Heat Pumps are an option for reducing dependency on fossil fuels.
Heat pumps which have been available for decades and have been adopted on both sides of the Atlantic are a real alternative to traditional fossil-fuelled forms of heating.
A heat pump which exchanges heat between outdoor air, water or soil with indoor air or water is far more energy efficient than traditional heating as it utilises naturally occurring sources of heat. Very basically, air-source and ground-source heating work in the same way that a refrigerator or air-conditioning unit works, however they generate more energy in the form of heat than they consume in electricity. For air-source this can be as much as much as three times more and even higher for ground-source models. Conventional heating inc. the common boiler can only generate as much thermal energy as they consume in gas, oil or electricity.
So why are heat pumps not commonplace?
A common misconception is that they might not produce the required amount of heat that we are accustomed to or expect. Whereas this may have been true decades ago, technological advancements in design and manufacturing processes have changed the playing field. An example of this evolving development could be to compare a 1980s Audi Quattro with a recent Audi e-tron, they’re both forms of transport by the same car manufacturer, but the performance and efficiencies are in a different leagues.
The below map from Bloomburg.com demonstrates the share of heat-pump purchases in 2020. Interestingly, the countries with the largest market share are in some of the coldest parts of Europe such as Finland, Norway & Sweden where 90% of the heaters sold are now heat pumps and mostly air-source, a sure sign they are more than capable of delivering the required amount of comfort for us here in the UK. It should be noted however that these Nordic countries may not have gas networks that are as developed as those here in the UK, and so they have a stronger relationship with electrical heating.
Cost could certainly be another factor as to why they haven’t been as widely considered in the UK until recently. Historically, and as with any product where demand has been relatively low, the cost of the equipment and skills to install can be high. But because heat-pumps have become more sophisticated and are increasingly more readily available, the cost of the equipment is becoming more competitive, and their increased efficiencies mean the appetite and momentum for heat-pumps is building.
To make switching to renewable technologies such as heat-pumps even easier, our innovative ‘own the solution, not the equipment’ funding means energy revolution technologies such as heat pumps can be installed at no up-front cost, so you benefit from all the features of having the equipment such as reduced energy costs, reduced carbon emissions and of course a reduction on hydrocarbons such as gas without the cost or expertise to deploy.
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