How can I get a heat pump?

Have you decided that now is the right time to change your current heating system and replace it with something more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly? If so, then you have probably come across Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) as part of your research. There are a number of advantages that Air Source Heat Pumps have over other types of heating sources, including:

  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • No more fuel deliveries required
  • Can heat water and your home
  • Minimal maintenance is required
  • Your fuel bills will be reduced, especially if you are replacing a more conventional form of electric heating
  • The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) offers a potential income via the UK government
  • It can be easier to install than other systems including ground source heat pump

While it is true that during the winter months you may require your ASHP to be on all the time in order to heat your home efficiently, it is important to remember that this will provide you with an excellent all-round ambient temperature rather than “hot spots”.

In addition to this, unlike oil or gas boilers, heat pumps can deliver lower temperatures of heat over a much more extended period. ASHP used in conjunction with proper insulation to your home (cavity wall and loft insulation), will give you the best, most cost-effective results.

How can I pay?

When making any significant purchase, whether it be ASHP or any other item for the home, it is important to remember that not everyone can afford to pay the full amount upfront. Fortunately, when it comes to ASHP, there are a number of payment options that are readily available. These include:

Able to Buy (ATB)

In some cases, a homeowner may be in the position financially that allows them to purchase their ASHP outright. When this is the case, they will be able to benefit from the savings they make immediately as well as being able to potentially generate alternative income from schemes like the RHI for seven years following the purchase. This means the homeowner can purchase the system outright and is not tied into any contracts or credit agreements and doesn’t owe any interest, either.

Asset Finance

In many cases, people are not able to pay for their new system outright, and this is where finance can be a good way of dealing with the issue. The savings that you will see in your bills will help you towards paying off any finance that has been secured for your ASHP, and once this has been paid off, you should then see savings on your overall bills. Finance arrangements can vary, but typical loan agreement periods will vary from 5-7 years with interest rates usually being in the range of 2.5% - 4%. Finance agreements are subject to status and may not be available to everyone.

Assignment of Rights (AoR)

For those people who cannot buy the system upfront and may not be able to get finance, then Assignment of Rights may be the best way forward. Under this agreement, the company installing the system will fund the purchase and installation. They will then also be entitled to receive the rights to any RHI payments that are made. This allows the customer to benefit from a new heating system and improved energy rating and, of course, a reduction in energy bills.

What is RHI, and how does it work?

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a financial reward that is given to homeowners for installing a system in their home that uses a renewable energy source. Payments are made on a quarterly basis for a period of up to 7 years. These payments can help to offset the costs incurred as a result of installing the system.

What are the typical energy savings?

Obviously, the typical savings that can be made will vary from one property to another. Variables that will have an impact on how much you can save are the size of the property and also the type of system you currently have in place. Your savings may also be affected by how well insulated your house may be. Typical energy savings will range from around £350 per annum for houses that currently use coal, up to £1200 for those houses with an old G-rated LPG boiler. The company installing your new system will be able to give you a better indication of the savings based on your current set up.

What are the typical carbon emission reductions?

Carbon emission reductions will also vary depending on the type of system that you already have in place. You could expect to see savings ranging from 3450kg (if you have an old electric storage heater) up to 9800kg if you currently use coal.

The ASHP we use

We use two types of ASHP:

What about the installation process?

When installing an Air source heat pump at your property, a good company will try to be as non- invasive as possible. The amount of disruption that may be necessary will obviously depend on the type of property that you have and of course, the existing system that is in place. In order to run as effectively as possible, it may be necessary to consider insulation for your property if it is not already in place, this is easy to sort out and can be done with the minimum of disruption. Most ASHP do not need any type of planning permission. However, this is something that will be discussed with you, if planning permission is required, and this is usually only necessary for older buildings, it is not difficult to apply for. On average it will take no more than 1 or 2 days to install a new system but in a larger property it may take a little longer.

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