Ground Source Heat Pumps
Ground source heat pumps heat your home through using energy absorbed through the ground. Pipes buried in the garden extract in the ground to the heat radiators, underfloor heating systems and hot water.
Beneath the surface, the ground stays at a fairly constant temperature so a ground source heat pump can be used throughout the year- even in the middle of winter.
What are the benefits or ground source heat pumps?
Heat pumps can lower your home's carbon emissions, depending on what fuel you are replacing.They can also lower fuel bills, especially if you are using conventional electric heating.
Ground source heat pumps are easy to maintain and are often classed as 'fit and forget' technologies as they need little maintenance.
Costs and Savings
Costs of installing a typical system range from about £9,000 to £17,000. Running costs will depend on a number of factors - including the size of your home and how well insulated it is.
Savings will vary depending on many factors outlined below:
- The heat distribution system: If you have the opportunity, underfloor heating can provide greater efficiencies than radiators because the water doesn't need to be heated to such a high temperature. If underfloor heating isn’t possible, then use the largest radiators you can. Your installer should be able to advise on this.
- Fuel costs: you will still have to pay fuel bills with a heat pump because they are powered by electricity. The saving you achieve can be affected by the price of the fuel you are replacing and the price of the electricity for the heat pump.
- Efficiency of old and new system: the efficiency of the old heating system will affect how much you spent on heating bills previously. If the old heating system was inefficient heating bills could have been high and the difference between the new running costs and the old running costs will be greater, therefore providing a greater saving.
- Hot water: if the system is providing hot water as well as space heating: the provision of hot water can lower system efficiencies, therefore making running costs higher.
- Temperature setting: if you heat your home to much higher temperatures with a new heat pump system than you did with an old heating system then you will experience greater comfort benefits, but heating bills could be higher than if you continued with the same heating pattern. It’s a good idea to set thermostats to around 18 to 21 degrees centigrade.
- Using the controls: learn how to control the system so you can get the most out of it. Your installer should explain to you how to control the system so you can use it most effectively.
Grants and Discounts
Installing an energy efficient measure in your home may not cost as much as you think. You may be eligible for a grant or discount to cover the costs of your installation. To find the right offer for you search the Energy Saving Trust's Grants and Discounts Database. The tool is easy to use and only takes 5 minutes to complete.
To find out if Ground Source Heat Pumps are suitable for your home visit the Home Energy Generation Selector Tool here.
The Energy Savings Trust has conducted a field trail of ground source heat pumps, in order to get a better idea of how they perform and the saving they achieve read the final report Getting Warmer: a field trial of heat pumps.
Alternatively for further information on Ground Source Heat Pumps contact:
Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre: 0800 512 012