Air Source Heat Pumps can save you £1,000 a year?!

Astonished baby finds out how much Air Source Heat Pumps  save

An air source heat pump (ASHP) is usually placed outside at the side or back of a property, and takes heat from the air and boosts it to a higher temperature using a heat pump. This heat is then used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems or even warm air convectors and hot water in your home. 

The pump needs electricity to run, but the idea is that it uses less electrical energy than the heat it produces. Which is fantastic for all you that are interested in lowering your energy bills

Air source heat pump costs and savings

ASHPs are cheaper than ground source heat pumps. The Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates that the cost of installing a typical ASHP system ranges between £7,000 and £14,000! It does sound like a lot I admit but, you are thinking small! There is still juicy payback to consider.
The payback period (the time it takes for the cost of the system to be recouped in energy savings) depends on how efficiently your system works, the type of system you’re replacing, whether you can get money with the RHI and how you’ll be using the heat generated from the pump. 
The EST says that an average performing air source heat pump in an average four-bedroom detached home could save:
  • between £545 to £880 a year if replacing oil
  • between £550 and £1,060 a year if replacing electric heating. 
It also estimated that the RHI would pay an extra £805 to £1,280 a year.
It will pay back for itself in a matter of years and considering the sky rocketing energy prices over the coming years it would be a smart investment to lower your electricity bill NOW! Just imagine what you could do with a spare grand every year…

If you are interested in or want an Air Source Heat Pump then visit our website here to get a FREE reliable quote. Its quick and easy and based on our database we can give you the top 3 companies in your area to give you their personal quote.

I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

Top 5 reasons to install solar panels!

Solar power is more efficient, affordable, and easy to install and use than ever before. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should turn to solar energy.

Solar is Easy

Modern Solar systems make going solar virtually stress-free for the home-owner. Installation crews can usually install a residential system in less than a week, and most installation companies take care of the necessary permits as part of their service. Using solar energy is easy too. Once the system is installed, your home’s internal wiring and appliances all work the same as before.

Solar is Flexible

Solar systems work even in areas with less than perfect weather. While solar energy has always made sense in places like the south of England, modern panels generate power at reduced rates even on days with partial sunlight. If you live in a temperate climate with frequent days of partial sun like the North of Scotland, you can still get the benefits of a solar energy system by using a net meter to manage your power needs.
Net meters are utility meters that runs forward or backward depending on the situation. Net meters let you sell excess energy back to the utility company for credit when you produce more than you need, and buy back that power at night or during bad weather.

Solar is Independent

One of the best reasons to consider a solar system for your home is freedom. The idea of becoming energy independent has become a popular subject nationally over the past few years, and owners of solar systems begin their journey to energy independence by reducing their dependence on public utilities, especially with their sky-rocketing prices you don’t want to be around for.

Solar is Environmentally Sound

Environmentally sound building practices are often more efficient than traditional methods, and solar energy is one of the best green investments you can make. Offering more than just panels and an inverter, some companies can install complete home energy management and solar energy systems that lower utility bills while reducing your carbon footprint.

Solar is Affordable

Government feed-in-tarrifs can help reduce the cost of your new system by selling back your excess energy back to the grid, earning up to £750 a year. Not to mention the new RHI that just launched (9th of April) means
Solar energy provides home owners with simple, secure, environmentally sound power, while tax credits and easy financing make energy independence a financially viable alternative to public utilities for more and more home-owners every day. Will you join them?



Earn £3,690 per year for heating your own home

After months of speculating and lengthy delays, the domestic RHI has launched in the UK TODAY, WHOOPIE – rewarding home-owners choosing to heat their homes with renewable technology with high tariff payments. This is great news for eco-green buffs as they will be rolling in money, waving their cash around like they just don’t care!

What is RHI?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat.
The RHI pays participants of the scheme that generate and use renewable energy to heat their buildings. By increasing the generation of heat from renewable energy sources (instead of fossil fuels), the RHI helps the UK reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet targets for reducing the effects of climate change.

Similar to the popular Feed-in-Tariff enjoyed by PV solar panels, the RHI will pay people for generating their own heat energy AND they get to heat their home efficiently – slashing their heating bills dramatically! I cannot convey the level of excitement I am currently in.

thermo banner Speculations of an imminent launch rose considerably when the minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker has announced via Twitter:
“Excellent progress on domestic RHI. All set now for launch by Easter.”
This is excellent news for those that already have, or who are considering RHI approved renewable heating, as they will see annual earnings and savings (payable for 7 years) of:
– £3,690 for ground heat pumps
– £3,390 for biomass boilers
– £1,280 for air source heat pumps
– £600 for solar thermal systems

It’s worth noting that currently, the hybrid solar panels (PV-T) that generate both electrivity AND hot water are not eligible for the RHI tariff.

