Say Hello to Infrared

Wave Goodbye to Pipework

Nationwide
Commercial - Residential
Infrared Heating Solutions

IMG_4945.jpg

Select XLS – Infrared Towel Heater With Integrated Controls from £449

The Select XLS infrared towel heater with integrated controls is the ideal heating solution for any bathroom where a designer finish is required. Featuring innovative, dual-element technology that combines efficient infrared heating of the bathroom with low energy warming for your towels, this stylish heater is bathroom heating at its finest.

With two chrome towel rails, and a pure white glass finish, this low consumption infrared towel heater has been designed with style in mind and provides the perfect choice for homes as well as commercial bathroom applications within the hotel and hospitality industry.

The Select XLS towel heater comfortably heats the room using efficient infrared technology, helping eliminate moisture in the bathroom and reduce damp and condensation. The lower energy towel zone is ideal for towel warming.

All units have an aluminium rear case with mounting brackets and a front emitting surface which is safety glass. All units are guaranteed for 5 years.

The 500 and 700 Watt Towel Heaters come with built in WiFi controls and inbuilt touchscreen interface controls. They can also be controlled wirelessly via the SmartLife app. (No additional controls required)

install-smart-life-app-pc-windows-mac.png

Select XLS – Mirror Infrared Heater

from £378

The Herschel Select XLS Infrared Mirror Heater offers sleek looks, combining stylish function with an unprecedented level of heating comfort and energy efficiency. Forming part of our high performance frameless Select XLS range, which incorporates our integrated SMART-R receiver, the Herschel Select XLS Mirror heater provides the very latest in smart heating. You choose whether to control your heating from a thermostat (sold separately), through the convenience of an App, or you can even use voice control when used with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Infrared mirror heater panels can be placed in humid areas such as bathrooms without any condensation forming on the glass, whilst also chasing away the causes of moisture that convection-based heaters actually encourage (hot air moving over a cold surface).

Due to the infrared heating process, the mirrors heat up objects in the room rather than the air. This helps keep walls and fittings warm, dry and free of mould.

All units are made with Mirrored Safety Glass and incorporate Easy-Fix mounting, manufactured from the highest quality materials under strict quality control and are guaranteed for 5 years. Please note that due to the infrared technology, the Select XLS mirror has a darker tint than standard (non heater) silver mirrors.

There are two options (sold separately) for operating your XLS Mirror. Choose from a battery operated controller (T-BT) or a mains / USB powered controller (T-MT).  T-MT has in built Wifi allowing APP and voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant. Select your thermostat below.

install-smart-life-app-pc-windows-mac.png
IMG_0644.jpg
Screen Shot 2021-10-18 at 13.45.14.png

Select XLS – White Frameless Infrared Panel Heater from £238

The Select XLS White Infrared Panel heater represents the definitive in simple, efficient, smart heating. This super-slim panel incorporates Herschel’s latest innovation with Herschel SMART-R receiver technology integrated into the panel. With three wireless thermostats to choose between (sold separately) this plug and play frameless panel can be smartphone-enabled or even voice controlled when used with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Available Wattage is 300, 400, 600, 800 and 1100 Watt units.

The Herschel Select XLS White delivers all the benefits you’d expect from our low energy, low carbon heating. The space-saving white infrared panel heater comes with the EasyFix mount for quick installation, has an aluminium front emitting surface and aluminium rear surface with an insulating layer to prevent rearwards loss of heat, and is designed with sustainability in mind. Solid-state components ensure longevity and the heater has been specially designed so over 95% of it is fully recyclable at end of life.  The packaging is close to 100% recyclable.

With a 5 year warranty, Herschel Select XLS can be wall or ceiling mounted and delivers the perfect choice in maintenance free, no hassle, low energy heating for homes and businesses alike. The heaters can be easily installed on a wall using the EASYFIX mounting system or professionally installed on a ceiling. Alternatively you can make you panel freestanding by purchasing the optional feet.

There are three options (sold separately) for operating your XLS panels. Choose from a battery operated controller (T-BT), a mains / USB powered controller (T-MT) or plug-in controller (T-PL). Both T-MT and T-PL have in built Wifi allowing APP and voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant.

install-smart-life-app-pc-windows-mac.png

Effective heat transfer

How do infrared heaters work? Infrared heaters work by converting electricity into radiant heat. Infrared is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The heat is the same feeling of warmth as the winter sun on your face and the heat from a coal fire. It is even the same form of heat emitted by your own body. It is the most basic form of heating known to man.

