What Compliance Standards can Heat Pumps Meet?

Kensa ground source heat pumps comply with a number of industry accreditations and building regulations. These standards ensure quality, efficiency and carbon compliance – helping to achieve net-zero carbon targets.

Standards met by Kensa Heat Pumps include:

The Renewable Consumer Code (RECC)

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)

Energy-related Products (ErP)

Part L

Part O

The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)


Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)


Permitted Development Rights

TrustMark accreditation

Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC)

What is RECC?

The objective of the RECC is to make sure that anyone wanting to fit a small-scale heat or power generation unit in their home is accurately informed and confident in their choice, and treated in line with service standards. The code ensures consumers are informed about the upfront costs, the running costs and the expected performance of their chosen renewable technology before they agree to purchase.

Kensa is a member of the RECC and abides by the standards set to protect consumers interested in renewable systems.

What does it cover?

The scope of the RECC includes ground or air source heat pumps, photovoltaic solar panels, small-scale wind and hydro-powered generating units, solar water heating panels, boilers or combined heat and power units fuelled by wood chips.

The RECC is backed by the Trading Standards Institute – the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme. It’s closely linked to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, with an expectation that members act in compliance with this or another consumer code such as HEIS.

Discover more about RECC

Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)

Kensa Ground Source Heat Pumps BBA accreditationWhat is MCS?

The MCS is an independent scheme that certifies microgeneration products – such as heat pump systems – and their installers in line with consistent standards.

The MCS evaluates microgeneration products and installers against robust criteria to provide greater protection for consumers. MCS accreditation is a requirement for all applications to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).

Why is it important?

The MCS is a prime method for cutting out the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emissions. It’s the only certification scheme to cover all microgeneration products and services, and it has support from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), industry and non-governmental groups.

To access support from the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), you need to ensure an MCS approved product and installer is used for your project.

How do you achieve an MCS accredited installation?

To achieve an accredited installation, it must feature an MCS certified product that has been installed by an MCS accredited installer. Kensa is an MCS approved installer, and the majority of our products are MCS certified. With our network of approved installers, we can ensure your system is fully compliant with its standards.

If you prefer to use your own contractor but they aren’t MCS registered, they can use Kensa’s MCS umbrella service. Through this service, we will oversee and certify the installation to be MCS compliant.

How does Kensa conform to MCS?

The majority of Kensa ground source heat pumps are MCS accredited. They are tested using an MCS accredited test rig at our ISO9001 manufacturing plant.

Kensa is also an MCS-accredited heat pump installer.

Kensa Heat Pumps contributed to the formation of the MCS Heat Pump Standard (MIS 3005); a level of standard practised and recommended by Kensa since 1999, a good eight years prior to the MCS Heat Pump Standard in 2007.

See our MCS Umbrella service

Energy-related Products (ErP)

What is ErP?

The Energy related Product (ErP) Directive (formerly the Ecodesign Directive), is a European framework to improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of products that consume energy or affect energy consumption. The ErP Directive is split into two parts: Ecodesign and Energy Labeling.

Although ErP is a European Directive, it is anticipated the UK will continue to use the framework beyond its departure from the EU as a means to continually assess and reduce the environmental impact of appliances and systems, including ground source heat pumps.

What is an ErP rating?

An ErP rating is applied to products that consume energy – or affect energy consumption. You’re probably familiar with ErP labels, which are commonly found on home appliances such as fridges, cookers, and televisions. The ErP rating is based on the products’ environmental impact. Kensa ground source heat pumps have ErP system ratings up to A+++.

Why is ErP important?

Ground source heat pumps are required by law to have labels displaying their energy performance – both as an individual product and when part of an overall heating system.

ErP ratings let you see how efficient your ground source heat pump system will be compared to other manufacturers. This allows you to make an informed judgement and select the best equipment to maximise the efficiency of your heating system.

See more about ErP

Part L

What is it?

Part L is a building regulation that addresses a building’s conservation of fuel and power. The energy efficiency and CO² performance of Kensa ground source heat pumps enable developers to easily conform with Part L.

Part L (Part J in Scotland) now states that the annual CO² emission rate or Dwelling Emission Rate (DER) of the completed building must not exceed a Target Emission Rate (TER). By using a ground source heat pump to provide a building’s heating requirement the DER/BER of the building is reduced and hence the building is more likely to pass building regulations on the CO² emission requirements.

Part O

What is it?

Part O is a building regulation that addresses design issues that can affect overheating risks and applies to all new residential buildings. Essentially, it sets out rules to protect occupants from overheating in new homes. Kensa ground source heat pumps can provide cooling as well as heating so can help home builders meet Part O regulations.

