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What energies? What contracts? What help? Answers to your questions about soaring energy costs

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:5 mins read

What type of heating is better to install when you have photovoltaic panels: insert/wood stove, pellet or heat pump?

The response from Stéphane Bocqué, from the FEBEG:

The absolute priority, but also the most profitable, is the insulation of the roof, the walls, and the windows. When you reach a sufficiently low consumption (at most 10,000 kWh of gas, 1000 l of oil, or 1500 kg of pellets), you can then consider installing a heat pump.

Although the future energy system will need a maximum of renewable energy (installing photovoltaics) and the electrification of heating (installation of a heat pump), they should not be seen as working together because the majority (85 %) of photovoltaic production takes place outside the heating period.

If it is a well insulated building, iIt is necessary to ensure that the starting temperature of the heat pump, which will go into the radiators, is as low as possible, i.e. 45 degrees or less… because its energy performance will drop sharply if this temperature increases. This often means that we can no longer use the radiators that existed before because they do not allow the use of such a low temperature.

Why does the government not encourage photovoltaic installations through aid for individuals and professionals?

The answer of Francesco Contino, professor at UCLouvain:

This is already the case with a reduction in VAT for the installation of photovoltaics. Even without this drop and without other aid, investing in photovoltaics is extremely profitable and could be done with the help of a loan that would be easily repaid with the savings made on consumption.

Is it worth using an electric water heater instead of gas when you have solar panels?

The response from Philippe Mercier, energy expert at Test Achats:

If you already have a gas heater and you do not intend to do any work, it is better to keep your system.

On the other hand, on the occasion of work, the installation of an electric water heater or even based on a heat pump (also called thermodynamic) makes it possible to increase its self-consumption.

It is therefore an operation with a long-term scope when there will be a differentiated metering between consumption and reinjection.

Also, if you already have a balloon, an inexpensive but effective operation is to place an additional layer of insulation around it.

More information can be found on the Test Achats website here:

https://www.test-achats.be/maison-energie/energie-renouvelable/dossier/enhance-self-consumption-photovoltaic-production/electric-water-heater

Should we remove the night meter and switch to single-hour when we have photovoltaic panels that do not completely cover household consumption?

The answer of Francesco Contino, professor at UCLouvain:

What is implied in the question is that we still have an old-fashioned counter, which runs backwards. A single-hour meter counts the consumed or reinjected kilowatt hours in the same way, at any time of the day or week.

When we have a dual-hour counter, the counter “night“counts the kilowatt hours consumed at night, but also on weekends. While the meter “day“, he counts the kilowatt hours consumed during the day during the week. When you have photovoltaic panels, it can happen, during the day, that you reinject more than you consume. And in this case, the meter will run more upside down than it has turned right side up.

And so, if throughout the year, you reinject more than you consume, you reinject into the network for free.

There is a nuance, however, because by switching to mono-hourly, the cost of kilowatt hours at night increases, so there is a calculation to be made. Moreover, this system is in transition and we will soon move to metering what is consumed and reinjected with different tariffs.

Why is there no premium for electricity storage batteries in Wallonia when they exist in Flanders?

This is the only weakness of solar panels, which are already profitable: today, ideally, you have to spend all the energy produced during the day.

Batteries are a way of the future. However, their price remains very high, and the investment unprofitable without a premium. But experts believe that as with other technologies, the performance will gradually go up and the price will go down. The granting of the bonus remains a political choice.