Infrared is the direct transfer of heat from the heater to the object (you and the room around you) without heating the air in between. It’s the same heat we feel from an environment warmed by the sun, and the wavelength most efficiently absorbed by the body. It is 100% safe and natural (it’s UV from the sun that is harmful, not infrared).

Today, new technology, in the form of our 100% energy efficient, Herschel Infrared heating, allows us to use infrared radiant heating in a stylish, comfortable and highly controllable way.

Heat we were designed for

Humans are radiant objects. More than 60% of our sense of comfort or discomfort is governed by our radiant heat gain or loss. Only 15% of our sense of comfort is governed by air temperature and movement.

This means we usually feel warm if we’re absorbing heat from our environment and often feel cold if we’re radiating out our own body heat to the outside world.

For most people, if the environment around us is more than 26C or less than 16C, we feel discomfort, because we are either gaining or losing too much body heat.

So, if we warm the walls, ceiling and floor of the room we are in (not the air) to at least 17c and ideally to around 22c, our bodies will stop perceiving that we are losing heat and we will feel warm and comfortable. This is the objective of infrared heating: to build up “thermal mass” in an environment and let it keep you warm.

Make your room a 360° radiator

Herschel infrared directly heats the walls, floor and ceiling of a building (the ‘thermal mass’). Once the thermal mass is warm, the building itself retains the heat for a period of time, so the heater only needs to be on to top up.

Most of other forms of heaters are convection heaters which primarily heat volumes of air, which then has to transfer its heat to the building in order to warm the thermal mass. The problem is that hot air rises to the ceiling (where you don’t want it) and easily escapes with draughts and open doors. The direct transfer of heat to the building is why Herschel is more efficient and saves energy compared to convection heating. It also more comfortable because you don’t have cold floors and stuffy air.

Is Infrared Heating Efficient?

Because convection heaters heat air, even the best market leading “low consumption” digital electric convection radiators need around 40 watts per m3 in order to support inefficient heat absorption by the air and its poor energy transfer back out again.

Herschel infrared panels do not heat the air and so typically only need 25 watts per m3.
You may be forgiven for thinking a kilowatt of energy must possess the same heat transfer properties whether emitted by a convection or radiant heater, but this is not correct. Radiant heat has a higher rate of heat transfer per kilowatt than convection, so you need less of it.

Both Herschel and electric convectors run for around 40% of the required heating period (often referred to as the “effective power”), but the basic difference in heat transfer means Herschel could save up to 37% on electricity costs compared to convection and night storage heaters.

Low carbon heating is the future

Heating represents 78% of non-transport energy use in the UK. Currently only 9% of heating is powered by electricity, the majority is gas. Currently 37% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions are generated from heating.

In order to meet climate change targets the UK has no option but to switch from gas, oil and LPG to electric heating. Electric heating can be 100% CO2 free when powered by renewable electricity. The UK electricity grid is rapidly decarbonising and within 5 years electricity will be greener than gas, oil and LPG.

The government have already announced the banning of gas boilers in any new builds from 2025. New building regulations (SAP10) which are expected to come in force in Q1 2021 will be far more favourable to the use of direct acting electric heaters. Current regulations favoured gas boilers, biomass and heat pumps.

Sustainable heating options 

Gas is not a long term option and so the only sustainable heating options in the future will be electric. SAP 10 proposals already reflect this. The choice of low carbon heating systems are:

  • Traditional electric heating, such as convector heaters and night storage. However, they waste too much energy as they heat the air;

  • Electric underfloor heating is an attractive option but is too costly to run and lacks controllability;

  • The only efficient solutions are Air or Ground Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) or Herschel infrared.  These are often referred to as alternative heating systems. Infrared cannot beat the theoretical efficiency of ASHP however ASHPs are central units and so suffer similar drawbacks to boiler-based central heating in that it cannot be effectively zoned. For many, it is completely impractical due to the high cost of install, ongoing maintenance, the noise and space requirement and it may struggle to provide sufficient heat in the depths of winter.

