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30 Jan 2013 08:01:10

ENER-G welcomes proposed doubling of Renewable Heat Incentive tariff for ground source heat pumps

Paul Burley, General Manager, ENER-G Sustainable Technologies
ENER-G has welcomed the proposed increase in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for ground source heat pumps in commercial, industrial and community buildings - stating that this would provide a 'level playing field' with other qualifying renewable technologies

Energy Minister Greg Barker has instructed his RHI team at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to expedite a review of the existing tariff that could see it double to a recommended 9.4p per kWh, with all future Phase 1 RHI applications made from 21 January offered at a higher rate.

Paul Burley, Managing Director of ENER-G Sustainable Technologies, said: "The increased RHI payments would dramatically reduce the payback period on ground source heat pumps, providing guaranteed fixed, inflation linked payments over 20 years. This would make the technology a financially attractive option for organisations seeking to use renewables to drive carbon reduction.

A 99kW ground source heat pump operating 1,500 full load hours a year – typical for a school or moderately sized business premises – could qualify for a payment of £13,959 over the 20 year duration of the 9.4p/kWh tariff (based upon 148,500 kW hours of heat produced per annum). This is in addition to cost savings from displacing energy sourced from fossil fuels.

The government review was prompted by figures showing that only 2% of RHI payments had been made to owners of heat pump installations. The government has acknowledged differences between actual costs and load factors used in its original tariff level calculations.

Brian Kennelly, chairman of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association, said: "Our submitted evidence supports an increase of tariff rates to 9.4p/kWh. This will provide the much-need certainty to the market and encourage increased take up of the technology. It's great news that DECC have recognised the omissions in the data and are revisiting the tariff levels so that this low carbon technology can flourish and so significantly improve Britain's environmental credentials."

Heat pumps supply more energy than they consume by using a refrigeration cycle to absorb heat from the environment and raise it to a suitable level for space heating or hot water. Additionally these systems can operate in reverse to provide high efficiency cooling, this combination often leads to a reduced installation cost compared with heating only systems and reduces the need for externally sited plant.
Heat pumps can provide a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to traditional technologies. Ground source heat pumps can be combined with other sustainable technologies, such as solar thermal and combined heat and power to drive even greater cost and carbon reduction benefits.

ENER-G Sustainable Technologies provides one of the widest selections of ground source heat pump technologies in the UK, ranging from 1kW to 1000kW capacity. The company operates its own drilling rigs and offers complete in-house services from specialist design, through to complete project management, installation and maintenance.

For further information contact ENER-G Sustainable Technologies.

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