Wallpaper that heats homes is being trialled at a social housing development in Tredegar, Wales. The technology could offer a cheaper alternative to radiators and heat pumps.
It is one of a number of pilots being carried out by housing association Melin Homes with funding from the Welsh Government’s Optimised RetroFit Programme. Several councils are said to be interested in the radiant heat system.
NexGen’s Graphene Infrared Heating looks and feels like traditional wallpaper and can be plugged into a domestic socket. It is packaged with solar panels and a smart battery, cutting emissions while lowering fuel costs, according to the trial leaders. The system has been tested and verified by Swansea University.
Installed on walls, ceilings or under floors, the technology is invisible to residents and could provide an innovative method to warm individual rooms much more quickly and help residents to manage their energy budgets.
Cost of living
Welsh Climate Change Minister Julie James visited the trial this week. She said: “The decarbonisation of homes plays a big part in our journey to a Net Zero Wales by 2050. At a time when costs are rising, improving the energy efficiency of homes will not only help us to deal with the climate emergency but also help families through the cost of living crisis.
“Just a little over a year ago, the First Minister put the environment and climate change at the heart of the Welsh Government’s priorities and, as we work to build a stronger, greener and fairer Wales, I’m really excited by the prospect innovative products like these could offer in helping us achieve our ambition.”
The system, which uses a combination of far infrared and convection heat, takes just two to three days to install and is described as much more cost-effective when compared with a heat pump.
Paula Kennedy, Chief Executive of Melin Homes, commented: “Our residents are already feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis and climate emergency. That’s why we have set an ambitious target to become a net zero organisation before 2050. We know we have to act now, so we have teamed up with NexGen and our housing association peers in a bid to find alternatives to heating our homes that will be greener and cheaper for people to use.
“We will continue to work with them and trial new technologies that will help our residents, and residents throughout Wales. We are in discussions with a range of other registered social landlords and local authorities who have shown an interest in the trial of the radiant heat system.”
NextGen’s Far Graphene Infrared Heating system is not currently available to purchase for individual homes but could be available to the wider public in future, once the social housing trials are complete.
The Welsh Government Department for Economy is also working with Torfaen County Borough Council and NexGen to explore opportunities for the firm to establish a manufacturing centre in the local area.
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