Heat Pumps compared with TEG'S Infrared heating

How do heat pumps compare with Infrared? Infrared and heat pumps are two heating solutions that ensure property owners have an efficient, future-proof form of heating. Heat pumps are increasingly in the public eye as an energy-saving alternative to fossil fuel central heating systems however come with significantly higher costs, to buy and own, than Herschel infrared heating. The lower purchase and install cost from Herschel enables property owners to focus their budget on improving building design and reducing heat loss.

 

Heat pumps fall into two basic categories, depending on the method of heat-collection:

  • Air-source

  • Ground source.

 

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air-source heat pumps comprise a compressor unit, mounted externally which draws ambient air through a heat exchanger, taking heat from the air, warming a refrigerant, which is compressed, creating further heat. This refrigerant is then piped to an internal hot water immersion tank and to a heating cluster for conversion into hot (tap) water and hot water for heating.

Screen Shot 2021-12-14 at 15.01.24.png

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground-source Heat pumps offer an alternative heat collection system to air-source heat pumps. Like air-source, ground source offer an energy-saving, carbon-free alternative to fossil fuel central heating systems.

Warmth from the ground is collected either via a horizontal collector (near surface) or via a borehole or “vertical loop” system which in either case pumps a compressible refrigerant through the pipework, which absorbs ambient heat from the ground and compresses it, creating further heat. This fluid is then piped to an internal heating cluster for conversion into hot (tap) water and hot water for heating.

Screen Shot 2021-12-14 at 15.01.13.png

Heat-pump Advantages:

  • Heat kilowatt output is theoretically 4 times energy input;

  • Provides hot water heating and central heating;

  • De-carbonises your heating solution;

  • Ground-source “Borehole” types can be used in summer to assist with cooling;

  • Eliminates price uncertainty of using fossil fuels.

 

Heat Pump Disadvantages:

Studies in Europe and Canada suggest in practice the energy efficiency ratio of heat pumps as an annual average is only at best 1 kilowatt in to 1.4 kilowatts out. This is because the ratio is based on temperate climate use (when demand for heat is low and outside air temperatures are high); overlooks times of the year when the ratio is actually negative (heat pump continues to operate when there is no actual demand for heat); inefficiencies in heat transfer (convective heat) and installation (existing radiators left in the house). 

Heat pumps are very difficult to justify if retrofitted into an existing heating system (e.g. to replace a boiler). In such cases, installation costs are very high, due to the removal of the existing boiler; locating and installing the external compressor unit; locating and installing the central hot water immersion and heating water clusters and running the tubing and wiring between the compressor and the clusters. You should also be installing larger size radiators to compensate for the lower water temperatures produced by the heat pump system, versus the old gas or oil boiler which produces higher water temperatures. The penalty in failing to do so is having to run the system longer than you should be in order to be comfortable (therefore not obtaining efficiencies).

In the case of ground-source heat pumps, further costs are implied by the requirement to perform appropriate surveys before drilling boreholes or digging large horizontal swathes through the garden to lay a horizontal system.

Purchase and Installation costs up to 25,000 pounds are possible and consequent pay-back times from energy savings can be 10 years and more.

Single point of failure. If components in the heat pump system fail, it is likely the whole system including heating and hot water will be unavailable until your maintenance engineer can obtain and install parts.

 

Heat distribution

Whether air-source or ground-source, heating distribution within the building is effected using either:

  • your existing wet central heating radiator panels or

  • underfloor hydronic heating.

If the existing radiator system is to be used:

Heating water produced by the heat pump will be 40-50C not 60-80C produced by the boiler.  This temperature drop also reduces the heat energy emitted from the radiator (i.e. it will feel colder than before). To produce the equivalent heat of the old boiler either implies:

  • Increasing the radiator size to maintain output wattage at lower temperature or

  • Running the heat pump longer than originally foreseen.

Householders are usually unwilling to fit larger radiators (an additional expense) so they usually end-up running the system longer and therefore paying higher running costs which narrow the gap between their old boiler costs and their new heat pump – increasing payback timescales.

If underfloor hydronic heating is to be used:

  • Ground floors should be under laid with insulation (to prevent heat radiating downwards into the ground) and ideally a storage-type layer (such as brick) placed over the top in order to create thermal mass (and therefore radiate over time).  This adds significantly to the installation costs and adds several weeks disruption to the house – often completely impractical, unless the householder is willing to move out during the period of the works.

