Heat Pump Helps Retired Couple Cut Their Energy Bill

Published by Kate Anderson on July 28th, 2011

A retired couple in Portsmouth are set to reduce their heating bills and save money after installing heat pump technology to make their home more energy efficient.

Malvin and Isabel Voller moved from a large Victorian-style property and built a smaller, modern three bedroom home on land they owned nearby. Wanting a home that would be more affordable to run, they decided to invest in an energy efficient heating system.

After carrying out extensive research into heat pump technology – both on the Internet and by visiting shows such as Homebuilding & Renovating, the national home improvement show – the couple opted for a Danfoss air source heat pump, which was installed by Source Heat Pumps, an approved Danfoss heat pump installer.

“We had looked at other heat pump companies, but the Danfoss unit suited our needs perfectly and Source Heat Pumps were very knowledgeable and helpful,” said Mr Voller.

An assessment carried out at the property found that ground source heat pumps would not be suitable, on account of the limited amount of land available. Air source heat pumps were deemed to be the best option and an 8kw unit was installed at the property.

“Mr and Mrs Voller have taken the very sensible decision to address their future energy needs now and invest in a more sustainable and affordable system,” said Mark Freeman from Source Heat Pumps.

“Our heat pumps offer high system efficiency and strong seasonal performance, which means that running costs should be less than with other more traditional forms of heating and hot water,” added Chris Dale, Director of Danfoss Heat Pumps UK.

The heat pump has been estimated to equate to a cost saving of at least £1,200 per year for the newly retired couple.

Event Set to Thrash Out Heat Pump Issues

Published by Kate Anderson on July 27th, 2011

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Magazine will be holding a Q&A event in September, designed to thrash out issues currently being faced by the air conditioning industry.

From the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to refrigerant regulations, the latest RAC Question Time will give the industry the opportunity to address some of the major issues facing suppliers, installers and their customers.

The Regulation, Energy and the Heat Pump Challenge event will be based upon the BBC’s Question Time format, and will enable delegates to pose questions to a panel of experts, and debate the answers. The panel will comprise of technology experts, customers, consultants and policy experts.

Topics to be debated will include the planning challenges for the use of new renewable heating technologies like ground source heat pumps, and what the Renewable Heat Incentive will mean for specification and supply of heat pumps.

The event is scheduled to take place on 14 September 2011.

For more information go to www.racquestiontime.com

Heat Pump Installers React to RHI Premium Payment

Published by Kate Anderson on July 26th, 2011

Heat pump installers have voiced their concern that the one-off Premium Payment won’t be enough to dramatically increase the uptake of renewables via the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme.

Launched last week, the first phase of the RHI has received a mixed reaction from the renewables industry. As unveiled by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), installations of renewable heating technologies such as heat pumps are set to become more affordable for homeowners.

With one-off payments of £1,250 available for fitting ground source heat pumps and £850 on offer for the installation of air source heat pumps, industry figures believe that many questions still need to be answered.

“Until more in known about the eligibility criteria for the full domestic RHI scheme, it’s uncertain whether the RHPP will give householders the confidence to opt for renewable heating, without the certainty of ongoing financial support,” said Chris Davis, business development director for Dimplex Renewables.

However, Kelly Butler, the director of BEAMA Domestic Heat Pump Association remained upbeat about the launch of the Premium Payment incentive and said he was very pleased that the scheme is up and running to the original time scale.

“I’m pleased that the scheme is running to the original timescales, with vouchers for payment issue from 1 August, so that installers and their customers have a full heating season to specify and install measures,” he said.

Mr Butler added that the Renewable Heat Incentive Premium Payment scheme will take the industry one step closer to its goal of achieving one million heat pumps installations by 2020.

Heat Pump Technology for Rebuilt Warsop Pavilion

Published by Kate Anderson on July 25th, 2011

A Pavilion in Warsop is to benefit from heat pump technology, when a project to rebuild the arson-damaged building begins later this month.

Mansfield District Council has given the go-ahead to a six month project to rebuild the Carr Lane pavilion after an arson attack in July 2008 left the building unsafe and later demolished.

