Energy used in buildings accounts for around half of the UK’s total carbon emissions. Most of this energy is used for space heating, so minimising heat losses is a high priority. The heating requirement of buildings is primarily dependent on the building fabric, so less energy is needed to heat better-insulated buildings. However, the quality or grade of energy needed for space heating is very low. Low-grade energy, for example industrial waste heat, is available in large quantities and can be used in low-temperature internal distribution systems, such as underfloor heating. Adopting lower building-heat distribution temperatures increases the availability and viability of a wide range of low-carbon and renewable heat sources. This Information Paper examines the importance of energy quality in matching energy supply and demand and will be of interest to those working in the field of energy in buildings, including building services engineers, building contractors and specifiers.
Energy quality: the importance of temperature
Implications for energy solutions at the building level
- Low-temperature internal heat distribution
- Heat sources at the building level
Implications for energy solutions at the community level
- Low-temperature heat networks
- Recovery of heat from power stations
- Use of other heat sources
- Renewable heat from solar thermal
Appendix: Scientific principles behind energy quality
Available on or after 19/1/2012.