Air and ground source heat pumps are an alternative, eco-friendly way to heat your home. You can generate your own heat by turning a small amount of electricity into three or four times the amount of renewable heat. As a result, this has great environmental benefits, and can save you huge amounts with today’s rising fuel bills compared to systems powered by oil, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) & coal.

You just need to ensure that your home is well-insulated before considering installing an air or ground source heat pump so that the property withholds the heat it generates. 

Which heat pump should I choose?

Air Source Heat Pumps are the most cost-effective and simplest for retro-fit installations due to ease of installation compared to their alternative, Ground Source heat pumps.   Ground source are particularly suited to new build properties due to the need to dig up the ground to install the required pipework that this type of heat pump requires.  Ground source can be retrofitted too as long as you have enough outside space for the pipework.

Some factors that need to be taken into account when installing an Air Source Heat Pump is their location at the property, noise levels for both the home owner and neighbouring properties and the distance to the potential hot water storage tanks location, plus additional allowances for the unit being exposed to the outside weather conditions.  It’s important to note that an Air Source Heat Pump’s efficiency can be affected when it is colder outside as it will need to work harder converting the cold air, which consumes more electricity. It will still provide more heat than electrical consumption, but not as much as when temperatures are warmer outside.

TASC HQ Air Source Heat Pump
TASC HQ Air Source Heat Pump

Both Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps require specific and detailed design including the completion of an in depth room by room heat loss calculation. Installers of Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps should undergo vigorous, regular and in-depth Quality Management reviews and External Auditing which gains approval to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). In order for any heat pump to be eligible for the domestic RHI, the installer MUST be certified under the MCS scheme to claim the government subsidy.

You could benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

As well as the environmental benefits, heat pumps can be a good investment as they qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Under this UK government scheme, you could get money towards renewable heating costs in your home. The money you receive can vary in amount based on several factors, but it’s important that your installer is MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certified in order for you to be able to apply for the RHI.

So, what are the benefits of the Renewable Heat Incentive? Well, there has never been a better time to install an air or ground source heat pump with the RHI rates being at their highest to date! The domestic renewable heat incentive is deemed by the annual energy demand as stipulated on your domestic energy performance certificate (EPC). The EPC can only be carried out by a domestic energy assessor (DEA) and it is important that the EPC is dated within 24 months of the final commissioning of the heat pump. The EPC must also show the Air or Ground Source Heat Pump as the installed heating system within the property and that the property has a minimum of 250mm Loft Insulation (recommended 250mm to 270mm) and if it can be installed, Cavity Wall Insulation. If any of these cannot be installed, then an Exemption Letter completed by a DEA can be completed and submitted with your application.

Currently, at the time of writing the RHI rates for domestic are:

  • 10.71p /kWh for Air Source Heat Pumps
  • 20.89p /kWh for Ground Source Heat Pumps

The good news is the rates are linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and will continue to rise during the 7-year duration of the domestic RHI.

Interested in finding out more?

Here at TASC Holdings, we have a dedicated after care team that can assist you with every step of the way to ensure a smooth RHI application is submitted. We also offer a servicing and maintenance package for all heat pumps that we install where we will continue to maintain the heat pump annually to ensure it is working to its full efficiency. This is one of the main obligations of the RHI to continue receiving payments for the 7 year duration and must be carried out by an MCS certified installer.

If you are interested in finding out more about air source heat pumps, or are looking to have one installed in your home, give us a call on 01244 752218 or drop us an email at office@tascltd.co.uk