Costing in the region of £190,000, the council has decided to contribute and extra £20,000 to support the installation of a ground source heat pump, which will make the building carbon efficient.

With a demand for a new facility, the decision to rebuild the pavilion was made last year. The new pavilion will be built from sustainable and anti-vandal materials, and will provide sports teams and community groups with brand new leisure facilities. a range of football, bowling and other sports teams and community groups with brand new leisure facilities. It is being built from sustainable and anti-vandal materials and facilities will include function rooms, changing rooms and lockers.

Ground source heat pumps are much more efficient than other electrical heating options. They work by extracting available heat from the ground and releasing it in another location at a higher temperature.

£1,250 Government Grant Available Towards Heat Pumps

Published by Kate Anderson on July 21st, 2011

The first phase of the Government’s scheme to encourage homeowners to invest in renewable heating technologies comes in to force from 1 August, with grants of up to £1,250 being made available towards the installation of heat pumps.

The Renewable Heat Incentive has been designed to encourage people to install renewable heating technologies in their homes, and the Premium Payment scheme will enable households to apply for a one-off payment of £1,250 to help them cover the cost of installing a ground source heat pump. A grant of £850 will also be available for air source heat pump systems.

Aimed at the four million or so UK households whose heating isn’t supplied by mains gas, the Premium Payment scheme will run from 1 August 2011 until March 2012.

Around £15 million will be made available in grants to households to help with the upfront cost of installing a range of renewable heating technologies, from air source and ground source heat pumps to solar thermal panels and biomass boilers.

The grants will be available in the form of vouchers, and those eligible for the scheme will just need to cash in their voucher with an approved MCS Accredited heat pump installer.

For further details about the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Premium Payment scheme call 0800 512 012 or visit the Energy Saving Trust.


Heat Pump Trial for Taunton Council Houses

Published by Kate Anderson on July 18th, 2011

Council houses in Taunton, Somerset are trialling the use of heat pump technology in a move the council has described as being “the way forward”.

Under the scheme – which is being run by Taunton Deane Borough Council – four council homes which are currently heated by electric storage heaters have been fitted with air source heat pumps.

While the installation costs associated with fitting heat pumps to each of the properties is similar to fitting a new gas supply, heat pump technology works out cheaper for tenants who have previously been paying electrical fuel bills. Far more energy efficient than a traditional electric storage heater, for every 1kwH of energy that the pumps take in, they output it at 3 to 4kwH.

The trial is due to run until winter and if successful, the council has enough funding in place to install the heat pumps into another 40 properties.

“We’re hoping the system will prove very economical for our tenants,” said Jean Adkins, the executive councillor for housing services.

The bungalows in rural areas that are off the mains gas network so tenants have to rely on costly electricity for heat.

“By installing these units at four of our properties, we can fully assess the benefits to be gained.   This is a very exciting project that keeps us at the forefront of Councils across the land in this field,” said councillor Ken Hayward, the council’s climate change champion.

Taunton Deane Borough Council is one of several councils across the UK that have trialled the use of heat pump technology. Similar schemes implemented in West Lothian and South Norfolk were revealed to have cut CO2 emissions by almost 50%.

Sales Surge in Chinese Heat Pump Sales

Published by Kate Anderson on July 15th, 2011

As energy costs continue to push inflation, the heat pump market in China is currently enjoying a period of considerable growth.

A market study conducted by GCiS has shown that customers are turning to heat pumps as a long term solution to try and combat rising living costs in the country. Residential buildings and offices across China’s eastern and southern cities have seen the strongest demand, where inflation is currently most keenly felt.

The most noticeable area of growth in the technology is in air source heat pumps, with demand for energy efficient water heaters in southern China driving their growth by well over 30% per year, with five year projections expected to exceed 20%. Ground source heat pumps don’t fair as well, as declines in their growth rates are expected due to dwindling customer numbers and stricter laws on water conservation and drilling.

According to GCiS the total market will hit US $5 billion by 2015, and air source heat pumps will account for over half the total revenue generated.