  • As the system contains water, pressurised gas and moving parts, ongoing maintenance is required with the potential for leaks, burst pipes etc.

Other disadvantages:

  • The compressor is noisy during operation, unsightly, and takes up space on an outside wall;

  • Moving parts and the compressor require periodic servicing;

  • Compressor effectiveness reduces as ambient temperature drops;

  • Difficult to retrofit into multiple-occupancy buildings such as blocks of flats, where the ground-source option may be impossible anyway, unless planned from the start of construction.

 

Heat pump summary:

Heat pumps are worth considering in well-insulated new-builds where the cluster/compressor locations can be planned-in to the house design and installation costs are absorbed as part of the build and radiators are correctly sized from the outset. Ground-source heat pumps are worth considering for commercial new-builds where heating and cooling savings could be considerable and horizontal (or vertical) excavation is already implied in laying the foundations of the building.

Heat pumps are difficult to justify as retrofits. The ground source, external compressor and clusters imply high installation costs.  If underfloor heating is to be used, the cost, timescale and disruption become excessive. If existing wet radiator panels are to be used, you will have to increase their size or reduce energy-savings by having to run the system longer. Insulation of an old house should also be reviewed to avoid further energy-inefficiency. Payback times for retrofits are lengthy.

 

Herschel Infrared Heating as an alternative to heat pumps:

  • If a house has an existing immersion heater as well as the boiler, (many do), then leave this in place or consider the cost of upgrading to a modern more energy-efficient Immersion making use of overnight Economy 7 rates.

  • The purchase price of Herschel Infrared heating panels throughout the house is competitive relative to the cost of purchasing Heat pump components (compressor, immersion, cluster).

  • The installation costs of Herschel infrared will be significantly less than the cost of installing a heat pump and can be carried out by a general electrician over only a couple of days with minimal disruption to the house.  A heat pump installation requires specification by a qualified heat pump and central heating specialist; a builder will be required to handle aspects of the structural changes to the house and refrigerants must be handled by a qualified refrigerant engineer.

  • In a well insulated new-build house, the energy consumption of Herschel Infrared heating or a heat pump will be at their most efficient – but because of the lower capital costs, the payback on the Infrared system will be quicker.

  • In older properties, heat pump installation costs will be high and without enlarging the existing radiators and proper insulation, the energy-efficiency benefits far harder to achieve, with payback terms of 10 years+.  On the other hand, the installation costs of Herschel infrared will be minimal and the Herschel Infrared will heat walls, floors and ceilings evenly keeping operating costs optimal, making the overall payback term far more attractive.

  • Herschel Infrared provides excellent comfort levels – including warming the floor – without needing specialist underfloor heating.

  • No ongoing maintenance is required for Herschel Infrared heating panels. Maintenance requirements for immersion systems are rare and no worse than the existing system being replaced.

Solar PV is a Necessary Enabler of the Transition to Electric Heating 

Much of the discussion of the transition to electric heating has focussed on the installation costs of heat pumps, but what do the running costs look like?  It’s all very well handing out £5,000 grants to make heat pump installations more affordable for consumers, but if people take this government incentive only to discover that the cost of energy bills become cripplingly expensive, the resulting negative coverage could stop the transition to clean heating before it gets going.  Conversely, if energy bills fall for houses with heat pumps, it will make it much easier to convince people to ditch their gas boilers.  To get a sense of costs, we need to know two things - how much does electricity cost compared to gas and what efficiency can we expect from heat pumps and gas boilers.

How Much do Heat Pumps Cost to Run?

Advocates of heat pumps regularly claim that a ‘well designed, well installed and properly run heat pump will cost no more to run than a gas boiler’.  A careful re-reading of this sentence will show you that three things have to go right for heat pumps to cost no more than gas heating. 

One thing we know for sure is that in the UK electricity costs much, much more per unit than mains gas.  Nottingham Energy Partnership has the average standard rate for electricity in September 2021 at 23.3p/kWh (kilowatt-hour), and mains gas at 4.39p/kWh.

The efficiency of a modern condensing gas boiler is often said to be around 90%, but since we are interested in real-world heat pump performance, we should compare like for like.  A field trial of the seasonal efficiency of 60 boilers by the Energy Saving Trust in 2009 gave a value of 82.5% for combi boilers.  

