By February 2015, households will be offered a unique type of boiler that converts heat to about £500 worth of electricity that will provide power to lighting, home appliances and electrical devices. The boiler is a product of the energy company Flow that hopes to introduce 20,000 boilers to homeowners. A homeowner can buy a unit upfront or become a customer of Flow Energy through the hire-purchase option.
Flow customers will only need to pay £1,800 for boiler installation and signup for a 5-year credit agreement amounting to £3,000. Flow customers who will sign on the credit plan will agree to pay £50/month; however, as long as they are on Flow Energy Tariff, the firm will pay the amount. Should the customer switch to another energy provider, he will be liable for repayments. The actual cost of the boiler has not been disclosed but it is assumed to be more expensive than ordinary boilers.
How will households be able to save on their energy bills?
Not all households will benefit from the £500 free electricity generated by the Flow boiler. The fact is, the Flow boiler incorporates a generator powered by the liquid that flows inside. When the liquid heats up, the vapors produced will provide power to the generator. However, in order to produce electricity, the generator must keep on running. Households that use their boiler intermittently will not benefit from this new type of boiler. Only homes with the highest gas consumptions are bound to benefit based on the figures provided to TelegraphMoney. In order to benefit from £500 free electricity, the home must consume at least 32,000 kilowatt hours of gas each year.
In contrast, the typical household on a 3-bedroom property only uses about 13,500 kilowatts of gas per year. Normally, not all members of the family are present for most of the day and they will not be using all their electrical appliances at the same time. According to Mark Ellis of uSwitch, the technology of Flow boiler is interesting but since generators do not store electricity, heating should always be on. Jeff Howell of the Telegraph says that Flow’s boiler is unknown technology and it tends to require boiler repairs after five years.