Central heating and hot water
Save on your energy bills
Reduce your carbon emissions
Government grants available
Your home must be well insulated
More attractive to homes off mains gas
Ground-Source Heat Pumps let you tap the natural heat energy in the ground, known as geothermal energy, to provide central heating and hot water for your home. They can help you to save on your energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions. Grants and incentives are also offered by the UK government to encourage their uptake.
A ground-source heat pump installation comprises two main elements: a collector that extracts heat from the ground, and an inside unit. It is typically powered by a level of electricity that is far exceeded by the amount of heat the system generates.
The collector consists of an array of pipework beneath ground level. There are two main types of collector: vertical ground collectors and lake collectors.
Vertical ground collectors make use of a number of boreholes of about 20 cm diameter each, which are drilled deep into the ground and typically extend down about 100 metres. The pipework is buried into these. The number of boreholes needed will vary depending upon the heating requirements of the building to be served, and upon the characteristics of the ground.
Lake collectors instead use horizontally configured loops of pipework that are weighted down to sit on the bottom of a body of water near your home. This may be a natural lake or pond or an artificial one. Only homes situated in large grounds or in remote areas near lakes are likely to bs suitable for lake collectors, but they do have the advantage of high efficiency and a relatively low cost of installation.
The inside unit contains a refrigeration circuit, which amplifies the heat collected, and then distributes it through your domestic copper piping to your home’s central heating and hot water systems.
Planning permission is not usually required where the collector falls within your own grounds, but this should be checked with your local authority. The use of lake collectors in lakes situated outside your private property will require the permission of the landowner, and in these cases, you are advised to consult the local water company too to ensure there are no issues related to the supply of drinking water.
Ground-Source Heat Pumps are less likely to be an attractive choice for homes without a reasonably sized garden, although a vertical (bore hole) collector can address this. See above.
A Ground-Source Heat Pump is unlikely to be a good choice if your home isn’t well insulated. Good levels of roof, floor and wall insulation are desirable as are double glazed windows. Ground-Source Heat Pumps also work better with low temperature central heating systems (e.g. oversized radiators).
Heat Pump Installation Enquiries
Save on your energy bills
A typical ground-source heat pump running on 1 kWh of electricity is designed to generate around 2.5 kWh of energy to heat your home, giving you a net gain of 1.5kWh of free energy. In other words, the system runs at an efficiency level of 250%. So although your electricity consumption will go up somewhat to power the system, this will be more than compensated for by the huge savings you make on your consumption of the fuel powering your central heating.
As a result, the installation of a ground-source heat pump will tend to help you to reduce your overall household energy bills unless the cost per kWh of electricity to your home is more than 250% of that of the fuel that currently supplies your central heating.
Suppose for example you currently have gas-powered central heating powered by a modern boiler running at 90% efficiency, and the price of each kWh of electricity supplied to your home by your energy supplier is three or four times that of each kWh of mains gas. In such circumstances, the economic case for a ground-source heat pump may not stack up at the present time, but with today’s rising gas prices and the prospect of ever-more incentives to decarbonise the national energy supply on the horizon, a ground-source heat pump installation can still be a valuable investment for the future as well as one that immediately reduces your carbon footprint.
If on the other hand you live off the mains gas grid and have to rely on oil-fired central heating or electric heating, the purely economic case for installing a ground-source heat pump may already be a very strong one today.
The table below identifies the savings that the Energy Savings Trust suggests might be made by replacing an existing heating system with an average Ground-Source Heat Pump in an average detached 4-bedroomed home. Find out more about these figures.
|Existing System||Saving per year||RHI income per year*|
|Gas (Older non condensing)||£410 to £595||£2,610 to £3,940|
|Electric (Older non condensing)||£830 to £1,465||£2,610 to £3,940|
|Oil (Older non condensing)||£475 to £725||£2,610 to £3,940|
|LPG (Older non condensing)||£1,315 to £1,975||£2,610 to £3,940|
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) offers UK homeowners government grants of up to £6000 towards the initial installation cost of Ground Source Heat Pumps, subject to eligibility criteria being met. The chief criterion is to have a valid EPC certificate whose home insulation recommendations have been implemented. Applications can only be made for installations that commenced on or after 1 April 2022. The opening date for applications in 23 May 2022. BUS has replaced the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (DRHI), which closed to new applicants on 31 March 2022.
Why use Gregor for your Ground-Source Heat Pump installation?
At Gregor, we employ a team of expert heating engineers to survey your property and install your ground-source heat pump. All our heat pump engineers are fully NEC-EIC-qualified.
If you would like to make an appointment to have one of our heating engineers assess the feasibility of a ground-source heat pump installation in your home, don’t delay, call Gregor today on 0117 935 2400 or 01225 738 397 and ask to speak to our Renewables team.
Underfloor Heating Case Study
Avon Valley Railway
Rose and Margaret have hosted numerous birthdays, receptions and other special events. However, at around 40 metres in length and poorly insulated, keeping them heated at a comfortable level in winter was proving difficult. When the summer months arrived there was also an issue of over-heating due to the high amount of glazing.
Our brief therefore required us to install a convenient heating solution that addressed both of these issues and would enable the Avon Valley Railway to provide its guests with a first- class, comfortable dining environment all year round.