Tag: Solar Energy

What’s so Special About an Air Source Heat Pump?

When it comes to home heating options an air source heat pump can be a great way to lower fuel bills and improve your carbon efficiency. Technology continues to improve while fuel prices only increase, making heat pumps a more attractive option for the average homeowner.

To give you an example, if you have an old gas boiler then you could save up to £495 per year on your energy bills by installing a heat pump. On top of that you could earn between £1,000 – £2000 per year from the RHI scheme (Renewable Heat Incentive) which is a subsidy paid over 7 years. The Government recently pledged even more support for heat pumps by announcing increased tariffs.

How does an air source heat pump work?

The heat pump itself works by extracting heat from the air around the unit and absorbing it at a lower temperature via a fluid (similar to the way a fridge extracts heat from its inside). This fluid then passes through a compressor where the temperature is increased and distributed around your heating system. This means that unlike a gas or oil boiler the heat pump is able work at a much lower temperature and more efficiently.

Heating is renewed constantly and cuts down on the use of expensive fossil fuels.

The benefits

Other than the obvious energy savings, installing an air source heat pump is also:

  • Easier to maintain with services suggested every 3-5 years
  • Profitable due to the ability to claim RHI payments and reduced energy costs
  • Easier to install and more affordable than a ground source heat pump
  • Highly efficient due to the fact it works at a lower temperature
  • Easily fitted alongside other renewable systems
  • Around 300% efficient compared to fossil fuel boilers which are only 80% -95% efficient

Why might I choose to install a hybrid system?

Deciding to install a hybrid system can help to deliver further savings due to the reduction in installation costs.  In this case the heat pump no longer acts as a standalone system and would work instead beside your central heating system. This way you get to keep your gas, oil or LPG boiler, but use energy created from your heat pump to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels.

Recent work

As part of a recent project in Weston Rhyn (Shropshire) our team installed a Samsung air source heat pump in a hybrid system so that it was able to work alongside the existing oil boiler. The hybrid system meant that the owner made significant savings on installation due to the fact they didn’t need to replace their hot water cylinder or existing radiators. They can also expect significant yearly savings on their energy bills.

 

View work

 

Reformed RHI Scheme Includes Uplifted Tariffs

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme is a financial incentive for businesses and domestic users of renewable energy systems. The scheme was put in place in April 2014 and allows users of renewable systems to claim back funds over a period of seven years. So far the scheme has supported thousands of people with installing renewable systems and helped to promote renewable energy across the UK.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has now announced an ‘Reformed Scheme’  to help deliver better value for money and support the growing renewables market. The scheme was announced on 14th December 2016 and will come in to force in the Spring of 2017.

Below is a list of the reforms which you will need to be aware of if you decide to apply for the RHI scheme in the future.

  1. Tariff uplifts for new Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP), Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) and Biomass Systems. There are no changes planned for tariff rates on Solar Thermal systems.
  2. Introduction of Heat Demand Limits for ASHP, GSHP and Biomass Systems which puts caps on the financial support a participant can receive for heat annually. Solar Thermal will continue to be measured via the MCS’s Annual Generation Figures.
  3. Those with heat demand above the capping limits can still apply for financial support through the RHI scheme.
  4. Electricity Metering Arrangements will need to be installed alongside heating systems. This can be done via electric metering, onboard electric metering or the new Metering and Monitoring Service Package (with detailed information for heat pump performance)
  5. Degression will be introduced allowing BEIS to lower tariff rates if uptake is higher than expected.

If you do apply for the RHI scheme between the 14 December 2016 and Spring 2017, then you will be eligible for the uplifted tariff rates which will be automatically applied when the changes come in to effect

Timeline for changes

The RHI Reform Timeline
A timeline for RHI Reforms running up to the Spring of 2017.

Find out more about the changes to the RHI scheme.

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