 

Using this efficiency one unit of gas heating costs 4.39/0.825 = 5.32p/kWh.

 

For heat pump heating bills to cost no more than a gas boiler, the efficiency of the heat pump would need to be higher than 100% x 23.3/5.32 = 438%, but what efficiency do heat pumps achieve in practice?

 

Real World Heat Pump Performance

 

The Energy Savings Trust and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (now called BEIS), set out to answer this question in 2008.  The first large-scale heat pump field trial in the UK aimed to determine how heat pumps perform in real-life conditions. The year-long field trial monitored technical performance and customer behaviour observed at 83 domestic properties across the UK.

 

The resulting report (Getting Warmer: a field trial of heat pumps), published in 2010, found that the average efficiency for an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) was 220% (page 16), although this was revised down to 182% by a subsequent analysis published in 2012.  This second report corrected errors and removed data provided  by ‘Manufacturer A’ which were felt to be from systems that had been hand-picked, carefully optimised and installed in the homes of the manufacturer's own staff.  (See Detailed analysis from the first phase of the Energy Saving Trust’s heat pump field trial, pages 19-25)

 

Note: I have focussed only on Air Source Heat Pumps because most people expect that this is the technology that will be deployed in the greatest number.  They are lower cost and more convenient to install than more efficient Ground Source Heat Pumps which require a deep bore hole to be drilled or trenches to be dug.

 

 

Image: System Efficiencies of Air Source Heat Pumps reported in “Detailed analysis from the first phase of the Energy Saving Trust’s heat pump field trial”

 

 

 

Despite the best efforts of the authors to put a gloss on things (“the best performing systems show that well-designed and installed heat pumps can operate well in the UK”), the results were highly disappointing. 

ASHP efficiencies.png

Real-World Heat Pump Performance - Try Again

 

The UK heat pump industry responded positively to the issues identified in the trial and significant changes were made to the regulatory scheme for UK heat pump installers. The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) rewrote its MIS3005 installation standard for heat pumps to better control the quality of system design, installation practices and householder training that had been shown to affect heat pump performance.

 

Consequently, a second phase of the study was initiated.  38 of the heat pumps in the first trial were selected for interventions to improve their performance. Interventions ranged from major (swapping an over or under-sized heat pump), medium (changing radiators, adding a buffer tank, replacing circulating pumps with variable speed DC pumps) or minor (changes to controls, refilling the ground loop, adding insulation). Householders also received improved guidance on how to operate the heat pumps properly.  Six new heat pump systems installed to the new MCS standard were added to the sample and all were monitored from April 2011 to March 2012.

 

The results for the second attempt were published in a summary and detailed form:

 

the heat is on: phase 2 heat pump field trial

Detailed analysis from the second phase of the Energy Saving Trust’s heat pump field trial

 

As a result of all these interventions, the average efficiency of ASHPs in the new study rose to 245% 

Note: this performance improvement Phase 2 and Phase 1 included a change of the definition of efficiency – on a like for like basis the increase was from 183% to 211%.  However the preferred efficiency measure in Phase 2 (SPF H4) is in my opinion a better comparator with boiler efficiency than the System Efficiency measure used in Phase 1.  System Efficiency includes losses between hot water tank and taps/showers, whereas the SPFH4 boundary stops at the hot water tank.   

 

Real World Heat Pump Performance - Third Time Lucky? 

In March 2017 UCL Energy Institute published its Final Report on Analysis of Heat Pump Data from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) Scheme.

 

Around 14,000 Heat Pumps were installed with funding from the RHPP, and 700 of these (around 5% of the total) were subject to a detailed monitoring study.  The study reports an average efficiency based on SPFH4 for the ASHP in the sample of 241%. 

 

However it also reveals that the heat meters used in the study were calibrated for water and not the antifreeze-mix with which most would be installed .  The estimated 4-7% over-statement of performance was not corrected in the published result.  Applying a mid-range 5% correction, would make the true average SPFH4 nearer 229%.

 

Reassuringly, this is still closer to the second EST study than the first and suggests that the changes made to the industry standards in response to the disappointing performance of systems in the first study had fed through into a higher general performance, across a reassuringly large sample of installations.

