Heat pumps have been in the news a lot recently, but how much do you know about them?
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Heat pumps – usually air source or ground source – are modern, low carbon heating systems that are much more energy efficient than boilers and traditional electric heating. This means that heat pumps will play a crucial role in meeting net zero carbon targets and addressing the climate emergency.
The Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy, published in October 2021, wants one million homeowners to switch to zero emissions heating by 2030. This is an ambitious target but it’s an important one if we’re to meet Scotland’s net zero targets – and Home Energy Scotland is on hand to help.
Why should you consider installing a heat pump?
Heat pumps can warm your home and provide hot water. Significantly, they run on electricity; an essential element to cutting carbon emissions.
In 2020, renewable energy sources generated 97% of Scotland’s electricity. Just over three-quarters of Scotland’s home energy consumption is taken up by heating systems, with a further 11% on hot water. Heating our homes and providing domestic hot water from heat pumps is an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution and can potentially save us money too.
Most of Scotland’s homes are currently heated with gas through boilers and central heating systems. Off-grid methods include electric storage heating, oil, or LPG central heating.
Heat pumps could help lower your energy bills, depending on your current heating system. They can also reduce your home’s carbon emissions while providing central heating and hot water.
Research commissioned by Energy Saving Trust and Home Energy Scotland in 2021 showed more than half of those asked (51%) hadn’t heard of heat pumps. Some 40% of people thought heat pumps were too expensive to install, although one in five (20%) say they are likely to install a heat pump within the next five years.
Now let’s look at which heat pump could work best for your home — and how you could receive financial support for installing one of these systems.
What types of heat pump are there?
The three main types of heat pumps are air source, ground source, and water source.
Any of these could potentially replace your current central heating system. Heat pumps are most cost effective when replacing electric or coal heating systems. They may not reduce your energy bill when replacing newer gas boilers but do emit fewer carbon emissions.
The most appropriate system for your home depends on the building type, its position, grounds, and other factors.
Grants and funding for heat pumps installation
Interest-free financial support is currently available for heat pump installation in Scotland.
The Home Energy Scotland Loan scheme can help with the cost of installing both heat pumps and energy efficiency improvements. The loan is interest-free, and cashback is available for eligible renewable heating systems.
Install a heat pump in your home
If you’re thinking about applying for a loan to install a heat pump, call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 for free and impartial advice or visit homeenergyscotland.org for more information.