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Industry responds to heat pump trial results
Published:  14 August, 2013

The Energy Saving Trust released the results of phase 2 of its heat pump field trials last week, eliciting a mixed response from the industry.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) released the results of phase 2 of its heat pump field trials last week, eliciting a mixed response from the industry.

Phase 2 has built upon recommendations made following phase 1 in 2010, and indicates improved performance and efficiency in heat pumps. The new report shows that in the right home, air-source heat pump users could earn £1,350 a year, and ground-source heat pump users £3,000 a year, in savings and income.

BEAMA’s marketing director Kelly Butler (pictured) said: “This latest report gives real confidence to consumers that heat pumps offer a reliable alternative to traditional off-gas heat systems.

“Installers and designers are all working to high-quality standards under MCS, and with strong links to the forthcoming RHI, this robust quality scheme will deliver great incentive and fuel savings benefits, as the report shows.

“EST has done a great job in working with industry to identify, and plug, the knowledge gaps for applying heat-pump technology. Now we can confidently look forward to a strong future for heat pumps in the UK.”

The Heat Pump Association (HPA) also welcomed the findings, however expressed concern that the results could be misunderstood as representative of current practice, which it argues is not the case as “none of the sites are necessarily installed to current MCS standards”.

The HPA also claimed that if the heat pump systems are badly designed and installed – as was the case of some installations monitored over phase 1 – performance efficiency will seriously suffer. For this reason, the HPA said, the fuel cost savings demonstrated are poorer than would reasonably be expected from current installations, because they are based purely on the efficiency of the field trial results.