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View blog posts for category: Heat pumps

How to write a brief for a renewable heat system

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 22 January 2014 at 9:05 am

How to write a brief for a renewable heat system

Once you have decided that you’d like to install a renewable heating system in your home or office, it’s a good idea to write a brief for the project. Rather than detailing all the various technologies you’ll need, a brief is designed to set out your expectations and can be a be…

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Renewable heat premium payment deadline approaching

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 17 January 2014 at 10:34 am

Renewable heat premium payment deadline approaching

If you’re considering installing a renewable heating system in your home and would like to take advantage of a one-off grant to help with the cost, then now’s the time to act. The deadline for applying for a renewable heat premium payment (RHPP) is fast approaching with all applic…

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Ground source heat pump warms guests at country house hotel

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 16 December 2013 at 10:10 am

Ground source heat pump warms guests at country house hotel

A newly-installed ground source heat pump is set to save an Elizabethan country house hotel £10,000 a year.  Historic Soulton Hall in Wem, Shropshire, has replaced traditional fossil fuels with two Stiebel Eltron ground source heat pumps, generating green hot water and heating for …

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When can I apply to the domestic RHI?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 December 2013 at 10:30 am

When can I apply to the domestic RHI?

People with renewable heating systems installed since 15 July 2009 may have to wait to apply for the domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI). Last week the government announced its plans to phase the process.  Phasing will enable those who installed without support from the renewable hea…

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Can I pre-register for domestic RHI?

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 20 November 2013 at 9:26 am

Can I pre-register for domestic RHI?

Q. We have had solar thermal and a biomass heating system installed. I have two questions: firstly can we pre-register for the domestic renewable heat incentive, and secondly I have read that you need to be in full time employment to qualify, which seems a bit bizarre. Is that true? A. Provid…

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Tansor village hall: a case study of a solar-powered heat pump in a community building

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 24 October 2013 at 9:27 am

Tansor village hall: a case study of a solar-powered heat pump in a community building

A village hall which is using a lottery grant to install an air source heat pump partially powered by solar panels has come up with a way of still qualifying for the government's feed-in tarrif (FiTs). Under FiT rules, installations that are funded by public money, includin…

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MCS deadline for registering legacy renewable heat systems - an update

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 October 2013 at 10:29 am

MCS deadline for registering legacy renewable heat systems - an update

Tomorrow is the deadline by which people who have installed a renewable heating system since 15 July 2009 must ensure that it is registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) if they want to receive the renewable heat incentive. Yet, a quick check this morning reveals th…

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Do self builders need a green deal assessment to claim RHI?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 17 October 2013 at 9:55 am

Do self builders need a green deal assessment to claim RHI?

Q: We have had a single new house built for us this year and have an air source heat pump. Naturally we would like to apply for the renewable heat incentive when it comes in next year. You said in your blog of 25 July 2013 that you need a green deal assessment to apply unless you are a self-build…

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Volunteers wanted for trial of heat pump controls

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 15 October 2013 at 11:17 am

Volunteers wanted for trial of heat pump controls

Is it just me, or are heat pumps the most confusing of beasts? I had a Daikin Altherma air source heat pump installed by an MCS registered installer in 2012 to replace a hopelesssly out-of-date storage heating system in a 1950s chalet-style house. Last winter we received electricity bills…

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Will installing a wind turbine affect my RHI application for a heat pump?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 4 October 2013 at 9:36 am

Will installing a wind turbine affect my RHI application for a heat pump?

Q: We have installed a ground source heat pump and will be applying for the renewable heat incentive (RHI). We are now considering installing a wind turbine. How will this interact with our heat pump RHI application, if at all? Our EPC rating will improve with a turbine and as I understand it RHI…

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Beat the RHI deadline for MCS registration of renewable heat systems

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 2 October 2013 at 3:31 pm

Beat the RHI deadline for MCS registration of renewable heat systems

If your renewable heating system is not registered with the microgeneration certification scheme (MCS), there are still a few things you can do, to ensure that you meet the 22 October 2013 deadline for registration.  If your heating system is not registered on the MCS installation databa…

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How is the seasonal performance factor of my heat pump calculated?

Posted by Graham Hazell on 26 September 2013 at 9:09 am

How is the seasonal performance factor of my heat pump calculated?

Q: I am still unclear how the seasonal performance factor (SPF) of my heat pump is calculated for the purposes of making tariff payments under forthcoming domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI). Is it simply based on the manufacturers' claims or is there some way of calculating it from real …

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Deadline to register your renewable heat installation looming

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 24 September 2013 at 9:15 am

Deadline to register your renewable heat installation looming

The government has issued a deadline for registering renewable heat installations under the microgeneration certification scheme (MSC). The deadline, of 4pm on October 22, 2013, applies to all renewable heat installations made since July 15, 2009. If you believe your installation has yet …

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How do I claim the domestic renewable heat incentive?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 September 2013 at 9:08 am

How do I claim the domestic renewable heat incentive?

