Why are heat pumps ideal for developments?
They achieve carbon compliance
Ground source heat pumps with Shared Ground Loop Arrays offer developers a cheaper and easier way to achieve carbon reduction targets, to meet and exceed building regulations.
For developers working to achieve more than 30% carbon savings compared to building regulations, SAP 10.1’s proposed reduction of the carbon emissions for electricity to 0.136 kgCo2/kWh means ultra-efficient ground source heat pumps have emerged as a simpler, more effective and efficient heating system. Especially when compared to traditional district heating measures such as gas CHP (Combined Heat and Power).
Under SAP 10, the carbon saving for ground source heat pumps compared to gas CHP is up to 70.9%. This makes carbon compliance easier and cheaper in developments – avoiding the costly addition of energy-saving measures, which gas CHP systems would otherwise require.
They save developers & purchasers money
The RHI is one of the many attractions for ground source heat pumps in developments. Developers can fund and retain ownership of the ground array to benefit from a 20-year income through the RHI.
Alternatively, developers can attract an external investor to fund the heat pump underground pipe network – the costliest element of a ground source heat pump system. This model is known as split ownership.
Split ownership reduces the system cost for developers, whilst securing the investor a 20-year income through the RHI. The ground array owner may be inclined to replicate a gas infrastructure and charge connection fees to the network. Meanwhile, the property purchaser retains ownership of the ground source heat pump to enjoy low-cost and low-carbon independent heating and hot water.
They can be combined with smart controls
Ground source heat pumps are unique in their ability to participate in load shifting initiatives. Their stable source temperature makes them well suited to running when the grid can best support it.
When ground source heat pumps are enhanced with smart controls, heating schedules can be cleverly programmed to learn the occupant’s preferences and building heat physics, automatically taking advantage of dynamic tariffs to run the heat pump when prices, and the carbon intensity of electricity, is at its lowest. Kensa models show that savings of 25% – 40% are achievable.
The combination of energy storage local to the heat pump will further lower grid demand. For example, it is cheaper to run a heat pump overnight because this is an off-peak time for electricity consumption. Heat can be stored in the night and used the following day, reducing the cost of consumption from the grid at peak times and therefore saving on heating bills and carbon. Smart controls use these external factors to help would-be purchasers make informed decisions with their heating. A great selling point for developments.
Daily average cost & carbon of electricity*
*Daily average cost and carbon graph: Base electricity charges based on Sheffield averaged on the Big Six once a month – average electricity cost per kWh (www.ukpower.co.uk/home-energy/tariffs-per-unit-kwh, www.nottenergy.com/energy_cost_comparison). Octopus Agile Tariff (average over 24hrs). Average CO2/kWh over 24hrs in winter (www.carbonintensity.org.uk)
They could replace gas systems by 2025
There are plans for the end of gas in new builds from 2025. This forms a part of government legislation to make the UK carbon-neutral by 2050 and follows the declaration of a global climate emergency.
It’s vital that developers anticipate a gas ban as part of future developments, as ground source heat pumps will be at the forefront of new-build heating options – rivalling and replacing the gas grid. Is it also the end for air source?