You have heat pump technology in your home already, in the form of your fridge, and perhaps even your tumble dryer. Heat pumps are certainly not new, and as with underfloor heating, have been used in domestic properties in Europe for many years. The technology is therefore tried and tested, and has proved its worth, even in countries much colder than ours. Proposed changes to the building regulations will increase the energy efficiency requirements of new builds such that the installation of fossil fuelled boilers such as gas or oil, will no longer be permitted. These proposed changes are likely to be implemented from around 2025.
AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS
Ecodan Ultra Quiet air source heat pump - click image to expand
Air source heat pumps are the easiest to install because they don't need pipes buried in the ground. They take energy from the air, multiply it through a heat exchanger using a process of reverse refrigeration, and deliver it to your heating system and DHW cylinder.
Even at very low outside temperatures, your heat pump will be able to produce enough energy to heat your home and your hot water when the temperature is as low as minus 20 Deg C outside.
ASHPs are eligible for payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme. These payments can often be enough to almost cover the cost of supply and installation of the heat pump and hot water cylinder.
GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMPS
Our first Nibe GSHP installation near Berwick upon Tweed
Situated in an outbuilding with solar thermal panels on the roof, this ground source heat pump is fed by horizontal ground collector pipes. Installed in 2006, it heats the DHW cylinder if the sun hasn't already done so, and also heats our UFH in the adjoining new build house.
Nibe ground source heat pump - click image to expand
Ground source heat pumps take energy from the ground via horizontal collector pipes laid in trenches, or via boreholes. Boreholes are more expensive, but they can be installed almost anywhere, subject to ground conditions. The efficiency of GSHP is marginally better than air source because the ground temperature at 1 metre depth remains relatively stable at around 10 deg C all year.
Ground source heat pumps are eligible for the best RHI tariff which, over the 7 year period of the scheme can normally cover all of the cost of supply and installation, including your hot water cylinder, if you are using horizontal ground collectors.
RENEWABLE HEAT INCENTIVE
Subject to your eligibility, the Energy Saving Trust offer the opportunity for your home to generate income as well as keep your fuel use low. Check your eligibility by visiting their web site here. If you're in Scotland, click here.
If you wish to claim payments under the RHI scheme, your installer must be MCS accredited for the installation of heat pumps. It's important to check that your installer is on the MCS register because if they are not, you will not be able to claim the RHI. MCS accredited installers are annually audited for their admin procedures, quality of installation, and compliance with MCS standards. You can check the database here. Our MCS accreditation number is NAP 14681, in the name of Borders Underfloor Heating Ltd.
Please note that the domestic RHI scheme is closing on 31st March 2022. In order to qualify for RHI payments, heat pumps must be installed, commissioned, and registered with MCS no later than 31st March 2022.
INTEREST FREE LOANS IN SCOTLAND
Home Energy Scotland are currently offering interest free loans for people installing renewable energy devices in Scotland. Check your eligibility by calling them on 0808 808 2282, or for more details, click here.
All installation photographs on this web site are our own work, and are copyright.