Taking efficiency from this most recent study of 229%, the annual energy costs for a house heated by a heat pump will be (23.3/5.32) x (100/229) = 1.91 times higher than the same house heated by a gas boiler.

So, even after industry steps to eliminate design errors, carefully optimising the installation and coaching the householder how to use the heat pumps, running costs are still double those of a gas heated property. 

What hope do we have when we scale up to install heat pumps in the huge numbers envisaged by UK policy makers?  If installations increase from 30,000 a year currently to the 300,000 a year called for by the government will the heat pumps perform as well as those in the second study, or is it more realistic to anticipate performance closer to the first study?

 

Adjusting the Price of Gas & Electricity

 

One approach to make heat pumps more appealing is to make gas more expensive and electricity cheaper.  Government indicated in its recently published Heat in Buildings Strategy that it would consider this approach:

 

“we will look at options to shift or rebalance energy levies (such as the Renewables Obligation and Feed-in-Tariffs) and obligations (such as the Energy Company Obligation) away from electricity to gas over this decade” Heat in Buildings Strategy p16.

 

What impact might this have?  According to OFGEM  Environmental and Social Obligation Costs at 25% of the price of electricity, whereas it’s only 2.5% of the price of gas.

SocialCosts.jpeg

Infographic Bills, prices and profits, 27 Oct 2021, Source OFGEM

 

The cost of a unit of electricity might come down to 75% x 23.3p = 17.5p/kWh

By how much would gas need to increase to replace the lost revenue?  Again, according to OFGEM typical dual fuel domestic consumption values as of 1st April 2020 were: 12,000kWh for gas and 2,900kWh for electricity.  (Source - see footnote)

For an annual use of 2,900kWh for electricity, the social tariffs come to 25% x 2,900 x £0.233 = £169

For a gas use of 12,000kWh to replace this social levy, the price of gas would have to rise by £169/12,000 = 1.4p per kWh, taking the price of a unit of gas heating after boiler efficiency up to 6.72p/kWh

If this were to happen, we can adjust our calculation for the difference in running costs 

Under this scenario, an ASHP might have running costs (17.5/6.72) x (100/229) = 1.14 times higher than gas heating, but only in 10 years’ time as government makes clear that any transition would have to be gradual to avoid pushing people into fuel poverty.

Heat Pumps and Solar are a Perfect Combination

Even when heat pumps are ‘well installed and properly operated’, even by taking 25% off the cost of electricity and shifting it over to gas, it seems likely that consumers are going to be paying more for the shift to electric heating long after the bill for the installation cost has been settled.

For an average dual fuel bill with 12,000kWh of gas use at 4.39p/kWh, the heating cost is £527/year.  Taking the ASHP efficiency from the most recent study, with ASHP heating bills 1.91 times higher than gas, the extra cost to the householder is £479/year.

One way to make the transition to zero carbon heating cost neutral on running costs is to insulate the property and reduce its heat demand.  If heat demand could be halved, running costs would end up at the same level.  However, this might be a tall order for households that have already taken the basic steps of loft and cavity insulation and double glazing, and also taking into account that the hot water demand cannot be insulated away.

If a 3kWp solar system is installed with the heat pump, generating say 2,550 kWh a year of electricity, and if 50% of that generated electricity is used on site to offset electricity use at 23.3p/kWh (£297) and 50% is exported to the grid under the Smart Export Guarantee at 5p/kWh (£64) then we’ve saved the resident £361 a year from their energy bill.  If we combine this with battery energy storage and push the self-consumption of solar electricity up to 80%, then the corresponding saving becomes £500 a year.

The solar doesn’t need to be generating at the same time the heat pump is operating for the savings to be there – remember that any electricity use in the property can be offset (for example appliances, heating hot water and even charging electric vehicles), and every unit not bought from the grid is a saving on that household’s electricity bill.

Social Landlords, housebuilders and policy makers facing the challenge of how we are going to get our homes to zero carbon while bringing tenants, homebuyers and voters along for the ride need to start thinking of solar PV and other smart energy technologies as enabling technologies for zero carbon heating.  Otherwise the real-world running costs for heat pumps could prove to be an inconvenient barrier to mainstream adoption of electric heating.

