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
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.
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
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
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
- Cheaper fuel bills
- Extremely low
- RHI Cashback
Incoming ground loop pipes.