sustainable building — why Skilpods are completely gas-free
Gas-free living - also known as all-electric - simply means you no longer use natural gas in your home. This primarily impacts heating, hot water and how you cook.
Today, some 65% of Belgians heat with natural gas. Because natural gas is a fossil fuel, we need to drastically reduce it in the near future. Currently, gas is already banned from use in large new construction projects in Flanders, and from 2025 it will also be banned for smaller, private new homes.
Skilpod is not waiting until 2025 and is already building completely gas-free today. Our Skilpods are heated with an air-to-air heat pump, you get hot water from a heat pump boiler and in the kitchen we install an induction stove.
gasless living gives more independence
The No. 1 reason to choose all-electric construction is independence and freedom of choice. After all, there is a whole range of different ways to generate electricity, allowing you to decide how green, local and/or high-tech you want your power.
Will you go with a 100% green supplier? A local cooperative? Nuclear power or not? Because electricity is so versatile, it's all possible. And if we invent new ways to generate electricity in the future, your home will be ready to join that revolution.
Independence is also important on a larger scale. After all, we can generate electricity ourselves in all sorts of ways, but we don't have gas resources in Belgium. Last year it became painfully clear how dependent we are on the international gas market.
gas-free living is more ecological
Of course, gas-free living is also better for the climate. In the 1960s and 1970s, gas was widely praised as a "clean" way to heat your home. Gas was a revolution back then because it replaced coal and fuel oil, which were still much more polluting than gas. Gas was very much a form of progress then.
Today there are even better solutions and to heat yourself you no longer have to use an energy source that emits CO2 and thus contributes to the climate crisis.
Of course, you can still sign an electricity contract with an energy supplier that generates its energy from fossil fuels. We here at Skilpod obviously hope you won't choose to do so.
is gasless living cheaper?
At the time of writing, the cost of electricity hovers around 45-75 cents per kilowatt-hour, versus only 20-25 cents per kilowatt-hour for gas.
Classic heaters, both electric and gas, convert that energy taken from the grid directly into heat. The amount of energy that can be converted to heat, the efficiency, is always maximum 100%. Usually, some of the energy is lost.
At a similar efficiency per kilowatt-hour, you are clearly cheaper off today with gas. So it's not a good idea to turn off your natural gas heating and start heating with electric fires or infrared panels.
But there is one exception to this: the heat pump. In fact, a heat pump does not convert the energy it uses directly into heat. The electricity is used by the pumping system, which draws heat from the outside air into the home. This makes a heat pump the only heating appliance that can have more than 100% efficiency per kilowatt-hour used. The heat pumps in our Skilpods achieve 460% as standard. So that means, even without a home battery, you're better off with our gasless homes.
No one can predict the future, but considering natural gas is a finite source of energy and we are getting better at generating renewable energy, we expect that in the future the price of electricity will become even more attractive compared to gas.
An added bonus: an air-to-air heat pump also cools your home in the summer, so you save the cost of an air conditioner as well.
combining gas-free living with solar panels
All the above benefits are only magnified if you also install solar panels and a home battery. You are even more independent of price fluctuations and can partially produce your own local energy. You are sure to use renewable energy and are better protected against spikes in energy prices.
That's why all our Skilpods are equipped with solar panels and have room for a home battery. We deliberately choose a flat roof, so you can always place your panels in the most optimal direction. The storage area of all models has room for a home battery. Completely ready for all-electric living.
Update July 2023: in an earlier version of this article we talked about Skilpods without solar panels. As of July 2023 these are no longer available and all Skilpods come with 8 solar panels included in the all-in price.
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