Efficiency of electrifying heat ‘must be accurately assessed’

A new report suggests this is necessary to inform consumers about the real efficiency of electric heaters

Researchers say a new, reliable approach is needed to inform consumers about the real efficiency of electric heaters.

That’s according to the Research Centre for Energy Economics (FfE) and COGEN Europe, which have published a study on the Primary Energy Factor (PEF) for electricity and the corresponding Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Emission Factor (CEEF) applicable to heat electrification technologies.

The PEF describes the efficiency of converting energy from primary sources such as coal or oil to a secondary energy carrier such as the electricity or natural gas used to provide energy services to end users.

The report says a dedicated EU PEF approach is needed for calculating the real efficiency of heating systems, which use or produce electricity, in order to inform energy consumers correctly and help deliver the EU energy and climate objectives.

It adds there is currently no one-size-fits-all PEF methodology or value for its different purposes.

Philippe Dumas, Secretary General of EGEC, said: “Comprehensive assessments such as the FfE analysis published today, are key to showing that additional electricity demand due to heating electrification may not mean more renewable electricity.

“Therefore, decarbonising the heating sector should not focus on electrification. Renewable heat from biomass, biogas, geothermal and solar thermal energy must be given a fair shot. Getting the PEF right will be key in ensuring a level playing field is created.”

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