GCiS is a China-based market research and advisory firm. They focus on business to business markets.

School’s Sports Hall Invests in Heat Pump Technology

Published by Kate Anderson on July 8th, 2011

A school in Wrexham, committed to providing educational environments fit for the 21st Century, has invested in heat pump renewable technology for its newly built sports hall.

The sports hall at Maelor School in Penley has been designed to include air source heat pumps, as well as rainwater harvesting and combined heat and power technology. Translucent panels have been used to all walls at high levels – which are very effective in allowing natural light into the inner area – and wind catchers have been used to incorporate natural ventilation into the design.

The school’s resource centre has also been revamped, and both were officially opened by the Major of Wrexham, Cllr Ian Roberts, earlier this week.

“Wrexham Council has committed to improving the educational attainment and outcomes for its young people and in order to do this it is essential we provide educational environments that are fit for the 21st Century,” said Cllr Roberts.

At the opening ceremony, headteacher Eiddwyn Hall said the school was grateful for the investment made by the local authority. He added that they “look forward to continuing and improving on the significant achievements the school has made.”

Environment Agency Endorses Use of Ground Source Heating

Published by Kate Anderson on July 4th, 2011

The Environment Agency has produced a good practice guide which endorses the use of ground source heating and cooling systems.

The guide is aimed at designers, developers, installers, drillers and owners of ground source heating and cooling (GSHC) schemes. The Ground Source Heat Pump Association worked closely with the Environment Agency to make sure the information in the guide is consistent across the heat pump industry.

According to the Environment Agency, ground source heating and cooling (GSHC) systems can help to meet UK and Welsh Assembly Government renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Agency estimates they can reduce energy bills by as much as £530 per year for a family household and carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by more than 5 tonnes per year, compared with an electric heating system.

Research shows that there are around 12,000 ground source heat and cooling systems in the UK and the Agency believes that this figure could increase to more than 300,000 systems by 2020. The Government has estimated that ground source heating and cooling systems have the potential to provide up to 29% of total UK built environment heat demand by 2050.

“Renewable energy will play a vital role in cutting carbon emissions and the long-term protection of the environment. However, renewable technology must be sustainable,” said Lord Chris Smith, the chairman of the Environment Agency.

“These new guidelines for ground source heating and cooling will ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect the local environment,” he added.

Retirement Home Benefits From Danfoss Heat Pumps

Published by Kate Anderson on July 4th, 2011

A retirement home in Northamptonshire, originally built in 1965, has had its heating system upgraded as part of a major renovation by the local housing association, which includes the installation of heat pumps.

Residents at Bridgewater House in Brackley, which consists of 29 individual dwellings for retired people, are now able to reap the benefits of renewable energy from the heat pump system manufactured by Danfoss Heat Pumps UK. Prior to its renovation, Bridgewater House’s heating was supplied through electric storage heaters.

Heating for all the dwellings and common areas is now provided by ground source heat pumps, which take their energy from 21 bore holes sunk to 125m depth in the grounds of Bridgewater House. Bore holes were used due to the limited amount of land available in this urban location, which meant horizontal ground loops were not an option.

South Northants Homes decided to look to renewable energy to help reduce its heating bills and carbon footprint. As well as installing Danfoss ground source heat pumps, the refurbishment also featured other renewable technologies, such as solar photovoltaic panels, which supply the majority of electricity to the building, and solar thermal to provide hot water. The home was also upgraded with loft insulation to enhance the efficiency of the heat pump system.

The project, which began back in Spring 2010 and was completed in March, has been put forward for the Sustainable Housing Awards later this year.

Doug Grace, the assistant director (Property Services) at South Northants Homes said the electric storage heaters were out of date and inefficient.

“We wanted a much greener source of energy and heat pumps have proved to be very good at reducing our energy costs and providing a comfortable, warm environment for residents and with a much lower environmental impact,” said Mr Grace.

“The tenants are absolutely delighted. Many have said how much warmer their homes are now the heat pump has been installed and the fact that the temperature is more consistent as it is left running continuously must be good for their health too,” he added.