Q: I have recently installed an air to heat system in my home. What do I have to do to claim the renewable heat incentive payment? A: First, I'm assuming you are talking about an air to water heat pump. If you have an air-to-air heat pump then you are not eligible for the renewable heat i…

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The UK's most energy-efficient period properties throw open their doors

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 11 September 2013 at 11:01 am

The UK's most energy-efficient period properties throw open their doors

If you’re considering refurbishing your energy-guzzling period property to make it run more efficiently then here’s a chance to see how others have done it first. SuperHomes Open Days is a countrywide open house scheme where owners of 54 older, retrofitted homes throw open their d…

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What is the greenest way of heating our new studio?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 10 September 2013 at 10:46 am

What is the greenest way of heating our new studio?

Q: We have planning permission to replace existing garage with a fully insulated garage and studio. What is the greenest / most efficient way of providing hot water and heating to the studio? We have mains electricity; access to plenty of wood; oil (which we use as sparingly as possible); and…

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Can I get the domestic RHI if I'm replacing a renewable heating system?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 6 September 2013 at 9:43 am

Can I get the domestic RHI if I'm replacing a renewable heating system?

Q: I installed a stove type pellet boiler back in 2006 - which is great. But last year we extended our house and the boiler is probably a bit on the small side. Also as we get older we will find it easier to have a boiler with a bulk store. If I install a bigger output boiler now will I qualify f…

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Heat pumps can be an efficient alternative to electric, oil or LPG heating says EST field trial

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 August 2013 at 9:12 am

Heat pumps can be an efficient alternative to electric, oil or LPG heating says EST field trial

Heat pumps can provide an efficient alternative heat source for householders currently heating using electricity, oil, LPG or solid fuel according to phase two of the Energy Saving Trust's (EST) heat pump field trial.  Well installed heat pumps, in homes which have adequate insu…

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Why buyers should take care when investing in renewable heat

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 July 2013 at 9:41 am

Why buyers should take care when investing in renewable heat

Let me set my stall out: I'm a fan of renewable heat technologies if they are installed well in suitable buildings. I'm also delighted that details of the domestic renewable heat incentive scheme has finally been announced, and that the rates are higher than expected.  But, and g…

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7 questions to ask a heat pump installer before you buy

Posted by Graham Hazell on 19 July 2013 at 11:52 am

7 questions to ask a heat pump installer before you buy

With the details of the domestic renewable heat incentive now published, and renewable heat premium payments still available to help with the upfront cost, now is a good time to install renewable heat. But make sure you choose a good installer. Here are seven questions to help you choose a he…

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What the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive means for heat pumps

Posted by Chris Davis on 15 July 2013 at 11:06 am

What the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive means for heat pumps

After nearly 4 years of waiting, the Government has finally confirmed the details of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for domestic properties.  Cathy has already summarised the key details in her blog. This is great news for home owners looking to install renewable heating systems…

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Details of the domestic renewable heat incentive finally announced

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 July 2013 at 10:25 am

After several delays, the details of the renewable heat incentive, originally announced in July 2010 have finally been announced. Its aim is to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technologies to cut carbon, help meet the renewables targets and to save money on energy bills. Who can apply …

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Check you are eligible for RHI before installing renewable heat

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 11 July 2013 at 10:10 am

Check you are eligible for RHI before installing renewable heat

The renewable heat premium payments (RHPP) for biomass boilers and heat pumps are only available for properties that are off the mains gas network. Until the announcement on the full domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) is made this summer we won't know if this will also be the case for th…

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Risks identified for buyers as two-tier market for heat pumps emerges

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 14 June 2013 at 10:04 am

Risks identified for buyers as two-tier market for heat pumps emerges

With the uncertainty caused by another delay to the domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme, we are seeing a two-tier market for heat pumps emerge, where some people are opting for the cheaper option of using products and installers who are not accredited under the microgeneration certific…

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Is the UK low carbon heat industry ready to deliver? A case study of a customer who can't buy a heat pump

Posted by Jennifer Arran on 10 June 2013 at 9:16 am

Is the UK low carbon heat industry ready to deliver? A case study of a customer who can't buy a heat pump

Is the renewable heat industry ready to deliver? This critical question was raised by the most recent interviews in our on-going research program. The Microgen Insight Service carried out in-depth phone interviews with owner-occupiers on- and off-gas, including a a small number of …

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Which is the the best heat pump?