Always check your system will be RHI eligible and use an MCS accredited installer.

Finally the government have got something right! The amazing thing about it is you will be independent, you won’t have to rely on those energy providers with sky-rocketing prices and you will be paid for doing it!  Just think of what you could do with a couple of grand left over at the end of the year..

I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

Who will get paid by the RHI and by how much?

EPC - small changes

Are you confused by the Govenment’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)? You’re not alone.

The RHI scheme will begin for the domestic market in 2013 and will pay homeowners a tariff, similar to the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT), for installing renewable technologies like solar thermal technologies, air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

It is likely that any of these heating methods installed since 2009 will be eligible for the RHI provided they satisfy the installation criteria.

The UK Government published their consultation on domestic RHI in September 2012. The key proposals in the consultation are:

  • Indicative tariff ranges for air source heat pumps (6.9-11.5p/kWh), biomass boilers (5.2-8.7p/kWh), ground source heat pumps (12.5-17.3p/kWh) and solar thermal technologies (17.3p/kWh) that are MCS certified and meet relevant required standards, including specific emission limits for biomass systems.
  • Payments for householders over seven years for each kWh of heat produced for the expected lifetime of the renewable technology and based on deemed heat usage.
  • Tariff levels set to provide a better return for householders living off the gas grid.

The UK government has also confirmed that people who have installed equipment under RHPP 1 or 2 (which offers people up to £1250 towards the cost of installation) will be eligible for support through the RHI providing they meet the eligibility criteria of the full RHI scheme. In addition, the UK government are proposing that consumers who installed a renewable heat installation since 15 July 2009 will be eligible to apply for the domestic RHI.

This means that anyone installing these technologies now will be able to claim up to £1,250 towards the cost of installation and then receive the RHI payments next year for 20 years, AND they will be reducing their heating bill considerably.

Your Air and Ground Source Heat Pump Questions answered

To help homeowners control their energy bills even further, or ‘go green’, we’ve designed Heat Pump Quoter.
Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps are an alternative renewable energy to solar or wind, and can power your hot water as well as your heating, via underfloor heating, hot air convection or even radiators.
Unlike some renewable energy sources, Heat Pumps are not reliant on wind or sunshine to operate, so you can make the most of this energy efficient, renewable heat source, 24 hours a day, all year around.
Our newest ‘Quoter website can offer you an instant online heat pump quote, without the need for salesmen to call on you.

To find out how Heat Pumps work, how suitable they may be for your home and what Government incentives are currently available, read more below…

How do Heat Pumps work?
Imagine a fridge working in reverse – taking the outside temperature of the air or ground and extracting the heat, compressing that heat and then passing it into your home to heat your hot water, underfloor heating, radiator or warm air convection system and that’s the science behind Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps.
Air Source Heat Pumps are a small unit (much like a modern air-conditioning unit in size and shape), which fixes to the ground or wall adjacent to the property to be heated.
Ground Source Heat Pumps use heat taken from the ground and involve a series of looped fluid filled tubing buried in trenches within your garden. Because of the trench digging and pipe laying, these systems cost more to install.
Heat Pumps work at generally lower temperatures to more traditional fossil fuel heating so it’s important, to make the most of your system, that your home is reasonably insulated before installation begins. What’s more, they don’t rely on wind or sunshine to function.

How do I get my money back? It’s renewable energy right?
Absolutely right. Heat Pumps are a renewable heat source – the kind to be included in the Governments proposed Renewable Heat Incentives which are due to start Autumn 2012 and already included in the Governments current *Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme.
The tariffs – the money the Government will pay you – will work similarly to the current solar panel feed in tariffs, but nobody knows the exact details yet.
The Government are currently offering a *Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme to encourage homeowners to install renewable heat sources onto their homes.
The Government are making these one-off payments, to the tune of £1250 for Ground Source systems and £850 for Air Source systems to homeowners, to help them cover the cost of installing these systems. These installation incentives are set to run until 31st march 2012.

What’s so green about Heat Pumps?
Sure, Heat Pumps use electricity to run, but the clever bit is they use far less that the energy they output.
The energy is called renewable because the heat is taken from the surrounding air / ground rather than artificially generated through the burning of a fossil fuel.
This means that the CO2 emissions are low compared to an equivalent fossil fuel usage.

What can a Heat Pump heat?
Heat Pumps extract heat from their surroundings, compress it and apply it to a fluid which is then passed into your home. This hot fluid can be used to:
  • Heat your emersion tank
  • Power your underfloor heating
  • Heat specially designed radiators in your home
  • Power hot air convection heaters.

