Making the transition to a gas-free home: Start with Mixergy!

November 28, 2023

It’s safe to say that the transition to an all-electric society has commenced. Driven by the need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and the associated adverse impacts on the global climate, there have been significant changes to government policy, funding initiatives and a societal shift in mentality towards efficiency and sustainability.

However, we face several challenges when it comes to the electrification of heating and hot water within our homes.

These include:

  • Cost: Electricity is currently significantly more expensive than gas, making it difficult to transition without increasing fuel bills.
  • Suitability: There are several incentives and policies that focus on heat pumps because of their impressive coefficients of performance; however, heat pumps are not suitable for all house types – both technically and financially.
  • Availability: A significant skills shortage is associated with heat pump installs in the UK. We are installing circa 35,000 heat pumps per year; however, to be on track for Net Zero UK targets, we need to deploy 600,000 hydronic heat pumps annually by 2028 and 1.7 million annually by mid-2030.

In addition to the above, grid constraints need to be considered. In a recent article, Revolutionising Energy Management: Mixergy and Grid Flexibility’, our Global Business Development Director, David White, discusses the increasing demand for electrical power across the grid, with a supply system that is increasingly unpredictable and increasingly reliant on solar and wind.

Grid constraints associated with the imbalance between supply and demand are driving the growth of technologies which help to reduce the need for grid reinforcement (such as energy storage) and the grid flexibility market, whereby market forces try to help both the grid use more renewables and the demand side use more clean electricity.

It is clear that the transition will be a challenge – and that no singular approach or heating technology will achieve it in isolation.

Flexibility is key in terms of the types of heating technologies installed (heat pumps, electric radiators, infrared, etc.) and in terms of futureproofing our properties as technologies, building practices, and policies evolve.

An individual using a laptop with icons for energy efficiency solar and other sustainable symbols hovering above it.

Mixergy to the rescue!

Mixergy’s mission is to develop sustainable technology solutions which provide the best interaction between homes and the grid to save carbon, lower costs, and maximise comfort.

The Mixergy range of smart and connected hot water cylinders are energy agnostic and can be paired with any heating technology or energy source.

The Mixergy X, Solar X and iHP X

Whether charged directly from the grid, through self-generated solar PV, or indirectly from an electrically powered heat source (such as a heat pump), Mixergy provides a suitable hot water solution regardless of your choice of heating technology – now and in the future.

Mixergy cylinders contain several features designed to make the generation of hot water in your home more efficient and controllable, such as:

  • The ability to heat only the volume of hot water required by the household. There is no point heating the full cylinder if you just want to do the washing up, so heat just enough for what you need to use.
  • Our patented top-down heating technology saves up to 40% on your hot water bills by reducing energy wastage and delivers hot water up to 10 times faster than conventional cylinders.
  • A uniquely designed inlet diffuser which keeps hot and cold water volumes separate.
  • Control sensor technology that allows the Mixergy cylinder’s computer to understand exactly how much hot water is available.
  • Internet connectivity for remote operation via an app
  • Access to machine learning schedules – opt for our machine learning mode and let it ‘learn’ your usage patterns. The ‘Standard’ option refines your profile conservatively, and the ‘economy’ mode optimises your schedule for the lowest possible cost of operation.

In addition to the above, Mixergy cylinders are ‘heat pump ready’. This means you can easily switch to a heat pump when the time is right for you without worrying about changing the cylinder. Adding an externally mounted Plate Heat Exchanger provides the following:

  • 20% more useable hot water compared to conventional heat pump cylinders.
  • More efficient heat transfer – 5-10% COP improvement.
  • A more compact cylinder (typically 40% smaller), and there’s also a slimline option.
  • Better heating of the full contents of the cylinder to the same temperature.
  • Easier servicing and maintenance.

The Mixergy cylinder is recognised in SAP 2012 and SAP 10 as an innovative product that can lower carbon and running costs, especially when combined with solar PV. This is possible due to its ability to offset primary carbon. Mixergy is found under ‘Appendix Q’ – Smart Hot Water tanks.

Not ready to go completely gas-free?

Install today and make the most of your existing gas boiler whilst you have it, benefitting from Mixergy’s machine learning to heat what you need and access the Energy Savings Trust verified gas boiler savings of up to 21%.

As the spark gap reduces between gas and electric, heat pumps become more attractive. It may be that within 3-5 years, you wish to transition to a heat pump.

In this scenario, the Mixergy cylinder can be upgraded with our heat pump module, effectively repurposing the unit for its new life as a heat pump cylinder!

This same Mixergy cylinder can also be connected to a solar PV system and consume any excess solar generated by the home PV system. Again, a simple solar PV module can be fitted to the Mixergy tank, converting for a new life as a smart solar PV hot water store.

The Mixergy cylinder can also take advantage of the growing presence of dynamic tariffs, helping make the most of increasingly attractive electric tariffs, such as those offered to EV drivers with cheap rates overnight. You will be able to ‘charge’ (heat) your Mixergy cylinder with low-cost electricity, closing the gap to the price of gas.

Installing a Mixergy iHP, an integrated heat pump water cylinder would bring the cost of running your hot water on electricity below that of gas. Charge off-peak with low-price electricity at a COP of ~3.

Grid Balancing

Mixergy have been developing smart cloud-connected hot water heaters for several years. These do a whole host of cool things; however, with flexibility, there are a few specific points worth highlighting:

  1. Water has a thermal capacity, meaning it takes a lot of energy to heat up and cool it down again, making it an ideal energy store.
  2. Hot water cylinders typically store between 90-300L of water, equivalent to 9-15kWh of energy storage (if lifting the water temperature by 40 degrees).
  3. Each hot water cylinder has a 3kW immersion, which can be powered on very quickly.

When we consider all of the above and the fact that Mixergy’s smart controller measures frequency (Hz), voltage (V) and power (kW) and can connect and instantly communicate these data points via an API at a cloud level, we have the perfect recipe for a grid response tool!

Large energy store + quick response + ease of communication = perfect flexible energy asset.

In short, whether you are a homeowner, local authority, housing association or housing developer – if you are looking to transition away from gas, whether now or in the future, Mixergy is the place to start.

If you’d like to discuss potential options with Mixergy, please call our friendly sales team on 01865 884 343.

If you are looking for an installer to help, check out our ‘Find an Approved Installer‘ map and search for some who are local to you. If you have a project which you would like to specify Mixergy for, please contact us.