With increased media focus on the state of the planet, and how our actions can damage and influence it, along with the fact that fuel and electricity prices continue to rise, there’s no wonder why consumers are becoming increasingly interested in renewable energy sources and how they can benefit from them. One type of renewable energy source growing in popularity is the heat pump, which generates heat via environmentally friendly methods.
There are two most common types of heat pump, both with their own advantages and disadvantages. The key factor is that they both use the natural environment to generate heat. Air source heat pumps act as a backwards fridge, extracting heat from the air and ground source heat pumps use heat from the ground, which is surprisingly constant (even in winter), to heat fluid in pipes buried in loops. Ground source heat pumps are considered to be much more efficient than their air source heat pump counterparts but they’re also much more expensive.
With carbon targets to meet, governments are also incentivising renewable energy, and although not currently rolled out to domestic properties, the Renewable Heat Incentive is likely to be available for those wishing to install a heat pump into their home later this year. Similar to the Feed in Tariffs which supported solar panels, the RHI offers a payment to individuals generating heat through renewable energy. Receivers of the incentive will be offered a fixed price per kilowatt of energy. Heat pumps are one of the many renewable energy sources to be included in this government scheme and the funds will come directly from the Treasury, rather than energy bill payers in the case of the Feed in Tariffs.
As well as the incentive of the RHI, there are also a number of benefits to ‘going green’. Although there is, of course, an initial outlay to purchase and install the heat pump, the money you gain through the RHI along with the money you’ll save on your heating bill will mean that in the long run you will earn your money back. It is difficult to propose an estimate saving, because it will depend on the size of your home, the efficiency of your heat pump system and also the system in place before heat pump installation. For a 3 bed semi-detached house originally using oil-fired heating with a heat pump performing efficiently a saving of up to £300 can be made, and by replacing an electric system the saving increases to £600.
The other advantage is that it will put extra value on your house as well as increasing its desirability. If we are in this for the long-haul, investment in green energy to reduce dependency on fuel and increase sustainability can only be positive.
This article is written on behalf of RA Brown, a company installing and supplying air source and ground source heat pumps in Suffolk and the surrounding area.