The systems are responsive and designed to work with thermostats so you can control the heat / water temperature.

Because of that overall lower heat output, if you’re using your Heat Pump to power your hot water, you’re installers will make sure you have an immersion heater fitted which will be timed to come on once a week for an hour or two, to superheat the water in your tank and kill off any bacteria.
The lower heat output also means you may find it more comfortable to leave the systems on for longer periods.

Specially designed radiators?
Yes, normal ‘gas fired’ central heating radiators aren’t usually large enough to provide the surface area needed for the lower temperature water to effectively transfer enough heat to the radiator to ‘radiate’ and heat the room.
It may be you decide on a duel system – keeping your existing heating / hot water system but supplementing its heat with your Heat Pump. That will still lower your usual energy bills.

Is my home suitable?
Most properties will be suitable for either a ground or air heat pump system. There’s even a water pump system that could draw heat from say a large pond or lake.
Properties which will benefit the most include those that aren’t on Mains Gas and use either Oil, LPG or other solid fuel for heating and hot water.
Properties that use storage heaters will also see the same benefits.
Even on properties with gas fired central heating will make a modest return (not including any future tariffs), by preheating hot water tanks etc or replacing the heating source on underfloor heating systems.

Will I need a new immersion tank?
That’s a question for your preferred installers when they’re conducting their quote survey.

Servicing and maintenance?
Heat pump technology has been around longer than you think. The units themselves require little maintenance other than an annual health check (like a regular gas boiler) and for an Air Source Pump, making sure the area around the pump is free from leaf debris etc.

How big a system will I need?
That depends on how dependent you want to be on its output from totally dependent to treating the system as an auxiliary system. The installation companies will take your wishes along with the size and type of your home and how many of you live within the property, into consideration when conducting their survey prior to quotation.
In conclusion…

  • Heap Pumps use minimal energy
  • Produce a steady, reliable renewable heat and hot water source for your home
  • Aren’t reliant on wind or sunshine
  • Work all year round – 24/7
  • Government incentives towards installation costs of such systems – up to £1250*
  • Government expected to launch its Renewable Heat Incentive tariff scheme October 2012
  • You could earn a regular payment for the renewable heat you produce.
  • Lower your energy bills
  • Reduce your homes CO2 Emissions
*Renewable Heat Premium Payments (Governments one-off payments towards your installation costs) are subject to certain criteria. You can find more information on the Energy Saving Trust’s website here.

Microgeneration Certificatation Scheme see the positives for smaller installers

“think positive”

The MCS scheme community responded more positively than others in the solar industry, to the weeks earlier news of the feed-in tariff cuts.

In particular, the MCS community see’s the cuts as an opportunity for smaller solar installers to gain business as larger ‘free-installation’ companies cut back on investment and installations.

They also reckon falling installation costs – one of the reasons cited by the Government for feeling able to reduce the tariffs without damaging the number of installations to greatly – will open up the technology to more homeowners on a paid installation basis as opposed to those who were only able, previously, to consider a free installation contract.

The Green Deal will also stimulate solar installations when it starts next year and the Renewable Heat Incentives have also just been given the go-ahead, having cleared a European hurdle earlier this week.

Sounds like plenty of work for everyone doesn’t it?

photo credit: sh4rp_i

*To find your nearest MCS accredited solar installer, use Solar Panel

Green doom as RHI receives ‘Euro setback

RHI’s tug of war

First spotted in The Guardian, was this story that the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI) have been “pulled at the last minute”.

The blame is being laid at the feet of Europe – the report goes on to say – as the European Commission, unhappy with the large tariff for Bio-mass generated heat, is believed to have said they’re happy for the RHI to go ahead, subject to the Bio-mass tariff being reduced.

The Guardian is quite right – not only is it a severe financial setback for all those that have already invested in renewable heating sources, but the setback to the launch of the RHI could knock confidence in the UK’s green industry as a whole.

The Government hope to have the RHI scheme back on track, but admit a delay of around 2 months may now ensue, whilst proposals are re-written and voted on.

At least those that have already installed renewable heat sources will be saving on their energy bills – small comfort to those that have invested heavily and were hoping to see a decent return on that investment, via the RHI tariff payments.

For larger installations, there’s going to be a lot of worried investors and I suspect a lot of installation projects that were due to start may be put back, whilst the tariff situation, and indeed, the amounts the tariffs will actually pay out, are decided.

Read The Guardian’s full report here.

photo credit: josh james

Solar hot water tariffs – get ready.