 

Updates: 

2.12.21 - it was pointed out to me that the original version of this blog used gas boiler efficiencies of 90% (which are representative of laboratory test) and unfairly compared these with actual performance in the field for heat pumps.  The blog was updated to use field test results of combi-boilers from Final Report: In-situ monitoring of efficiencies of condensing boilers and use of secondary heating, 2009 The Energy Saving Trust, with annual efficiency of boilers re-set to 82.5% instead.

Credits to The Solarblogger 

WHAT IS THE RENEWABLE HEAT INCENTIVE (RHI)?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government financial incentive to encourage a switch to renewable heating systems.  Those who have renewable heating technologies installed on their property will receive quarterly payments for seven years.

The scheme is available for households both off and on the gas grid.  The eligible renewable heating system types for the RHI are:

 

  • biomass only boilers & biomass pellet stoves

  • air source heat pumps

  • ground source heat pumps

  • solar thermal panels - flat plate or evacuated tube only

The RHI differs from the Feed-in-Tariff  - which pays for electricity generated as well as exported to the national grid - by paying for just the energy predicted to be saved by their introduction.  For most, payments are made on an estimation of your heating system’s annual heat use. For biomass and heat pump systems this is taken from the heat load figure on the EPC. For solar thermal, the figure calculated by your MCS installer is used.

To be eligible for the RHI, your installation must be carried out by a registered MCS Installer accredited to install your chosen technology and the product used must be MCS Certified.

Screen Shot 2021-12-09 at 20.25.33.png

How much does it cost?

Electric Heating

Screen Shot 2021-12-09 at 20.16.27.png
Screen Shot 2021-12-09 at 20.16.36.png

THE WHITEBEAM by REDROW

Property Dimensions

  1.  Lounge 16’6” x 10’8” 5.03 x 3.24 m = 16.29m2

  2. Kitchen/dining 21’4” x 11’8” 6.51 x 3.56 m = 23.17m2

  3. Utility 6’0” x 7’2” 1.83 x 2.19 m = 4m2

  4. Cloaks 6’0” x 3’4” 1.83 x 1.01 m = 1.84m2

  5. Garage 19’8” x 9’10” 6.00 x 3.00 m = 18m2

  6. Bedroom 1 16’5” x 10’7” 4.99 x 3.23 m = 16.11m2

  7. En-suite 8’0” x 6’5” 2.44 x 1.95 m = 4.75m2

  8. Bedroom 2 13’1” x 10’0” 4.00 x 3.06 m = 12.24m2

  9. Bedroom 3 11’11” x 10’10” 3.64 x 3.31 m = 12m2

  10. Bedroom 4 10’11” x 9’8” 3.32 x 2.94 m = 9.76m2

  11. Bathroom 8’7” x 6’7” 2.61 x 2.00 m = 5.22 

Screen Shot 2021-12-15 at 10.56.24.png

Heat Loss Calculations for the proposed property for Heat Pumps, excluding garage, hall & landing

INFRARED HEATING

  1. LOUNGE = (2) 600W + ROOM STAT

  2. KITCHEN/DINING = 600W + 800W + ROOM STAT

  3. UTILITY = 300W + ROOM STAT

  4. CLOAKS = 300W + ROOM STAT

  5. GARAGE - 1100W + ROOM STAT (excluded)

  6. BEDROOM 1 - 800W + ROOM STAT

  7. EN-SUITE - 350W MIRROR + ROOM STAT

  8. BEDROOM 2 - 800W + ROOM STAT

  9. BEDROOM 3 - 800W + ROOM STAT

  10. BEDROOM 4 - 600W + ROOM STAT

  11. BATHROOM = 350W MIRROR + ROOM STAT

= £5154 + installation @ £2000

Total Power = 6900w 

Downstairs = 3200w

Upstairs Power = 3700w

Total cost = £7,154

OUR CALCULATIONS FOR TEG INFRARED HEATING & HOT WATER

OUR ELECTRIC HEATING PANELS

OUR ZONAL HEATING SYSTEM PANELS ALLOW US TO CONTROL PANELS IN ROOMS AT DIFFERENT TIMES MEANING WE ONLY

HEAT ROOM WE INTEND TO BE IN. SO FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS CALCULATION WE ARE ONLY GOING TO ZONE THE BUILDING INTO 2 (DOWN & UP) MORE SAVINGS CAN BE REACHED VIA EXTRA ZONE SPLITS

