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Ground Source Heat Pumps
What are Ground Source Heat Pumps? How do they work? Can they save me money? These are all questions people ask themselves when they consider a geothermal heating system. Here at Geo Green Group we aim to answer all of these questions and more. If you can't find what you're looking for on our site, feel free to get in contact with us either by completing our Online Enquiry Form or giving us a call on 0800 988 3188.
So, let's get started.
Basically, ground source heat pumps (or GSHPs for short) are a form of geothermal heating. They use pipes which are buried in the ground to extract heat from the Earth. A mixture of water and antifreeze is circulated around a loop of pipe, called a ground loop, which is laid in the ground or through a large body of water. Heat from the ground or water is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. The ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface all year round, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year.
By installing a GSHP you can lower your fuel bills, especially if you replace conventional electric/oil heating, and provide you with income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). A geothermal heating system can make for a more environmentally friendly home by lowering home carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing. A ground source heat pump requires no fuel deliveries and minimal maintenance meaning, once it's installed, you don't need to do anything to keep your home heating running.
We answer some of the more frequently asked questions when considering a ground source heat pump system below.
So, you're interested in a Ground Source Heat Pump system, but what exactly is it? How does a GSHP system work? How can a pipe buried in the ground help to heat my home, even in winter? The answer might not be as complicated as you think.
The basic idea behind a Ground Source Heat Pump system is that a length of pipe is buried in the ground to abosrb the Earth's geothermal energy. Suprisingly, a few feet below the surface the Earth maintains a fairly consistent temperature, even in winter. A GSHP system takes advantage of this, allowing you to heat your home all year round.
How do you know if your situation is suitable for a Ground Source Heat Pump system? Fortunately, GSHP systems are very flexible, and can be made to fit almost any sitution you can think of!
There are a few key questions to consider if you're thinking about installing your very own Ground Source Heat Pump system; is your property suitable for a ground loop heat pump system, what type of fuel are you replacing, and what type of heating system will you use?
There a numerous benefits to replacing your old heating system with a renewable energy Ground Source Heat Pump system. From saving money to lowering your carbon footprint, and even the potential to actually get paid for it!
We take a look at some of the benefits a GSHP system provides, from lowering your bills and even making yourself some money, to how switching to a green form of energy such as a ground source heat pump or solar power system can help save the environment!
So, how much could you save on your energy bills by installing a geothermal renewable heating system? That depends on a few factors, from what system you currently have in place to how you plan to heat your home using the energy from the GSHP system you install.
We take a look at which systems are the most efficient and could save you the most money. Click here to find out more about how much you could save.
Renewable Heat Incentive
RHI cash payments are made quarterly over 7 or 20 years, depending on which contract you enter into. The amount you receive will depend on a number of factors - including the technology you install, the latest tariffs available for each technology and - in some cases - metering. The RenewabIe Heat Incentive scheme varies depending on whether the installation is domestic or commercial.
Ofgem will pay you generous payments quarterly for seven years. Normally the heat required to heat the property will be deemed (estimated) and payments will be based on this amount. Renewable heat generated by heat pumps will be based on an estimate of the heat demand from an EPC combined with an estimate of the heat pump's efficiency.
The current RHI payments for Ground Source Heat Pumps are:
|Ground Source Heat Pump Applications||Tariff
(p/kWh renewable heat)
|Application Submitted between 1st January 2017 and 31st March 2017 incl.)||19.55|
The commercial RHI provides a subsidy, payable for 20 years, to eligible, non-domestic renewable heat generators. This includes for example small businesses, hospitals and schools as well as district heating schemes such as where one boiler serves multiple homes. Eligible usage of the heat includes usage in an enclosed building for heating a space, heating water, or carrying out a process (eg. heating and cooling in a brewery).
Payments for installations are calculated by multiplying the applicable tariff(s) by the amount of heat generated (using an RHI compliant heat meter) in the relevant quarterly period. There are two tariff tiers which apply to the commercial RHI. The tier 1 tariff is paid per kWh of heat produced up to 15% of full rated, annual capacity and the tier 2 tariff is paid on the remaining 85% of total heat output.
The current RHI payments for Commercial Ground Source Heat Pumps are;
|Tariff Name||Eligible Technology||Eligible Sizes||Tariffs|
|Water/Ground Source Heat Pumps||Ground Source Heat Pumps & Water Source Heat Pumps||All Capacities, Tier 1||8.95|
|All Capacities, Tier 2||2.67|
Once you are receiving domestic RHI payments, the rate is index linked to CPI (Consumer Price Index). The RHI scheme uses a 'degression' system designed to manage the scheme budget available for the domestic RHI. From time to time, the tariff for a technology will be reduced (for new applicants only) if the total amount being claimed in total for that technology reaches a certain level. Anyone who is already claiming the RHI will not have their tariffs reduced through degression!
Taking into account the expected bill savings and RHI payments Ground Source Heat Pumps really are a fantastic investment. With payback periods ranging from 5-10 years, your ROI could easily be in the region of 10-20%/annum. If you also have a solar PV system installed or are considering installing a system then these figures will look even better, as you won’t need to pay for the electricity you require to drive your heat pump. Solar PV and Heat Pumps really are a match made in heaven! Geo Green Group specialise in Renewable Energy and our MCS accredited engineers will be sure to find the solution that suits you. If you’d like to arrange a free, no obligation survey or even if you just fancy learning more please feel free to contact us. We’d be delighted to hear from you!
If you don't like the idea of digging your ground up to install a Ground Source Heat Pump, then we recommend you take a look at our Air Source Heat Pump systems! ASHP systems use a fan to extract heat from the outside air, similar to how a fridge works but in reverse. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home. It can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -20°C! You can read more about our Air Source Heat Pumps by clicking here.
Not convinced? No problem. We install conventional boiler and heating systems too. Click here for more information.
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