HEAT PUMPS FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS
As the Government pushes forward with its ‘no new gas’ objective, housebuilders must start to disregard individual gas boilers.
Heat pumps, as it stands, offers the only viable alternative. However, in adopting this technology we need to consider the pressures that adopting and installing new heating technology brings to property developers: the balance between the environment, energy security and social impact.
In October 2019, the UK Government issued its consultation on the Future Housing Standards, a central piece of this policy proposes ‘no new gas’ from 2025 as part of the UK's drive to reduce climate change.
In truth, the UK is miles behind in installing heat pumps with circa 19 million required by 2050 and latest statistics saying 239,000 heat pumps have been installed at the end of 2019 and we are way behind the European Union lagging in 18th place. Simple maths says the average of the 28 member states is 1.4million (total 40 million) so we have a long way to go hit the target and residential development are a sure-fire way to gain real traction towards this number, but it needs to start now.
There is a compelling argument that heat pumps should now be the technology of choice for most developments, particularly residential schemes.
Ground source and air source heat pumps operate at a relatively low temperature, they don’t use a flammable fuel and in theory they can be located in a range of places.
This flexibility can fundamentally change the way a building is designed and frees up valuable space inside of the apartments or houses, as no boiler is required within them. This is particularly attractive for smaller apartments where space is at a premium.
As a reward for producing renewable and carbon-neutral energy, developments with more than 2 dwellings (i.e. pretty much all developments) can attract 20 years of quarterly payments through the RHI incentive. This is an attractive proposition for developers and helps provide an additional and long-term income stream.
Once the first heat pump system has been installed, planning future ones should become easier and easier and Severn Valley Renewables have our experts on hand to assist every step of the process. This includes planning, applying for grants, choosing the best system and technology and installing the heating system.