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You and Yours (and mine!)

You and Yours is a consumer programme broadcasting to 3.2million people a week, so around 600 thousand people heard this article.

For those of you who haven't heard it, it was based on the Energy Savings Trust's report on heat pumps. The report, which has been discussed elsewhere, says that 80% of heat pumps are inefficient and don't operate as the manufacturers claim. This is mostly because of bad installation, bad sizing and bad commissioning.

Tony Bowen of the Heat Pump Association did a sterling job of batting away the criticisms. He suggested the 83 units in this study were all early installations by inexperienced installers. He also said installers now are better trained and those with MCS accreditation know what they are doing and will install a heat pump which will be much more efficient than in this sample.

Apparently, according to EST, when a study on condensing boilers was conducted 20 years ago, surprise, surprise, the results were similar to this, and most units didn't meet the manufacturer's claims.

The causes of the lower than published efficiencies were mostly because of bad installation, bad sizing and bad commissioning. Now 20 years later things are much better as engineers have more experience.

It appears the EST is doing a second study on heat pumps to see if there is any improvement now.

I'm sure results will be much better a year from now.

But just to make sure I offer this challenge: if anyone from the EST wants to see a unit running with incredible efficiencies then come and test the heat pump in my house.
Posted by Graham Hendra 21 September 2010 12:21:20 Categories: Graham's Gossip


By David
21 September 2010 12:22:20
I am currently doing a major refurb and extension on my farmhouse. I was looking forward to having a heat pump but decided I would do some sums first. What I discovered was by insulating to current building regs the payback on the heat pump would be 11 years as savings against LPG. However when I did a calculation based on 2016 levels of insulation payback was 33 years. The reason is of course the less heat you need the less sophisticated and complicated the heat source needs to be. Insulation and heat recovery is to my mind the key to a greener home.The cost of wider cavity, double the current insulation requirement cost considerably less than a heat pump. The current building regulations are favourable to a heat pump installation and is a window of opportunity but, as insulation levels increase, I think that heat pumps (unless they get a lot cheaper)will not be a favoured option.
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