Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Study suggests 80% of heat pumps perform "so badly"

The Guardian (who have a very good environment section I've found) reported last week how a field study of heat pump devices in the UK revealed "80% perform so badly they would not qualify as renewable energy under proposed European standards".

This is a massive blow for the Heat pump renewable sector and the study couldn't have come at a worse time as the Government considers green heating subsidies.

The report from Energy Saving Trust revealed that although the technology is sound, it's the installation that's mainly responsible for the poor performance.

When comparing performance, it didn't help that Heat source pumps require a certain amount of energy to run themselves - drawing and converting the heat within the ground to heat homes - a bit like a refrigerator working in reverse. Unlike Solar and wind power which requires virtually no energy to run.

The Trust lays the blame at the feet of multiple contractors and a poor education of homeowners on how to use their systems once installed.

It's not all bad news

It's not all bad news though and the technology is a proven one. The Industry now intends to continue investigations to determine exactly why so many systems in the UK are performing so poorly and if their performance can be improved.

Read the full article here, which included quotes from the Heating and hot water council and the Renewable Energy Association.

photo credit: steve snodgrass

UPDATE: Good Energy posted their own 'reply' to the Energy Saving Trust's controversial report on Heat Pumps (in defence of Heat Pump technology) which you can read here.

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