Low Carbon Heating Measures - Green Homes Grants

Air Source Heat Pump Grants - Government Announcement 19/10/21

The recent announcement by the government to stop fitting gas boilers by 2035 in favour of Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP’s) should be no surprise to the gas boiler industry or consumers. The government is keen to ensure the UK, not only meets it’s net zero target of 2050, but also makes secure its energy supply lines.

Whereas most of our gas is currently imported, electricity can be generated on the UK mainland through wind farms, solar photovoltaics (PV) and nuclear. It therefore makes sense to embrace electricity as a more secure sustainable source and low carbon heating for homes and businesses in the country.

Air Source Heat Pumps - Is It Worth It?

Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP’s) have had a bad press recently, largely stoked up by a lack of understanding of the technology and some unfortunate homeowner experiences. Two key factors are vital to ensuring they work effectively. Firstly, homeowners need to maximise the amount of insulation in their lofts and cavity walls before investing in heat pump technology. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a good way of prioritising your investments to optimise your home’s energy efficiency and there are grants available that can support householders and business.

Secondly, providing the first point has been completed, the installed heat pump should be correctly installed and set up by the engineer to provide heat on a continuous basis. ASHP’s tend to work at lower temperatures, rather than gas boilers that deliver hot water to radiators very quickly. We have found, despite rooms in the home showing they have reached target temperatures, some customers still like the feel of a hot radiator, as it can be psychologically comforting.   

Low Carbon Heating Measures

It is important to say that if a home is badly insulated, the cost of running an ASHP can be prohibitive. This is because, despite the recent price hikes, the cost of domestic gas still remains considerably lower than the price of electricity in the home. One kilowatt hour (Kwh) of electricity [e.g. the equivalent of using a one kilowatt fan heater continually for one hour] works out at around 15p compared with one Kwh of gas, which works out at around 6p per hour.      

What does this mean for customers?

Correctly installed heat pumps should deliver the home a yearly average of 3 to 4kwh of heat for every kwh of electricity used. This means by comparison with gas boiler, heat pumps overall have the edge over a rolling year. However, if a heat pump is having to work harder in a poorly insulated building to deliver heat, particularly during the winter, the ration between electricity used and heat output will drop dramatically the costs of heating can increase disproportionately higher. This is because ASHP’s draw heat from the outside air temperatures and have to work harder to extract the heat, unlike Ground Source Heat Pumps that draw heat from the ground, where the temperatures remain constant. 

From Solar Photovoltaics to ground source heat pumps

Low-carbon Heating Solutions

With so many different low-carbon technologies available, it can be a daunting process trying to find the right one that suits your property.  The above links provide useful information about each specific technology and how this may benefit you and your property. 

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