Hull Vineyard Church

Energy cost saving: £7.5k a year compared to electric heating. RHI payments: £1,400 for 20 years, index-linked to inflation.

To accommodate a growing community and to help meet the increasing need of people in the local area, the Hull Vineyard Church has moved to a larger facility off Clough Road, in Hull. 

Having purchased the former offices and engineering centre, recently finished renovation works included introducing renewables to the site.

An air source heat pump system was installed to provide heating to the building, with fan-coil ‘Smart’ radiators as the distribution system.

By investing in renewables, the church will benefit from low energy bills, the system is also eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive and the savings can be used to fund projects like the Vineyard Food Bank.


For this project, we had to design a system with as low running costs as possible and that was realistic to install on the budget available. In designing the system, we also had to make sure the heat was distributed efficiently, as well as choosing the most appropriate heat pump system.

For this project, we installed three Mitsubishi Ecodan 14kW air source heat pumps in a cascade, with a buffer tank. The buffer tank improves the efficiency of the system by acting as a thermal store, offering an effective source of heat for the facility. For the heating distribution system, we installed Dimplex fan coil radiators – these only require 5% water volume compared to a standard panel radiator meaning less water to heat and therefore more energy savings. Small fans in the radiator blow the heat into the room, resulting in quicker response times and even more efficient running.

The low-temperature system was designed to achieve a Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 3.0. This means that over the course of the year, the system is on average 300% efficient and will produce the 80,000kWh of heat required each year using just 26,666kWh of electricity.

The inverter-driven technology used in the Mitsubishi Ecodan heat pumps allows the system to modulate its output according to the demand. This means that there is no waste, as the heat pump will only consume the exact amount of energy needed at a given time.

This low-maintenance system is also very versatile which is particularly useful in multi-use facilities. The advanced heat pump controller takes account of the temperatures inside and outside the building and regulates heat levels to deliver a more pleasant environment to those inside, whatever the circumstances and weather.


Installed in a phased approach, the whole installation took several months, including steel pipework throughout and the radiators. The installation was completed on schedule, allowing the church and staff to move into their new facility seamlessly.

The air source heat pumps were ground mounted at the rear of the building with the existing plant room reused to house the buffer tank and equipment.

With the building undergoing a major renovation, working to schedule was crucial to minimise disruption. We arranged our installation with the main contractor to ensure we finished on time for the other tradesmen to complete their work.

Return On Investment

The payback period is estimated at seven years, taking into account the RHI payments and energy cost savings.

It is estimated the heating bills will be £3,000 a year compared to £8,000 for oil. In addition, the church will be eligible for RHI payments totalling £50,000 over 20 years.

The church is now considering installing solar PV on some of its buildings to contribute to the cost of running the heat pump and to take advantage of the Feed-in-Tariff.

The air source heat pump will save 15 tons of CO2 per year and has a lifespan of 20 years, compared to 12 years for a typical boiler.

At a glance

Client: Hull Vineyard church
Commissioned: August 2015
Renewable technology: Air source heat pumps and fan coil radiators
System used: x3 Mitsubishi Ecodan 14kW air source heat pumps. Dimplex SmartRad fan-coil radiators.
CO2 saving: 10 tons a year.
Energy cost saving: £7.5k a year compared to electric heating.
RHI payments: £1,400 for 20 years, index-linked to inflation.

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