049 BP 1016

BP 10 October 2016

THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE AIR Air source heat pumps can play a significant role in the future Government energy and heating strategy, as Richard Paine explains. Some 70% of the energy used in the UK home is for heating and hot water and with a recent report by the National Grid stating that energy could double in price over the next two decades, the UK clearly needs to harness alternative, cost effective and sustainable sources of energy and heating. This was a theme that was also reiterated in Secretary of State for Environment, Andrea Leadsom’s speech to Utility Week Energy Summit where security, affordability, and decarbonisation were outlined as key tenets of the Government’s energy and environmental policy. Leadsom continually stressed the need to explore varied and innovative sources of energy to safeguard its supply and deliver cost efficient and sustainable energy and heating solutions for UK households stating, “This Government is committed to keeping bills low for families”. There is no all-encompassing answer to the UK’s energy dilemma. Alongside improving the manner in which energy is consumed, all facets of society must seek alternative, more affordable, and sustainable long-term solutions. Therefore, industry-recognised alternatives to traditional heating solutions, such as air source heat pumps can become a vital part of the social and Governmental push to provide a cost effective and energy efficient heating solution for the domestic housing sector. To have a genuine and widespread impact on energy security and sustainability, the heat pump sector needs to increase the awareness of the technology, and its inherent benefits among developers and homeowners. However, there is positive news with Delta-ee Heat Insight Service 2016 reporting that 53% of homeowners find air source heat pumps an appealing technology. In fact, driven by the technology’s potential to reduce on-going running costs, providing a tangible return on investment, the heat pump sector is set to experience exponential growth over the coming decade. Delta-ee forecasts that heat pump installations will reach 25,000 per year by 2020 and further and substantial growth for the heat pump market is anticipated in 2025, when energy-focused new build regulations are predicted to come into effect. Significantly, increasingly the legislative requirements for the incorporation of energy efficiency and renewable technologies within new build applications, post-2025 growth will be mainly driven by the new-build residential sector. For new and retrofit properties off mains gas, air source heat pumps are therefore becoming the go-to heating system, as developers identify and recognise the importance of the lifetime operating costs for the householder and seek lower cost, RENEWABLES OCTOBER 2016 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 49


BP 10 October 2016
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