The impact of heating system selection on heating bills could be of great consequence for your new build project for many years to come. Environmental pressures have boosted the appetite and need for low carbon low polluting renewable technology in both rural and urban locations, in particular ground source heat pumps. This technology is also a favourite for its low running costs, minimal maintenance and long lifetime. And Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive income makes the financial case for ground source heat pumps even more appealing for self builders; for those with one building they can enjoy a guaranteed income for 7 years, and for those with more than one dwelling, connecting individual heat pumps in these dwellings to shared pipework in the ground qualifies for 20 years of income through the Non Domestic RHI.
With the case for ground source heat pumps clear, Britain’s number one ground source heat pump manufacturer, Kensa Heat Pumps (based in Cornwall), have come up with three simple top tips to ensure your project is suited to ground source heat pumps. If you tick all these boxes, you can most certainly benefit from this rewarding and renewable home grown technology for years to come.
Top Tip #1: What are the insulation levels of the property?
For renovation projects in particular, the better insulated your home the more efficient it is to heat, which means smaller energy bills. Your home’s efficiency will also impact the size of the ground source heat pump you require – the lower your heat demand, the smaller and cheaper the heat pump, and the less work it needs to do, which all in all means a far cheaper to run home.
Furthermore, the more efficient your heat pump, the more you earn through the Renewable Heat Incentive. A win-win.
Top Tip #2: Strive for optimum efficiency
Selecting whether you have underfloor heating or radiators, and what floor covering you use, can all effect the efficiency of your ground source heat pump system, which ultimately impacts your fuel bills.
Typically, well insulated homes with underfloor heating downstairs and radiators upstairs (oversized if a renovation) return the best results.
Top Tip #3: Your land is worth more than you think
Whether you have a modest lawn or acres, you’d be surprised how much this land is worth to you; with a ground source heat pump not only will harvesting this heat from your ground provide you with significantly reduced running costs (typically 40 - 50% compared to oil and LPG), you also get access to the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which pays you for the renewable heat your heat pump generates for 7 or 20 years depending on how many properties are being heated by heat pumps (7 for one, 20 for two or more).
With all the free renewable heat coming from the ground I bet you didn’t expect to be an owner of your own mini gold mine did you?!
There are many options to extract the heat from the ground, from space-saving boreholes to cost-effective slinky trenches, to water sources (lakes, streams, ponds etc.) which provide the most efficient heat extraction for the heat pump.