Ground Source Heat Pumps

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  • Author John Mac
  • Published February 28, 2023
  • Word count 518

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) are becoming a popular alternative to traditional heating systems in the UK due to their eco-friendliness and energy-saving capabilities. GSHPs are feasible in the UK climate, as the ground temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year, making it a reliable source of energy.

GSHPs work by extracting heat from the ground and using it to warm a building. A loop of pipe is buried underground, which contains a fluid that absorbs heat from the ground. The fluid is then pumped through a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat to the heating and hot water systems of a building. This process is highly efficient, as it requires less energy to extract heat from the ground than to generate it from fossil fuels.

The cost of installing a GSHP system varies depending on the size of the building and the complexity of the system. On average, the cost of installation can range from £9,000 to £17,000, excluding the cost of excavation and installation of the underground pipes. Despite the initial cost, GSHPs can save a significant amount of money on energy bills in the long run. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a GSHP system can reduce heating bills by up to 40% compared to traditional heating systems.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a government scheme designed to encourage the use of renewable heating systems, ended in 2022. However, the savings on energy bills make GSHPs still a cost-effective option in the long term.

In addition to cost savings, GSHPs have other benefits, including reduced carbon emissions. GSHPs emit far less carbon dioxide than traditional heating systems, making them a more environmentally friendly option. Furthermore, GSHPs do not rely on fossil fuels, which are finite resources, and are therefore more sustainable in the long term.

However, GSHPs are not suitable for all properties. The installation of GSHPs requires a sufficient amount of space for the underground pipes, and the building must be properly insulated to ensure the system is efficient. Properties with limited outdoor space or poor insulation may not be suitable for GSHPs.

In conclusion, Ground Source Heat Pumps are a highly efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional heating systems in the UK. Despite the initial cost of installation, GSHPs can save a significant amount of money on energy bills in the long run, and have the added benefit of reducing carbon emissions. However, not all properties may be suitable for GSHPs, and it is important to consider factors such as space and insulation before deciding to install a GSHP system.

UPDATE – As of Feb 2023 its worth noting that a typical household energy bill is set to rise rise to £3,000 per Annum in April. Even with the projected saving mentioned by the Energy Saving Trust of 40% – £1200/year it will take 7.5 years (14 years at higher estimate) to pay off the lower projected installation cost (not including ground work and piping) so unless the Government start up a new scheme to help with installation costs GSHP’s are out of reach of the vast majority of UK households.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground Source Heat Pumps

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