Costs, savings and maintenance

Costs of installing a typical system range from £7,000 to £17,000. There are one off payments currently available from the government through the RHPP scheme to contribute towards your installation costs; £850 for air-source and £1250 for ground-source heat pumps.

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Costs & Maintenance

Over and above the one-off installation cost of £7,000 – £17,000, running costs will depend on a number of factors – including the size of your home and how well insulated it is. If you opt for an open-loop water-source system the maintenance cost is typically higher, although they tend to be more efficient.

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Heat pumps need electricity to run; to move the ground loop fluid through the ground loop. However, the heat energy that they take from ground, air, or water is more than the energy that they use.

Unlike gas or oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods. This means that during the winter they may need to be left on 24/7 to heat your home efficiently. Low Surface Temperature (LST) radiators are recommended and should never feel as hot to the touch as they would do when using a gas or oil boiler, but can be very efficient when working with a heat pump.

Savings

In the right home the savings can be considerable. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that when replacing an existing electric heating system in a 3 bed semi detached home you could save up to £610 per year, with homes using oil and solid fuel saving around £300. This is before any contribution from the Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP.

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FAQs

Do ground source heat pumps really work?
Yes, they really do. Ground source heat pumps take up the heat from the ground and transfer that heat to your home's hot water supply, allowing it to be heated just using some electricity to power the pump, using a lot less fuel than conventional heating systems. With proper system design, ground source heat pumps can supply all of your home's heating and hot water without the need for a back-up system, even in winter.
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.
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.
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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