Creating renewable energy is not always about using solar or wind power to utilise in our homes and offices.
Making the most of what is already there can also help to reduce our environmental impact.
Which is the right Heat Pump for you?
Air and ground source heat pumps are an alternative, eco-friendly way to heat your home. But what are the differences and which is right for your home?
Air Source Heat Pumps are the most cost-effective and simplest for retro-fit installations due to ease of installation compared to their alternative, Ground Source heat pumps. Ground source are particularly suited to new build properties due to the need to dig up the ground to install the required pipework that this type of heat pump requires. Ground source can be retrofitted too as long as you have enough outside space for the pipework.
Some factors that need to be taken into account when installing an Air Source Heat Pump is their location at the property, noise levels for both the home owner and neighbouring properties and the distance to the potential hot water storage tanks location, plus additional allowances for the unit being exposed to the outside weather conditions.
It’s important to note that an Air Source Heat Pump’s efficiency can be affected when it is colder outside as it will need to work harder converting the cold air, which consumes more electricity. It will still provide more heat than electrical consumption, but not as much as when temperatures are warmer outside.
Both Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps require specific and detailed design including the completion of an in depth room by room heat loss calculation. Installers of Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps should undergo vigorous, regular and in-depth Quality Management reviews and External Auditing which gains approval to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).
Renewable Heat Incentive
Could you benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)?
Under this UK government scheme, you could get money towards renewable heating costs in your home. The money you receive can vary in amount based on several factors, but it’s important that your installer is MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certified in order for you to be able to apply for the RHI.
The domestic renewable heat incentive is deemed by the annual energy demand as stipulated on your domestic energy performance certificate (EPC).
The EPC can only be carried out by a domestic energy assessor (DEA) and it is important that the EPC is dated within 24 months of the final commissioning of the heat pump. The EPC must also show the Air or Ground Source Heat Pump as the installed heating system within the property and that the property has a minimum of 250mm Loft Insulation (recommended 250mm to 270mm) and if it can be installed, Cavity Wall Insulation. If any of these cannot be installed, then an Exemption Letter completed by a DEA can be completed and submitted with your application.
The rates for RHI are linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and will continue to rise during the 7-year duration of the domestic RHI.
You can find out more about RHI by visiting: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/domestic-rhi