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Electricity bills could be slashed in green drive to ditch gas boilers

Additional costs to be lowered as Government aims for heat pumps to replace 600,000 gas boilers every year from 2028

The Government Target of 78% carbon reduction by 2035 is unlikely to be achieved unless the take up of alternative heating and hot water solutions are installed.

Fossil fuel burning boilers need to be phased out to able to achieve the government target to reduce carbon emissions by 2035. The cost of electricity is still much higher than mains gas, putting home owners off investing in heat pumps.

A heat pump installation can be three times more energy efficient than a fossil burning boiler.  

The average cost of mains gas at the moment is around 4p per kWh.

The average cost of electricity is 15p per kWh

Some green energy providers are starting to introduce special tariffs for heat pumps that will reduce the annual running costs.

Heat pumps on average are three times more energy efficient than a fossil fuel burning boiler, this means that the running cost of a main gas boiler is similar to a heat pump as long as the heat pump is installed correctly. Why invest in a heat pump when it’s the same cost to run? 

There are a number of clear reasons why we should all switch over from fossil fuel burning boilers, a 1950s invention that omits carbon into the atmosphere. The future of UK heating is mainly going to be heat pumps. There are a number of properties that are not suitable so alternatives should be used. If a heat pump installation is possible then this option should be installed as it’s probably the best option.

Air Source Heat Pump installation costs around £10,000 to £15,000 it’s nearly double this cost for Ground Source Heat Pump costing from £19,000 to £28,000 to install. A fossil fuel burning boiler costs around £1,000 to £3,000 to replace. Sadly many people don’t have the funds available to pay the cost of a heat pump installation. Most people who have a failed fossil fuel burning boiler end up replacing this with another fossil fuel burning boiler because of the cost. Sadly many homeowners are not in the financial situation to be able to invest in future technologies to help reduce carbon emissions. 

There is a great deal more involved with a heat pump installation than just connecting a heat pump to the property. Installation generally takes from 3 to 5 days on average.  The entire heating system needs to be adapted and upgraded to suit the way the heat pump works.

The Government Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is in place until March 2022

The Government Renewable Heat Incentive is to encourage the take up of renewable energy technologies such as air source heat pumps.  The Renewable Heat Incentive will pay a large amount towards the cost of a heat pump installation so do take advantage of the RHI Payments if you are considering a heat pump installation.

The RHI Payments are available for the following renewable technologies:

> Air Source Heat Pumps

> Ground Source Heat Pumps

> Solar Thermal

> Biomass

The RHI pays on average between £6,000 and £11,000 for an Air Source Heat Pump installation, a Ground Source Heat Pump installation costs from £16,000 to £28,000 with both having individual benefits and subject to type of installation.  For homeowners who invest in a heat pump, the RHI Payments contribute a considerable amount towards the cost of installation.  

Savings and long term benefits makes installing a heat pump 100% worthwhile and the return on investment (ROI) could be as short as 5-6 years in some cases. The RHI Payments you can claim will be largely determined by the Space Heat and Hot Water demand that the property has and the COP rate of the heat pump.

The RHI Payments are made every 3 months over 7 years, index linked and Tax Free. Once an installation is complete and commissioned, you apply for the RHI Payments from Ofgem. Once the application has been completed you are locked in for 7 years.

The future of UK heating will mainly be dependent on heat pumps.  The sooner homeowners invests the sooner they will start benefiting from RHI Payments, potential saving and helping reduce carbon emissions.

The quality of a heat pump installation will determine the energy efficiency of the renewable heating system.  A bad installation will leave home owners with high electricity bills.  Ensure that you engage with professional and reasonable accredited installers who follow the rules, regulations and guidelines.  A good heat pump installation is all about the key points of.

  • Professional Survey
  • Professional Heat Design
  • Pre installation Survey by an experienced person
  • Quality Equipment
  • Professional Installation Team
  • Commissioning by an experienced person
  • Quality Customer Handover Pack     

The target set by the government to install six hundred thousand heat pumps per year from 2028 is a target that will be a monumental task to achieve because the number of quality installers are not within the industry to install anywhere near this capacity.   The difference between a good and bad installation is experience and knowledge.  If you end up having a heat pump linked into an existing heating system you will most likely end up with high running costs an inefficient heating system.  The heat design needs to be bespoke for each installation of a heat pump.  All radiators or under floor heating will need to be sized to suit the heat demand of each individual property.  The heat pump should be installed to heat the entire property on the coldest possible day. 

