Alto Energy | Blog

Are Heat Pumps The Go-To Solution For House builders?

In this blog, we assess the growing number of reasons why heat pumps are the go-to solution for house builders and developers. As well as the benefits to the appeal, running costs and energy efficiency of the property, it might not be long before the Government make heat pumps the mandatory option.

The Government Clean Energy Strategy

Most recently amended in April 2018, the Government's Clean Growth Strategy sets out the UK's strategy to achieve an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to 1990 levels.

Heating in buildings and industry accounts for 32% of the UK's emissions, and is therefore a big target area for the Government to implement new policies and measures to reduce those emissions.

Two of the Government's stated key policy areas are:

"Improving the energy efficiency of our homes"
"Rolling out low carbon heating"
 

Rolling out low carbon heating

So what does "rolling out low carbon heating" actually mean? It means installing heating technologies in UK homes that produce low or zero levels of carbon dioxide emissions.

Traditional fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil and LPG produce carbon dioxide emissions during combustion. These "on-site" emissions are virtually impossible to reduce or control.

Heat pumps operate using only a little bit of electricity: approximately 1 unit for every 4 units of heat delivered. Whilst this already means that no on-site emissions are produced (as all emissions are produced at the power plant), the UK electricity grid is decarbonising fast.

This means that the carbon emissions resulting from a heat pump are incredibly low, and are set to be even lower in the future as more low and zero emission electricity sources are brought on stream.

Annual CO2 Emissions by Heat Source

Tonnes CO2 per year based on typical 20MWh heating requirement

This chart demonstrates quite clearly that by 2030 the annual emissions for a house heated with a heat pump with be SEVEN times less than the same house heated by an oil boiler!

 

Making Heat Pumps Mandatory

The key statements relating to heat pumps in the Clean Growth Strategy are the following:

"Phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing homes currently off the gas grid during the 2020s, starting with new homes"
"This could involve all new homes off the gas grid from the mid-2020s being heated by a low carbon system, such as a heat pump."

This statement suggests that as soon as within the next five years, heat pumps will be the go-to heating technology for house builders in off gas grid areas.


Why Wait - Choose Heat Pumps Today!

Here at Alto Energy, we believe there is already sufficient carrot in choosing heat pumps, and there is no reason to wait and rely on the stick. Below are some of the many benefits of choosing heat pumps over traditional fossil fuel options.

1. Appeal

Heat pumps are proven to be an appealing option for consumers purchasing a new home when compared to other off gas grid alternatives. Heating oil and LPG tie the homeowner into an unnecessary dependence on expensive fuel deliveries.

Heat pumps also offer significantly lower running costs compared to other off gas grid fuel choices. Heating oil and LPG prices can be volatile, particularly in winter. Running cost savings with heat pump technology are usually in excess of 50%.

2. IMPROVED SAP SCores

By reducing the running cost of the building, this has a direct effect on the SAP score for the property. Low running costs lead to a higher SAP score, which leads to a more attractive property for the prospective purchaser.

3. Easier Compliance with Part L

By reducing the carbon dioxide emissions from the heating and hot water system in the building, this makes a significant  contributes to the carbon reduction targets for the building within Part L of the Building Regulations.

4. Government Incentives

As a general rule heat pumps installed by developers in housing developments are not eligible for the Government's Renewable Heat Incentive ("RHI"). However, certain new builds are eligible, and these are classed as Custom Builds.

A property is custom-built where an individual funds the construction and either commissions a builder or architect to create a ‘custom-built’ property for them or builds it themselves as a DIY ‘self-build’ project.

In this case, you can earn up to £4,500 per year under the scheme, which provides a significant return on investment for the installation of heat pump technology.


Interested In Heat Pumps For Your New Build Development?