Home Heating Guide: Energy Saving Trust’s Heat Pump Field Trial could be Potent for Home Heating Industry

The Home heating industry has welcomed the findings of the Energy Saving Trust’s (EST) heat pump field trial which found that heat pumps can reduce carbon emissions and reduce home heating bills if applied correctly. Home Heating Guide, the UK’s leading online resource for homeowners regarding all domestic central heating, boiler and renewable energy-related issues, believes the findings will benefit the industry and help develop the technology to improve productivity.

Rumours suggested the trial results had been leaked prior to the official release, with reports claiming the Energy Saving Trust had found the technology to be insufficient at lowering carbon emissions and bill costs.

However, according to the trial release, correctly designed, specified and installed heat pumps can reduce both emissions and the cost of bills.

The report identified areas such as design, commissioning and user operation as sectors that could further developed- key areas that the industry now needs to focus on to make the relevant improvements.

The trial was conducted at 83 different sites and looked at technical performance and user behaviour across a cross-section of domestic properties in the UK and using different heat pumps from a variety of manufacturers.

And the findings said well-installed heat pumps could achieve valuable savings particularly when installed off the gas grid – replacing fuels such as LPG and oil – but whole house efficiencies can vary widely.

The Energy Saving Trust said a heat pump could be a consideration for anyone living in a well-insulated home with no access to the gas network and anyone who has low-temperature under-floor heating or properly sized radiators.

David Holmes, founder of Home Heating Guide, said: “These results are very much in line with what the industry expected. However, they have at least shown that heat pumps are not a dead technology as you would have expected from reading reports in the news recently.

“Now that the industry knows what improvements need to be made and where, developments will move on to make this a feasible option for homeowners in all situations and locations.

“The technology qualifies for the Renewable Heat Incentive, so the industry will be working against the clock to make the steps in the right direction before April next year.”

The report also said that heat pumps currently will provide a lower temperature heating compared with boilers, meaning radiators will be warm rather than hot, and a home will take longer to warm up.

The heat pump will also be in operation for longer than a boiler, but if monitored and controlled can be managed around when heating is required.  And a properly sized and installed heat pump should be able to provide all of a household’s domestic hot water, but many systems are installed with a supplemental electric immersion heater.

For further information on heat pumps or any other heating alternative, please visit www.homeheatingguide.co.uk.

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