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 does the heat from a heat pump reach the house?
- The ground loop in the system contains a carrier fluid which absorbs the heat in your ground. It's pumped around to the pump unit in your house, which transfers the heat from the carrier fluid to your water and concentrates it at the same time, meaning that it is hot enough to be used in your heating and as hot water.
- How are the ground loops installed?
- The ground loop is either buried in trenches in the land outside your house at a depth of 1.5-2m or installed in boreholes that range from 25-150m deep. They can also be placed in lakes or ponds to capture the heat from the water - this is usually used on large estates.
- Will a ground source heat pump be able to heat my home adequately in the winter?
- As long as you have enough space in your garden for a system that meets your needs, and your choice of system is suited to your heating needs, a ground source heat pump should be able to heat your home comfortably in the winter. They are often used very effectively in far colder countries than Britain.
- Can a ground source heat pump be installed in an old building?
- You can install ground source heat pumps in old buildings, and there are lots of examples of this being done. The design phase is very important as there are lots of issues to overcome in older buildings, especially if it is listed.
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