37 Blackshawhead households sign up for discounted air source heat pump survey

37 Blackshawhead households have signed up for an air source heat pump (ASHP) survey following Blackshawhead Environmental Action Team’s meeting, where households off the gas network  found about from  British Gas about the company’s discount scheme for installing a new smart central heating system using an air source heat pump.

Air source heat pump - the bit outside the house

The surveys carry no obligation and are intended to see if houses are suitable for the heat pump/central heating system.
Please contact Finn Jensen if you’d like more information.
BEAT cannot judge the detail of the British Gas discount offer  but it appears attractive. We believe that residents of Blackshaw Head are well placed to benefit and may be interested, so we pass on the information below.


British gas info
British Gas is inviting households who are off the natural gas network to join the UK’s largest ‘smart grid’ project –the so-called  Customer Led Network Revolution. Until the end of 2012 British Gas can offer up to 45% off the cost of the installation of an air source heat pump.
British Gas would install a heat pump and associated parts to replace an existing boiler at a substantial discount in exchange for participation in the trial starting this winter. At the end of the non-intrusive trial the house owner will be free to keep the advanced system.
BEAT understands that the benefits of heating by heat pump include:
  • significant savings in heating costs (typically 40% less than oil or LPG)
  •  low maintenance costs
  • freedom from fuel deliveries
  • significant reduction in carbon footprint
The savings may be boosted next year when the government’s yet-to-be finalised Renewable Heat Incentive is expected to subsidise heating costs further for green heating systems which include heat pumps.
British Gas report that the typical cost of an installation for this trial, after discount, is about £5,000.


How efficient and “green” are air-source heat pumps?
The efficiency of air-source heat pumps is measured by the Co-efficient of performance (COP) – the ratio of units of heat energy produced to one unit of electricity used to drive the heat pump. So a COP of 3 means the pump produces 3 units of heat energy for every 1 unit of electricity it uses.
The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) says that, because the COP drops as outdoor air temperature falls, factors such as low winter temperatures mean that the COP is rarely as high as the figures quoted in company brochures. It reports that an Energy Saving Trust field trial of 83 heat pumps in the UK found that the average COP for air source heat pumps was 2.1 – but points out that these were early models of ASHPs and that their efficiency will increase with newer models. There is some CAT info about the environmental friendliness of ASHPs here.

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