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A ground source heat pump will use pipes buried beneath the ground to absorb the heat from the earth, which stays at a constant temperature all year round. It is best used with underfloor heating to provide  energy-efficient way to heat a property.

Benefits of a ground source heat pump

Similar to air source pumps, a ground source heat pump will deliver heat a lower temperature than a boiler, but over a longer period of time. It is best used in conjunction with under floor heating but can also be used to heat radiators or hot water.

Ground source heat pumps require very little maintenance and as the ground stays at a constant temperature, it can be used all year round.

How does it work?

A ground source heat pump absorbs energy from the ground via a series of pipes laid under your garden. Heat absorbed into a fluid within the system and then pumped into a heat exchanger, which in turn ‘pushes’ this heat into your home.

How much does a ground source heat pump cost?

This will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your property, your energy requirements and the land available to install the heat pump.

Typically, the total cost of the unit and installation (including digging the necessary trenches or boreholes) will be approximately £7,000 – £15,000.

It is recommended to approach three accredited installers who will visit your property and conduct a free survey. This will allow them to better understand your requirements and provide an accurate quotation.

Ground source heat pump grants

  • System must be installed before March 2014
  • The Renewable Heating Premium Payment Scheme pays up to £850 towards an air source heat pump and up to £1250 for a ground source heat pump.
  • The money is issued in vouchers which can be used to purchase the equipment. There is no indication of when these grants will end, so homeowners are advised to secure their grant as soon as possible.
  • Funding will only be given to those people who already have adequate insulation installed within their home.
  • The installer must be MCS accredited to be able to claim your grant.
  • You WILL be eligible for the renewable heat incentive when it is launched in spring 2014.

Is my home suitable?

As the name suggests, a ground source heat pump will require a borehole or trench to be dug so that the system can access heat within the ground. You’ll need enough space in the land surrounding your property for this work to be carried out, how much will depend on the size of system required.

As with any renewable energy, basic levels of loft insulation are a must and better insulated your property, the more efficient the system will be.

You’ll find greater savings when replacing an existing electric or oil system with a ground source heat pump. Those using mains gas are advised that the payback period may not be sufficient to justify a heat pump.

A heat pump installer will carry out a survey and draw up any necessary plans to ensure your home is suitable.

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