory changes – such as the ban on installing new oil boilers from 2026 – the need to save costs or the desire to reduce CO2 emissions provide motivation for a heating system replacement, now is the ideal time to kickstart the process. An expert from the smart energy company gridX explains what is important and why heat pumps are usually the best choice for consumers.
"Heat pumps are a technology fraught with many misconceptions. This is one of the reasons customers still decide against the technology when buying or modernizing a heating system," says Till Sonnen, Business Development Manager at gridX. One myth, according to Sonnen: heat pumps do not work in cold weather. That is, according to the expert, a common misconception in regions, where temperatures often fall under zero degrees celsius in winter and beyond. This can prevent heat pumps from being the heating technology of choice. Sales figures in regions with long and cold winter months, however, prove the exact opposite: “the Nordic countries Sweden, Norway and Finland, all well-known for their frosty winters, have long shown that there is nothing to this myth,” informs Sonnen. After all, it's a lot colder in these countries in winter than in Germany – a whole four degrees on average. And yet they install heat pumps at a steady rate.
Heat pumps reliably defy the cold
More than 400,000 heat pumps started heating buildings in Finland, Norway and Sweden in 2022. In Finland alone, 74 new heat pumps were installed per 1,000 households last year. Norway and Sweden registered similarly impressive numbers with 64 and 45 devices per 1,000 households. For comparison: in Germany just six heat pumps were installed across the same number of households. Thus Sweden, Norway and Finland prove that heat pumps not only function reliably in the far north but that they are the key to enabling the heating transition. "Scandinavia showcases that heat pumps lie at the heart of the heating transition – and thus also of the energy transition – in Europe," states Sonnen.
Heat pumps can decarbonize the energy sector
Experts have long singled out heat pumps as the means of choice to help the building sector achieve its decarbonization goals and succeed in the energy transition. gridX expert Sonnen explains: "according to the International Energy Agency, heat pumps will halve global fossil fuel consumption in the building sector by 2030. As the share of renewables in the power mix continues to rise, emissions will fall even further." So, heating must be electrified and the share of renewables simultaneously expanded. According to experts, while this is the solution, it also arouses new challenges for power grids. Electrification of heating increases the need for costly grid expansions. At the same time, clean energy systems are becoming more decentralized. "These are major challenges facing society and the energy sector – but that should not prevent us from the heat pump rollout," Sonnen says.
Reducing costs and easing grid congestion with energy management
The gridX expert sees decentralization and electrification of the energy sector as essential for a successful energy transition. "At the same time, it is more important than ever to harness the full flexibility of electrified systems, such as heat pumps," Sonnen explains. "Intelligently controlling their consumption and shifting their loads to off-peak times using digital solutions, such as smart energy management systems, are indispensable tools to ensure the heating transition succeeds," the expert elaborates. In addition, such mechanisms greatly benefit consumers: coupled with dynamic tariffs, the shifting of heat pump operation to periods with cheaper electricity of high solar power generation notably lowers costs. Maximizing the use of renewable energy to power heat pumps also significantly reduces carbon emissions.
More on home energy management here: https://www.gridx.ai/use-cases/home-energy-management-system
gridX is Europe's leading smart energy company based in Aachen and Munich. With its IoT platform XENON, gridX enables manufacturer-independent monitoring and management of distributed energy resources. XENON allows partners to develop and scale energy management solutions faster than ever before. By partnering with gridX, Fastned is able to install more charging points at sites without the need for costly grid extensions, and the Viessmann Group is able to offer its customers intelligent and integrated home energy management systems.