Bivalent heating systems are an easy way that some companies use to sell heat pumps leaving the current boiler in situ to support the heat pump on colder days. This defeats the object. Installing a heat pump correctly is more difficult demanding more experience and knowledge key factors in any good installation of a heat pump is:

  1. Detailed survey to collect all information needed
  2. Heat loss calculation (By a qualified experienced engineer)
  3. Quality bespoke heat design
  4. Pre installation survey by a qualified engineer or heat pump installer  
  5. Experienced installation team
  6. Quality of all material and equipment used for installation
  7. Experienced person to check all of the installation and commissioning of the renewable heating system

If you are thinking of investing in a heat pump, ensure you are dealing with an experienced company who provide a bespoke design for the renewable heating system being installed.

The UK is behind most other countries around Europe on the roll out of heat pumps, although awareness is growing of the benefits of heat pumps. 

You will hear all about the bad installations but you don’t get to hear all about the good installations. There are many companies that lack experience and knowledge and continue sticking heat pumps on the side of properties without ensuring all aspects work together with the heat pump.

The Government needs to explore all of the options including reducing the cost of electricity to enable homeowners benefits of investing in future technologies.

The Green Home Grant Scheme failed and was scrapped after just six months but there is still 10 months left to have a heat pump installed and benefit from the Government supported RHI Payments.

Fossil fuel may/could be taxed more and prices increased to discourage homeowners from replacing failed fossil fuel boilers.  Fossil fuel boilers will be banned at some point in the future because the government cannot achieve the target set, without this happening.  New builds are to start using heat pumps by 2025. Some developers have already started installing heat pumps.

Insulation of properties is also important, across the UK millions of homes are losing heat because they don’t have the basics covered… It’s madness as the benefits out way the outlay of any improvements of insulation or the installation of a heat pump.   Education is important helping people to understand the benefits of investing in their homes with renewables and insulation is needed. Homeowners really need to understand the long term benefits exceed the financial outlay.

The strategy is also expected to set targets for owners and occupiers to improve the energy efficiency of their homes to at least EPC C level, which the government’s advisers have said should be achieved by 2028.  We should all start working towards this goal “NOW”.

Having a heat pump installed along with suitable insulation will help improve your EPC. 

The future of heating and hot water in the UK or even Worldwide will mainly depend on heat pumps. Across the globe we are able to generate electricity from renewables to support heat pumps… Generating electricity from wind, hydro, and solar will help reduce the carbon emissions working towards the solution helping save our planet from climate change.

Fossil fuel needs to be stopped from being used sooner rather than later.

> Gas

> Oil

> LPG

> Solid fuels

All of the above fuels omit more carbon emissions than the production of renewable electricity or the use of heat pumps.

The saving that can be made from switched from Oil, LPG and solid fuels to a heat pump is 100% worthwhile investigating , along with the RHI Payment which will give you a good ROI (Return on Investment) over a period of time.

The life expectancy of a heat pump is 15 to 20 years against a boiler that is now less than 10 years.

You will need to maintain the heat pump to sustain its life expectancy and efficiency.  

Electric boilers or heating systems like electric radiators are generally more expensive to run than a good quality heat pump installation. Some electric radiators are more expensive to install than a heat pump. 

More and more renewable electricity is being generated and plans to increase the supply of renewable power in ever increasing… Renewables are part of our future it’s just a case of when people decide to invest.

The UK Government have the best intensions of trying to help and encourage homeowners to invest in renewables, insulation and improving the efficiency of our homes but individually it’s our responsibility to react. 

The fact about renewables is, the sooner you invest the sooner you will benefit from the investment you make.  Investing in any technology or products that

 

 

1 Comment

  1. While there are countless Trips out there in charity shops and car boot sales, you can also buy refurbished.


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