FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Severn Valley Renewables have complied a list of FAQs that our customers have asked us. From the basic to the more complex questions, please see your FAQs below and please do contact us if you have any questions that have not been answered below.

In simple terms, a heat pump can obtain and extract energy from renewable sources such as ground, air and water. It used the earth’s natural resources and environmentally clever technology to turn this into heat – whether for heating or hot water, or both. It can also provide air conditioning too. Severn Valley Renewables specialise in ground source heat pumps, which uses heat from the ground and turns it into energy, and air source heat pumps that uses heat from the air and turns it into energy.

A Ground Source Heat Pump is a modern renewable energy heating system.  The ground holds a stable temperature of 8 to 12°C all year round, making the source constant and reliable. Even if the ground is frozen on the surface, the soil/clay further down has enough warmth to provide energy. The ground source heat pump extracts low-temperature solar energy in the ground using pipework buried beneath the surface and compresses this energy into a much higher temperature. This heat pump can provide a residential building, larger development or commercial premises with 100% of its heating all year around. Eliminating the need to have a conventional gas boiler for example and much more efficient (and cost effective)

An air source heat pump is usually placed outdoors at the side or back of a property. It takes heat from the air and boosts it to a higher temperature using a heat pump. The pump needs electricity to run, but it will use much less electrical energy than the heat it produces, usually 4-5 times less electricity than traditional heating systems. An ASHP uses a refrigerant system involving a compressor and a condenser to absorb heat at one place and release it at another.

A ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe, called a ground loop, which is buried in your garden. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump.

An Air Source Heat Pump – often shortened to ASHP – works by transferring heat absorbed from the outside air to an indoor space via the wet central heating systems to provide hot water, heat radiators and underfloor heating systems. This is usually a home, office or commercial premises such as a manufacturing facility. Heat pumps work similarly to refrigerators but in opposite – they absorb heat and transfer it to another medium.

There are a number of factors affecting the cost of installation such as the age and size of your property, the levels of insulation and thermal efficiency, the number of rooms and radiators, etc, so it is difficult to give even an average idea of cost.

Depending on the complexity of the system and the size of the property, residential vs commercial etc, the price can range from £7,000 to £35,000. It is difficult to forecast without knowing more details about the property.

However, installations are eligible for 7 years of payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive, which significantly reduces the payback period. You should also make savings on your monthly energy bill so will notice a difference almost immediately.

The Green Homes Grant is also available until the 31st March 2022.

We don’t know of any of our customers that haven’t had a very good Return on Investment after installing a heat pump, the pay-back period in energy savings and obtaining income via grants can be astonishingly quick, and every year after that is an added bonus financially. Plus you are doing your bit to save the planet too.

Severn Valley Renewables will be able to give you quotations based on your requirements, new build vs existing property, ground source vs air source etc – so please contact our experts today for a no obligation quotation.

Again, this depends on what stage the property is at. If it is a new build for example, and we have access to the plot in the initial stages, installation could only be 1-2 days total as we work around your house build stages. Other larger existing properties may take longer.

Allow 3 days maximum as a rule of thumb.

That said, Severn Valley Renewables are experts in both ground source and air source heat pumps with many installations under our belt, and we are efficient yet professional in our installation process.

A quick and simple answer is “no” – whether this is a ground source or air source heat pump. The latest technology means that they are no noisier than a conventional gas boiler and often much quieter. You probably won’t hear them unless in very close proximity.

Yes, the beauty of heat pumps is that both ground source and air source heat pumps can still generate all the hot water and heating you’ll need for your property, even if it is up to -20 degrees centigrade outside. That temperature is very rare indeed in the UK and even then, you’d be very high up in the Scottish Highlands!

Yes, the Apps for heat pumps are just as sophisticated as the Apps for other heating systems. Everything can be controlled and programmed via a touch of a button and you can see the real-time temperature of your UK property from anywhere in the world.

The two current incentives are the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the Green Homes Grant.

The Domestic RHI has a 7-year income for domestic installations and the Non-Domestic RHI – for commercial and district (larger scale) heating schemes has quarterly payments up to over a 20-year period.

The Green Homes Grant scheme supports green energy efficient measures in existing (not new) homes and runs until 31st March 2022. After this date, the scheme is re-named and the financial incentives fall significantly.

The Green Homes Grant provides vouchers up to 66% / two-thirds of green home improvement costs, up to a maximum of £5,000. Low-income households – under pre-determined criteria, may be eligible for vouchers up to £10,000 and 100% of the costs.

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