Heat Pumps

An impressive energy solution.

Here at Pure Renewables we’re constantly installing Heat Pumps of various kinds at properties of our clients, be those home owners or business owners.

Reducing energy costs, making a property more green, accessing various Government grants and more.

We’ve recently come across a great article from the New Scientist which really does help to break down how they work and why they’re a technology that people are turning  to.

See below an excerpt from the piece.

Around 30,000 are being installed in UK homes each year, but yesterday the UK government’s advisers, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), said that needs to jump to a million a year by 2030. The advice came just days after the UK government set a target of 600,000 a year by 2028 . Officials also accidentally let slip that gas boilers will be banned in new homes from 2023, leaving a hole that, for the most part, only heat pumps can fill.

But how does a heat pump compare to a gas boiler? What changes might you have to make? How do we go from a tiny supply chain today to a million annual installations in a decade? Where will all the electricity to run them come from? And why not hydrogen boilers? Scroll on.

Many homes, like this one in infrared, will need to be more energy efficient for heat pumps to work well. Photo: Shutterstock/Ivan Smuk

Why Heat Pumps?

The slightly glib answer is they are here and they work. There are few green heating alternatives ready now. Low-carbon hydrogen supplies don’t exist beyond small-scale trials and hydrogen boilers aren’t a thing you can buy for your home yet. District heating, where heat is piped from a big central source in a town, is only suitable for about a fifth of UK homes, according to the CCC. Electric heating is inefficient. So that leaves heat pumps.”

They’re expensive, right?

“They do definitely cost more [than a gas boiler],” says Richard Lowes at the University of Exeter, UK – usually three times the cost of installing a gas boiler, he says. Running costs are roughly the same, because the cut in your gas bill is offset by your increased electricity consumption, and units of electricity cost more than gas. A big benefit is they tend to last longer than the 10-15 years of a gas boiler, says Lowes. Max Halliwell at Mitsubishi Electric, which makes heat pumps in the UK, says an air source one might typically cost about £7000 to £8000, though the price varies depending on the size of your home and how efficient it is. Most manufacturers making the machines have backgrounds in either air conditioning (like Mitsubishi), or gas boilers (like Germany’s Vaillant), so Halliwell thinks there isn’t much to gain from economies of scale. He reckons savings could come from the expansion of today’s small number of installers, to encompass more “one man and his band” plumbers. Some installers charge a premium because of the distance they have to travel to homes, for example. Halliwell thinks costs could come down 15 to 20 per cent over time.”

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