What are heat pumps?
Heat pumps are used to replace boilers in central heating systems. They absorb heat from the environment which can be used to heat radiators, under floor heating or warm air convectors. It can also be used to provide hot water for your home or business. Heat pumps use conventional refrigeration technology to extract the sun’s heat stored in the air or the ground around the outside of your premises and raise it to a temperature suitable for heating purposes. This principle works even in the middle of winter with outside temperatures as low as -15°C. Heat pumps use about a quarter of the amount of energy than other forms of heating because they collect heat that’s already there and concentrate it, increasing the temperature so it can be used. That’s why it is called renewable energy.
How much do they cost?
A rough guide would be £1,000 for each kW of power required to heat your home. Costs vary depending on the size of your home, how well insulated it is and how long ago it was built. For a 3 bedroom house built since 1960 it would probably cost around £5,000 for an air source heat pump and £7,000 for a ground source heat pump plus around £2,500 for the installation. Then you need a special hot water tank and perhaps additional radiators, possibly another £3,000. If you chose a ground source heat pump it will cost extra to bury the pipes outside, say another £5,000 to £15,000. Although this is expensive compared to a traditional boiler a well designed heat pump installation can save up to 50% on your heating bills and the government will be paying you via the Renewable Heat Incentive for 7 years for domestic installs and 20 years for non domestic installations. The payment for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is designed to compensate you for the additional cost of installing this carbon saving technology. The Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is designed to provide a 10% return on your investment.
Under the UK Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, if you install an eligible renewable heating technology, you receive quarterly payments for seven years. The scheme is designed to cover the extra cost of installing this equipment instead of traditional boilers and payment is based on the heat you produce from renewable sources. This is the total heat demand for heating and hot water as shown on your EPC (energy performance certificate) less the amount of electricity calculated to be required to generate the heat. This figure will vary depending on the design of your system. The lower the temperature in the radiators the greater the efficiency of the system and lower the amount of electricity it’s going to take to generate the heat. The 2015-2016 tariff rate is 19.33 pence per kilowatt hour (unit) for ground source heat pumps and 7.51 pence per kilowatt hour (unit) for air source heat pumps.
Our Ground Source Heat Pump Figures April 2014 – September 2015
We believe in this technology and the savings that it offers so in an effort to be transparent we thought it would be a good idea to show our data from April 2014 so you can see how efficient heat pumps can be & just how much money you can save!
Heating Cost Per kWh
Cost Since April 2014
Profit On Heating
CO2 Saved vs Electric
Savings & RHI Payments During The Period Vs Electric Heating
Quick guide: Ground source heat pump installation
It all starts with a borehole, after the drilling is complete, pipes are inserted into the borehole and the all the boreholes are joined together in the Star Chamber. Flow and return pipes are then connected from this to the heat pump. If you have enough room the heat extraction pipes can be laid in trenches which saves on drilling costs.
This particular installation required 4 boreholes 80 metres deep joined together with pipes laid in the trenches. Installations vary, some may be trenches and some will be bores holes. We can now offer the Rehau Helix system, a series of helix pipes like a vertical spring sunk 3 metres into the earth. As these a shorter wider holes they can be drilled with a auger fixed to a JCB. You may even have access to a river which you can use as a heat source.
Some people are concerned about the appearance and mess from a ground source heat pump installation, you will be comforted to know that once the work has been completed, no trace of the installation will be visible. Golf Courses run their ground loops through fairways with no adverse consequences to play. There goes one excuse for the poor shot!
We believe in the technology and believe it’s important for our customers to be able to see a heat pump in action. This is the heat pump installed in the Heat Collector office. Currently running at an efficiency of 600% (6. kilowatts of heat for every kilowatt of electricity used) delivering the maximum benefit from Government Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and currently heating our building for half the price of gas!
We simply must do everything we can in our power to slow down global warming before its to late. The science is clear. The global warming debate is over.
The most important thing about global warming is this. Whether humans are responsible for the bulk of climate change is going to be left to the scientists, but it's all of our responsibility to leave this planet in better shape for the future generations than we found it.
Climate change may kill off the Amazon and other rain forests, and so eliminate once one of the main ways in which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere.
We can only play a leading role tackling climate change if we become a low-carbon economy. I think it’s particularly important that in a recession, that we don’t junk our committment to the environment and to tackling climate change.
Climate change is destroying our path to sustainability. Ours is a world of looming challenges and increasingly limited resources. Sustainable development offers the best chance to adjust our course.
Climate change is a terrible problem, and it absolutely needs to be solved. It deserves to be a huge priority.
Should I think about a heat pump?
Yes! Renewable technologies aren’t the future they are here today
- Cheaper fuel bills
- Extremely low maintenance
- RHI Cashback
- Lower environmental impact
Incoming ground loop pipes.