Using lighter weight materials in buildings like timber frames or SIPS results in a reduced thermal mass which can contribute to an increase in overheating. Part O also gives guidance on acceptable strategies for reducing overheating risk, which include limiting solar gains with shading devices, gazing designs, building designs, shading provided by adjacent buildings, and removing excess heat which must comply with other parts of the building regulations. Some of Kensa’s ground source heat pumps, including the Shoebox, can be configured to deliver passive cooling which is a relatively ‘un-mechanical’ means to remove excess heat as it only uses a circulation pump, and shouldn’t have an impact on other building regulations.

Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)

What is SAP?

SAP is the Government’s standard methodology for assessing the energy consumption in new domestic dwellings. Currently, SAP2012 is the methodology in the majority of places in the UK. However, SAP 10.1 will soon be the latest version of SAP – encompassing new and improved standards.

How do ground source heat pumps improve SAP ratings?

According to the 10.1 SAP proposal, ground source heat pumps could reduce CO² emissions by about 84% compared to gas and 89% compared to oil. Thanks to their efficiency, ground source heat pumps use renewable energy to reduce consumption, conform to carbon compliance and improve new builds’ SAP ratings.

How is SAP calculated?

The SAP scale runs from 1 (poor) to 100 (excellent) and is based on the estimated annual energy use for space heating, domestic hot water, ventilation and internal fixed lighting. A SAP score of 100 represents zero energy cost for these items. It can be above 100 for dwellings that are net exporters of energy.

Under the proposed SAP 10.1, carbon emission factors of different technologies will change. For example, the CO² factor of electricity will be reduced from 0.519 kgCO²/kWh to 0.136 kgCO²/kWh. This is a result of the rapid decarbonisation of the National Grid.

Ground source heat pumps can help dwellings achieve compliance with Building Regulations by reducing the Dwelling Emission Rate (DER). The DER and Target Emission Rate (TER) are calculated according to SAP for domestic buildings and are based on the CO² emissions. Meanwhile, the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) calculation is used for commercial projects.

How will SAP 10.1 impact heat pumps and gas?

Under the 10.1 SAP proposal, the actual CO² emission rate for providing heat to a building with a heat pump is 0.034 kg CO²/kWh. Compare this to gas, which also under the proposal, is 0.298 kg CO²/kWh and oil, which is 0.210 CO²/kWh.

As a consequence, the DER is significantly reduced. Such is the reduction, there might be an opportunity to downgrade the insulation specification and still achieve an acceptable DER. However, this tactic is not recommended because any increase in the property’s heat load will result in a higher flow temperature, a less efficient heat pump and higher running costs.

Later editions of the SAP software are likely to demonstrate even higher efficiencies as BRE, the auditors of the scheme, recognise improved performance data supplied by various manufacturers and the decarbonisation of the electricity grid. This means that the CO² emissions will be lower for a ground source heat pump than other non-renewable fuels.

What is the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM)?

SBEM uses a computer program developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) that provides an analysis of a commercial building’s energy consumption. It’s a recognised method to assist with compliance with the Part L Building Regulations in England and Wales. These regulations cover the conservation of fuel and power.

An SBEM Energy rating is not a design of the heating, ventilation or lighting system, which may be required for more complex building types. SBEM can be provided by some SAP assessors, or a Building Services Engineering Company.


What is it?

Passivhaus, translating to passive house, is a low-carbon approach to creating an energy-efficient building. By making the building as efficient as possible – through architectural design – its rooms require less energy for heating. This approach mainly focuses on new builds but can be applied to renovations or retrofits if necessary.

The Kensa Shoebox heat pump is ideal for Passivhaus developments due to its low heat and aural outputs, and high efficiencies.

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)

What is BREEAM?

BREEAM  is an approach to assessing and certifying the sustainability of new builds and renovations.

Kensa’s ground source heat pumps conform to the demands of BREEAM – the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings.


What is it?

ISO9001 is the world’s most recognized quality management standard. It’s the established policy of Kensa Heat Pumps to:

  • Satisfy our customers needs and expectations
  • Make commitments we fully understand and believe we can meet
  • Meet all these commitments to customers on time.

To enable this, we have implemented a management system, based on, but not limited to, the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:2015.

Permitted Development Rights

Do ground source heat pumps have Permitted Development Rights?

A ground source heat pump installation usually has Permitted Development Rights (PDR) which means it can be installed without the need to seek planning permissions. However, there may be some exceptions. For example, a property where more than one heat pump is installed, or projects where the ground array is more than 0.5 hectares away from the building.

TrustMark Accreditation

What is TrustMark?

TrustMark is a government-endorsed quality assurance scheme. Kensa Heat Pumps is TrustMark-accredited, which means we show a commitment to good customer service, technical competence, and sound trading practices.