npower Heat pumps

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an Air Source Heat Pump cost?

There are many different Air Source Heat Pumps readily available in the market with varying degrees of quality, capability, efficiencies and costs. Full cost of installation is typically from £6000 to £13,000. The cost of the Air Source Heat Pumps depends on the size and manufacturer of the unit but it is important to specify the right product for the right property. Please see our example costs for an indicative cost and payback. Please note that installation costs will vary depending on each individual household and what additional work is required to ensure a heat pump provides best efficiency. A technical survey is needed to understand what size heat pump is right for your property along with any additional work needed.

Are Heat Pumps expensive to run?

Potentially heat pumps can be a much cheaper source of heating compared to oil, LPG, electric and solid fuel heating systems. To ensure the heat pump is running efficiently and costs kept low, the water temperature rate needs to be operated at approximately 45 degrees. The hotter the water temperature, the less efficient the heat pump will be and potentially higher the operating costs. In addition, the house needs to be energy efficient with high levels of insulation and low draft levels.

Electricity is more expensive per kWHh than oil, so how are Air Source Heat Pumps cheaper
to heat the home?

For every 1kWh of electricity fed into a heat pump unit (i.e.the outdoor part of the heating system), you could get 3kWh of heating energy. The overall system efficiency and energy savings will depend on the comparison with your current heating system, satisfactory system design and installation, and operational settings i.e. how you use the heating system**

**Mitsubishi Electric UK, September 2013.

Wha financial incentives are available to me?

Air Source Heat Pumps are included in the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) for properties that use oil, liquid gas, solid fuel or electricity as a source of heating. This scheme will pay a £1,300 voucher towards the installation cost of an Air Source Heat Pump. The heat pump must adhere to RHPP regulations and must have been installed from between 1st August 2011 and when the domestic RHI is launched on 1st April 2014. More information on this can be found at www.ofgem.gov.uk

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a Government back financial support scheme, designed to encourage the uptake of renewable energy using Feed in Tariffs. The RHI will be launched in Spring 2014. To be entitled to receive the RHI, your property must have a Green Deal Assessment Report, and the installation must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and meet all relevant required standards for each technology.

The scheme will cover single domestic dwellings and will be open to owner-occupiers, private landlords, Registered Providers of Social Housing, third party owners of heating systems and self builders. It will not be open to new build properties other than self-build. To find out more about the Renewable Heat Incentive please visit www.ofgem.gov.uk

What is COP and why is this important?

The Co-efficient of Performance (COP) of a heat pump is the amount of useful energy delivered by the heat pump divided by the energy it consumes. This is an important factor when considering installing a heat pump and also what heat pump to install, as the COP will vary between different heat pumps. Furthermore, the COP will differ depending on variable factors such as outside temperature, temperature of the hot water and the speed of the water flow rate. All of these will affect the overall COP. By choosing npower, we will work with you to inform you how best to use your heat pump and in turn ensure the best COP can be achieved.

Will water still be hot enough?

Air Source Heat Pumps could provide every day hot water needs. While we recommend that the water temperature is kept as low as possible (around 45 degrees) to ensure high efficiency, heat pumps can still provide water up to 60 degrees.

Are Air Source Heat Pumps hard to maintain?

Air Source Heat Pumps are relatively easy to maintain. We recommend that a heat pump is serviced once a year by a qualified technician. Cost of servicing can vary depending on type of heat pump and engineer used, but costs are typically comparable to an annual boiler service. The service will ensure the heat pump is working to best efficiency and is necessary to cover your 5 year product warranty.

Are Air Source Heat Pumps noisey?

Some older generation of heat pumps were noisey due to their compressors. However, newer heat pumps are much quieter. A typical Air Source Heat Pump is approximately the same noise as a dishwasher (45dB at 1 metre).

Will they work when it’s cold outside?

Yes, some heat pumps can work at temperatures as low as -20ºC, which is highly unlikely in the UK. Npower only works with MCS approved manufacturers of heat pumps which are designed to operate at the optimum efficiency level at any time of year. Furthermore, heat pumps are extremely popular in Scandinavian countries which experience must harsher winters than the UK.

Can the system provide cooling?

Air Source Heat Pumps can provide cooling benefits. These are classified as air to air systems. However, these are exempt from the Government’s RHI scheme, which only applies to air to water systems. Air to water heat pumps do not provide cooling benefits.

Which properties are Heat Pumps best suited to?

It is important to state that heat pumps aren’t suitable for every property. If you live in a low energy efficient, drafty property, then simply installing a heat pump without implementing other energy efficient measures, such as having the required loft insulation or wall insulation will have a negative impact on energy bills. Properties most suited to an Air Source Heat Pump are those that have high energy efficiency levels. npower will work with you to ensure you are provided with the right solution for you and your property.

Can an Air Source Heat Pump be used in conjunction with any other technology, such as Solar PV?

Heat pumps can either be a stand alone solution or can be used in conjunction with an existing boiler or even solar PV. By installing an ASHP alongside solar PV you could help reduce your energy bill even further and you could still be entitled to RHI payments on top of anything you earn from your solar PV feed in tariff. Before proceeding, please check with Ofgem for further clarification on eligibility on the RHI and FIT schemes wwww.ofgem.gov.uk

How long does the installation take?

A typical installation takes approximately 1 to 2 days depending on each individual situation.

Does an ASHP require planning permission?

Air source heat pump installations in Wales and Northern Ireland require planning permission. In England and Scotland they may be considered Permitted Development, in which case you will not need planning permission, but the criteria are complex so it is always a good idea to check with your local planning office.

What is the process for installing a heat pump?

Please complete the necessary form, alternatively you can call 0800 975 3199[1] to discuss further. We will then prequalify you and arrange for a green deal assesor to come and assess your property and check whether a heat pump is the right choice for your property. npower will be with you on your journey to make your home warm and cosy.

[1]Telephone calls may be recorded and monitored for training and security purposes. Lines are open 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday. Price of calls may vary and calls from mobiles may be considerably higher. Please check with your operator for exact charges.