Posted by Graham Hazell on 30 May 2013 at 11:47 am

Which is the the best heat pump?

“Which is the best heat pump, in your view?” is the question I’m most frequently asked by callers to the Heat Pump Association's information desk. I usually turn the question back and ask them, in their view, which is the best car. Straight away they ask “what do you w…

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DECC doubles upfront grants for renewable heat technologies

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 May 2013 at 3:32 pm

More help with the upfront cost of installing renewable heat is now available as the Department of Energy and Climate Change announces a doubling of the Renewable Heat Premium Payments. These money off vouchers have been increased to: £2,300 for ground source heat pumps £2,0…

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How do I find the best performing heat pump?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 17 May 2013 at 9:35 am

How do I find the best performing heat pump?

Q: There is a great deal of information on the Internet as regards heat pumps but no information about recommended manufacturers of ground source heat pumps. Please can you help me. I would like someone to recommend which ground source heat pump ie Kensa, Nibe Danfoss performs best. A: Good q…

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Heat pumps a no brainer says property developer

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 May 2013 at 9:41 am

Heat pumps a no brainer says property developer

A property developer in North Wales has been so impressed with the amount of energy that air source heat pumps have saved his properties over the past few years that he installed one in his own home in Colwyn Bay. "I first started using ground and air source heat pumps in my development…

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Readers tips of the month - April 2013

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 April 2013 at 9:30 am

Readers tips of the month - April 2013

"Most cost effective measures are to improve thermal performance of property with good insulation generally," says architect Clinton. "But watch natural ventilation/airtightness to avoid condensation problems unless you are installing a mechanical ventilation system. Use as man…

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When will I get renewable heat incentive (RHI) payments?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 April 2013 at 9:17 am

When will I get renewable heat incentive (RHI) payments?

A: As RHI (renewable heat incentive) payments have been delayed again till Spring 2014, do we have to wait till then to get our payment? So there will be no payment in 2013 then? Q: If you are what the government describes as a 'legacy' applicant, which means someone who has installed…

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Key things to consider before installing a heat pump

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 16 April 2013 at 8:52 am

Key things to consider before installing a heat pump

Unlike fossil fuel boilers, heat pumps are unforgiving when it comes to sizing. With a fossil fuel boiler increasing the size to add a safety factor is generally acceptable. The cost difference between a 20kW or 30kW boiler is not large. However, increasing the size of a ground source heat pump c…

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Special offer: Heat pump manufacturer offers free site survey, system design and handover meeting

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 28 March 2013 at 9:11 am

Special offer: Heat pump manufacturer offers free site survey, system design and handover meeting

Sponsored blog post For over 80 years in 72 countries Stiebel Eltron has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers of green heating technologies such as heat pumps, solar panels and energy saving water heaters. With a wide range of products designed for the UK market we provide unma…

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Manufacturers can play a key role in preventing problems with heat pumps

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 March 2013 at 10:13 am

Manufacturers can play a key role in preventing problems with heat pumps

Heat pumps can be a great way of heating a building if (and it's a big if) they are designed, specified, installed and commissioned right, and the building owner is given good, clear instructions about how to use the system and what the different controls do. The reason I say it's a b…

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Why heat pumps are ideal for underfloor heating

Posted by Jason Hobbins on 22 March 2013 at 9:46 am

Why heat pumps are ideal for underfloor heating


Heat pumps are the most efficient way to power wet underfloor heating systems. Unlike a gas or oil boiler, which heats water to between 65 and 85°C, a heat pump generates hot water at around 40 degrees.  Walking on a 65°C floor will scald your feet and crack your floor coverin…

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How our air to air heat pump keeps the house warm and bills low

Posted by Keith Searle on 5 March 2013 at 9:04 am

How our air to air heat pump keeps the house warm and bills low

Our entire house has been nice and warm since we installed our air source heat pump in December 2011, and on the odd hot day in the summer it has cooled the living room. We leave it switched on 24hrs per day and it keeps on blowing out warm air at about 35 degrees-even on below freezing…

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Air source heat pumps keep hotel guests happy, warm, and intrigued

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 12 February 2013 at 9:02 am

Air source heat pumps keep hotel guests happy, warm, and intrigued

An air source heat pump system has proven a positive alternative to LPG at Wirral’s award winning Mere Brook House Hotel. Mere Brook  is a converted Edwardian country house which offers high quality bed and breakfast and facilities. When they were renovating their premises, the owners …

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What to do if your ground source heat pump costs too much to run

