This recent uptick in demand for heat pumps can be put down to several growing influences:
- Increased efficiency of heat pump systems which makes them more attractive than in the past
- Growing public awareness of carbon emissions and their global effects
- A global increase in government policies and funding to encourage the uptake of renewables.
In the UK there have been several grants and schemes to support homeowner investment into ground and air source heat pumps. Currently the only active grant is the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which offers funding for both ground and air source heat pumps – the main requirements for eligibility are a new installation, and a seasonal coefficient of performance of at least 2.5 (which means it provides 2.5x as much energy as it draws from the grid). For more information on funding from the RHI, read our article here.
Seasonal coefficient of performance
Heat pumps are classed as a renewable energy source because they extract heat from the environment, however the heat pump itself still requires an electricity supply. For this reason, a metric called the seasonal coefficient of performance (SCOP) is used to measure the ratio of electricity input to heat output – this makes it easy to work out how much you’ll be saving on your heating bills. Warmaway exclusively uses Nibe products due to their heat pump quality and reliability in both residential and commercial applications. Because we use a single supplier, it gives us a wealth of experience with their heat pumps and helps us fit each customer with the perfect system for their situation.
|Seasonal coefficient of performance at different flow temperatures.|
|Ground Source Heat Pump||Air Source Heat Pump|
The water temperature you have flowing into your central heating from your heat pump will also play a role in your overall efficiency, as will your heating system e.g. radiators or underfloor heating. If you’re using lower temperatures then your ratio of heat energy : electricity will be much more efficient.
When reading this table, it’s worth keeping in mind that the figure is a ratio of electricity into the heat pumps vs heating out. E.g. at a flow temperature of 45°C the model S1155 ground source heat pump will be producing 4.33 units of heat for every 1 unit of electricity that is being used.
This helps to explain why heat pumps are considered a renewable energy even though they’re still reliant on electricity to function. For the more environmentally conscious, these heating systems can be paired with the use of solar cells to make the heating system completely independent of any fossil fuels. Learn more about solar energy solutions.