You’re probably already aware of the Government’s tariffs for solar electricity generation, which a growing army of homeowners are installing and enjoying, but what about solar hot water generation?
For that, you need the Government’s RHI – Renewable Heat Incentives – which were announced this year and, in the case of domestic installations, will start earning tariff payments from October 2012.
Solar hot water (and other qualifying renewable heat sources) installed now (or after 15th July 2009) will be eligible for the tariffs starting next year, but only from the point of registration, so it’s important to get organised and have everything in place to claim as quickly as possible.
Reports suggest tariff rates will be around 18p per kWh generated and like the renewable electricity tariffs, will be linked to inflation.
Homeowners will have to have loft and cavity wall insulation (where applicable) already installed to qualify and it’s thought that, whilst heat can’t be measured like electricity, likely generation figures will be based on the amount of energy needed to heat the home and water, depending on your home’s age, size and construction.
Don’t forget in addition to solar hot water panels, other renewable heat sources are included in the proposed tariffs including biomass, ground and air source heat pumps.
For homeowners, the opportunity to cut a major energy bill – heating domestic water – is a considerable inducement, given the latest energy price rises, many of which will start taking effect from this October (2011).
photo credit: kevin dooley

Don’t ignore Renewable Heat Incentives

There’s no doubt that the Feed-in Tariffs for renewable electricity have been a huge financial inducement to homeowners installing solar panels on their roofs.

So far, over the first 3 months of 2011, over 11,000 homeowners have had photovoltaic systems installed on their properties.

Soon, homeowners will be able to claim a similar Government tariff for renewable hot water and heating installations like Solar Hot Water Panels.

It’s already been announced that when tariff payments begin next year (October 2012), installations that were carried out after the July of 2009 will also qualify. Solar hot water systems will enjoy a tariff of 8.5pence per kWh. Other water/heating renewables like heat pumps and biomass will attract different rates, many lower than the Solar tariff.

The tariff’s will have a duration period of 20 years and already, it’s been decided, the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentives) tariffs will be linked to rise with inflation.

If you’re exploring renewable energy as a way of cutting your homes energy bills, whilst also making some contribution to CO2 emission reductions, then don’t think your payback options limit you to purely electricity generation.

Renewable heat technologies included in the RHI tariffs are:

Solar Thermal (solar hot water panels)
Solid Biomass installations
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Water Source Heat Pumps
Deep Geothermal
Biomethane injection and biogas combustion (except from landfill gas).

Whilst some experts are predicting feed-in tariff rates will eventually reduce for new applicants of the time, it’s also believed that manufacture and installation costs will reduce so overall installation costs will fall, making the tariffs of the day still favourable enough to tempt homeowners with a realistic return on their investments.

Solar panel quoter is able to give you an instant online quote for both electrical (photovoltaic) solar systems and hot water generating systems.

photo credit: william warby

This article first appeared in our weekly homeowner newsletter dated 10th May 2011 – click here to read the full newsletter.

Renewable Heat Incentives announced

Last week, the Government announced it’s long awaited RHI scheme – a ‘feed-in tariff’ for renewable heat sources.

Like the existing feed-in tariff for renewable electricity generation (most notably photovoltaic solar panels), homeowners will soon be able to claim money from the Government for hot water/heat they produce renewably.

The most popular method, and one already installed by many, is hot water solar panel systems.

These solar panels comprise of tubes which pass liquid through the panel, being warmed by the sun and fed through a coil within your immersion tank, warming the water within.

Whilst such systems may not get the water ‘boiling hot’, even in Winter, its reckoned that they’ll raise the tanks water temperature by a few degrees, which lessens the work needed by your boiler etc. so you’ll still be saving energy and money off your energy bills.

Now that the Government has announced a generation tariff, homeowners and businesses alike will be able to earn money which will make a significant contribution to the initial installation costs and go on paying you back long after the investment has paid for itself.

But it’s not just Solar thermal (solar hot water panels) that will earn you money, the RHI also covers the following:

Ground source heat pumps
Water source heat pumps
Deep geothermal
Solid biomass
Biomethane injection and biogass combustion (excluding landfill gas).
Tariff rates will vary depending on the size and type of installation – solid biomass will earn from 1.9 pence per kWh whilst solar thermal (solar hot water) will earn 8.5 pence per kWh etc.

Homeowners thinking of an RHI qualifying installation will also be pleased to hear that the Government has also made the same provision for inflation rises in the tariff similar to the recently announced tariff increase for the feed-in tariffs, which comes into force from this April.

The RHI will start from October 2012 but more good news – it will be eligible for installations carried out after July 2009.

If you’re interested in getting a quote for installing your own solar panel system, give Solar Panel Quoter a try – instant online solar panel quotes without the need for a salesman to call you.

This story first appeared in our homeowner newsletter – 21 march 2011 edition – read the full newsletter here.