Posted by Jason Hobbins on 8 February 2013 at 10:22 am

What to do if your ground source heat pump costs too much to run

Q. Hi wondering if anyone else has had huge problems with a ground source heat pump. Had mine installed when the house was built and have no end of problems......largest and most pressing is the fact that it is costing me around £20 per day to run - which is astronomical and unsustainable! …

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Readers tips of the month - January 2013

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 January 2013 at 10:35 am

Readers tips of the month - January 2013

Keeping warm is a bit of a theme for this month's tips. Mark Griffiths lives in a solid-wall 1930s house and works from home. He writes: " we brought in a company to help us dry-line part of our home office - an upstairs bedroom. We lost ten inches of space, but gained immensely in heat …

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Thermodynamic panels: your questions answered

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 11 January 2013 at 9:12 am

Thermodynamic panels: your questions answered

This blog was updated in February 2014, 6 November 2014 and 10 March 2015. If someone told you that there's a new solar panel that could heat your hot water 24 hours a day, 365 days a year come rain, shine or snow, would you believe them? It sounds too good to be true, and that always mak…

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I'm on mains gas, am I eligible for the domestic RHI?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 1 November 2012 at 3:06 pm

I'm on mains gas, am I eligible for the domestic RHI?

Q: I am very interested in the RHI (renewable heat incentive) but a little confused! I would love a biomass boiler or air source heat pump but I have read somewhere that if I have gas and disconnect from the gas mains I still can't claim RHI? Is this true? Are biomass and ASHP RHI payments only for …

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What the domestic RHI means for air source heat pumps

Posted by Chris Davis on 11 October 2012 at 9:40 am

What the domestic RHI means for air source heat pumps

The long awaited details of how the Government will support householders who install renewable heating systems have been announced at last. The RHI (renewable heat incentive) is due to be introduced in the summer of 2013, and one of the answers most keenly awaited has been whether or not air sou…

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An introduction to water source heat pumps and how they work

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 12 July 2012 at 9:36 am

An introduction to water source heat pumps and how they work

The majority of heat pumps sold within the UK are either ground source or air source. However, water is another source of energy which can sometimes be used for heat pumps. Using water as your energy source has a number of advantages when compared to air or ground source: • The…

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Sizing a heat pump correctly is vital for good performance

Posted by Gabriel Wondrausch on 9 July 2012 at 9:17 am

Sizing a heat pump correctly is vital for good performance

Unlike a conventional fossil fuel boiler it is essential that a heat pump is sized accurately to meet the heat demand of the property. The reason for this is because over-sizing will significantly increase the capital cost for little operational savings. It will also mean that the heat pump oper…

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Finance is available for businesses to install renewable heat

Posted by Mark Henderson on 28 June 2012 at 10:31 am

Finance is available for businesses to install renewable heat

Finance for the up-front costs of installing renewable heat technologies is now available for businesses and other organisations thanks to a new collaboration between The Carbon Trust and Siemens. The Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) scheme offers low-cost leases, loans and other financing opti…

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Air source heat pumps make sense without the RHI!

Posted by Chris Davis on 18 June 2012 at 9:09 am

Air source heat pumps make sense without the RHI!

The delay of the domestic portion of the renewable heat incentive (RHI) to summer 2013 may have been disappointing for some customers looking for this as a call to action to upgrade their ageing heating systems. However, with oil prices continuing to rise, increasingly the financial argument for…

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Readers' renewable energy tips of the month

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 24 May 2012 at 12:02 pm

Readers' renewable energy tips of the month

We love reading your stories and tips of what works (and doesn't work) for you. Here are this month's favourites: Where you site your air source heat pump is important, as this succinct message from Lizlaw confirms: "Our heat pump warms the house and water consistently, reliably and saves us m…

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New MCS heat pump standard should improve performance

Posted by Chris Davis on 30 April 2012 at 11:11 am

New MCS heat pump standard should improve performance

Are you thinking of installing a heat pump? Well there’s good news for householders and businesses in the shape of new standards to improve the performance of heat pump installations. Snappily titled “MIS3005 v3.1a”, the new standard affects all new heat pump systems since 1 March 2012 and …

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A cautionary tale of a heat pump gone wrong

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 13 April 2012 at 9:06 am

A cautionary tale of a heat pump gone wrong

"Our Peak district farm offers self-catering accommodation in eco-renovated barns," write Paul & Elspeth Walker. "When we recently developed an adjoining building as a venue for courses and public events it was an opportunity to enhance the alternative energy potential of the site. "So in 20…

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Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme is extended; RHI delayed

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 March 2012 at 10:35 am

Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme is extended; RHI delayed

The domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) remains elusive, as the government announced a second phase of the renewable heat premium payments (RHPP) scheme yesterday. The domestic RHI, which will reward people who switch to renewable sources of heat with regular payments for and anticipated …

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