The benefits of ground source heat pumps
You can benefit in many ways from fitting a ground source heat pump and exactly what you are able to earn or save will be dependent on your circumstances, however you could benefit by over £600 per year.
- Reduce your carbon footprint: Heat pumps can lower your home’s carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing, because they reduce the fuel that you need to burn for heating.
- Reduce your heating costs: This is especially true if you are currently using conventional electric heating. Heat pumps provide space heating and hot water more efficiently than traditional heating sources, saving you money on your bills.
- No fuel deliveries required: By replacing your oil or solid fuel heating system you are removing the need to have fuel deliveries. All that is required is electricity to power the pump.
- 'fit and forget’: Heat pumps are often classed as a ‘fit and forget’ technology because they need little maintenance.
Getting paid for producing heat
You will be able make money out of the heat you produce through the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, details of which will be released in 2013. Learn about the Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP here.
An example created by the Energy Saving Trust shows that a typical domestic electrical system could earn around:
- £610 per year reduction in current electricity heating bills
- A single Renewable Heat Premium Payment of £1,250
- A regular payment from the Renewable Heat Incentive – to be confirmed in 2013
What to do next?
- How long should the ground loop be?
- That depends on the energy requirements of your house, the space that you have available and the type of ground you have. The larger the home that is to be heated, more energy that is required thus more loop needed in the ground. When planning and designing your system your installer will design your system so that it meets your needs.Typical systems are 6 to 12kW, and you'll usually need 10m of coiled pipe per kW for installation in horizontal trenches - you'll need less piping if you're installing it in a vertical borehole. If ground space is restricted, a vertical borehole (or several) is a good choice - these are now comparable in cost to installing the loops in horizontal trenches.
- Are ground source heat pumps noisy?
- No, they make about the same level of noise as a fridge.
- Can a ground source heat pump be used with underfloor heating?
- Underfloor heating is a great choice for use with a ground source heat pump, but large radiators or a mix of both can be used for distributing heat around your home. Heat pumps produce a lower temperature heat than conventional boilers, therefore they are far more effective if used with a larger surface heating distribution system such as underfloor heating or large radiators. A good rule of thumb is that if used with heat pumps, the radiators should be around 30% larger compared to the size of radiator that would be used with a conventional boiler.
- Will a ground source heat pump save me money on my energy bills?
- Yes, a well designed ground source heat pump system will save money and CO2 compared to other traditional heating systems, especially now that the government is in part funding new installations with the Renewable Heat Premium Payment grant. Exactly how much money you save depends on how well your system is designed and the efficiency of your old system. Find out how much you could save by completing our Energy Assessment.
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