Expensive oil and gas - these are your alternatives
The prices for oil and natural gas are going through the roof. Alternative heating systems offer the opportunity to save costs - and do something good for the environment.
We still enjoy the warm temperatures and are happy about every cooling from above. But the next winter is coming, and that means: Soon the heaters will be turned up again.
This year, that's going to cost money. Because the energy markets are still at a very high price level. The expensive prices are mainly a result of the war in Ukraine. But rising demand in the post-pandemic period is also making oil and gas a sought-after commodity.
Moderate price increase for pellets
Of course, you can now wrap yourself up in wool blankets, fire up the fireplace and try to keep heating costs in check in this way. However, this is unlikely to be an option for most people.
In the long term, it would be sustainable to use the boom on the oil and gas markets as motivation to switch to alternative forms of heating. Especially since by 2033, new oil and gas heating systems will only be allowed to emit 10 kg CO2 / m2 EBF anyway. From 2043, new fossil-fuelled heating systems will no longer be permitted at all, and this ban will apply to new buildings as soon as the CO2 Act comes into force. In addition, alternative heating systems are less affected by the price hikes on the oil markets.
The pellet market, for example, is surprisingly unaffected by rising heating oil, gas and electricity prices. Although pellet prices have risen sharply in recent months, they are still reasonably stable compared with fossil fuels. This stability of wood energy fuels has a tradition: an independent survey by the portal pelletpreis.ch shows that pellet prices have hardly been influenced by the price caprices of fossil energy sources since 2008.
Pellets are therefore not only a sustainable, but also a more cost-effective alternative to oil heating - although their purchase is rather expensive. After that, however, costs can be saved. Especially since pellet heating systems work just like oil heating systems. They are even delivered by tanker. This pumps the pellets by hose into the storage room.
Heat pumps attractive for new buildings
Another alternative is heating by means of a heat pump. All heat pumps have in common that they use available and renewable energy sources to generate thermal energy. By not using fossil fuels, this makes them particularly environmentally friendly heating systems that are economical to maintain.
Heat pumps have the advantage that they only need a power connection, no fuels. They work particularly efficiently in well-insulated new buildings with large areas for underfloor heating. This way, the heating circuit needs the least amount of heat to keep the house or apartment warm.
A worthwhile investment
Other advantages of heat pumps are: You can choose where the pump draws its heat from - air, groundwater or soil. Moreover, as the only heating system, it can not only heat but also cool. Especially when powered by green electricity, it can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
This is also a good argument to justify the relatively high investment costs. Because in the long run, the additional investment pays off. For your own wallet - and for the environment even more so.
About the author
Lukas Rüttimann is a journalist, copywriter and storyteller. He has worked for numerous Swiss newspapers and magazines, in various capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief. As a freelancer, he covers a broad spectrum, with sustainable, social, cultural and economic topics particularly close to his heart. Lukas Rüttimann has lived in the USA, among other places, but now lives and works from Zurich.