WE LIKE THE HOME TO BE WARM WHEN WE WAKE UP – SO MAYBE FOR 2 HOURS IN THE MORNING, AND THEN A FEW

HOURS IN THE EVENING, SO FROM 5-10PM

BASED ON THE FLOORPLAN (UPSTAIRS & DOWNSTAIRS)

TOTAL PANEL POWER WOULD BE 6900W - 6.9KW

DOWNSTAIRS – 3.2 KW UPSTAIRS – 3.7KW

365 DAYS IN A YEAR?

6.9KW X 3.5HOURS X 23.3.P = £5.62 X 365 = £2,054

WE DON’T NEED THE HEATING IN THE SUMMER MONTHS

6.9KW X 3.5HOURS X 23.3P = £5.62 X 180 = £1,012

YEARLY ESTIMATED HEATING BILL £1,012

ANNUAL ESTIMATE USAGE

AS WE HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR PROPERTY USAGE YET LET’S ASSUME YOU USE

OUR 100L HOT WATER HEATER TAKES APPROXIMATELY 1.5 HOURS TO HEAT TO 60 DEGREES FROM COLD @ 2.6KW

3.9KWH PER 100L X 60% (FOR HIGH USAGE OVER SCALE) 3.9KWH X 365 = 1423.5KWH + 60% = 2277KWH

HEATING ESTIMATE = 4342 KWH = £1,012

HOT WATER = 2277 KWH = £531

TOTAL = £1543 @ 6619KWH – 365DAY = 18.13KWH PER DAY @ £4.22

MAKING USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY & GREEN TARIFFS TO DECREASE FURTHER

DON'T FORGET THAT OUR INFRARED HEATING TECHNOLOGY DOESN'T HEAT AIR!

Infrared Heating Vs Heat Pumps Running Costs (heating only)

Heat Pump = 10322 kwh x 23.3p = £2,405.03

rhi = 10.85p x 10322 = £1,119.93 x 7years = £7,839.51

£1,285.10 (for 7years) then £2,405.03 after 7years

Infrared - 4342 kwh = £1,012

HEAT PUMPS

 

AS YOU MAY KNOW, HEAT PUMPS AREN’T CHEAP. THE ENERGY SAVING TRUST ESTIMATES THAT A TYPICAL AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMP INSTALLATION WILL COST YOU AROUND £6000 – £8000, AND A GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP INSTALLATION CAN COST  £10,000 – £18,000 DEPENDING ON THE AMOUNT OF HEAT REQUIRED.

EXTRA COSTS

THE INSTALLATION OF A HEAT PUMP IS OFTEN TIED IN WITH SEVERAL OTHER HOME IMPROVEMENTS TO KEEP THE OVERALL COSTS DOWN AND TO ACHIEVE A HIGH EFFICIENCY. THESE IMPROVEMENTS CAN BE RENOVATING THE GARDEN IF IT’S A GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP, OR IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY OF THE HOUSE BY INSTALLING HOME INSULATION, INSTALLING BIGGER RADIATORS, EXISTING PIPEWORK MAY BE INSUFFICIENT, WINDOWS & DOORS

PERHAPS THE BEST IMPROVEMENT TO ACCOMPANY A HEAT PUMP INSTALLATION IS UNDERFLOOR HEATING. BESIDES IMPROVING THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME, ITS LARGE SURFACE AREA MAKES IT AN IDEAL METHOD OF DISTRIBUTING HEAT EVENLY. THIS IN TURN REDUCES THE FLOW TEMPERATURE REQUIRED, SO IT’S GREAT FOR MAINTAINING A HIGH EFFICIENCY. THE ONLY DOWNSIDE IS THE UPFRONT COST, WHICH IS USUALLY ABOVE £2000 DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF YOUR HOUSE.

SO REALISTICALLY UNLESS YOU HAVE A NEW BUILD HOME YOU WOULD BE EXPECTED TO PAY MORE AROUND £10,000 - £14,000 FOR A HEAT PUMP INSTALLATION THEN YOU HAVE THE RUNNING COSTS, MAINTENANCE COSTS SO NOW YOU UNDERSTAND WHY THE GOVERNMENT ARE PAYING YOU FOR 7YEARS. BUT IT GETS REALLY EXPENSIVE AFTER 7YEARS

THE RESULTS OVER 10 YEARS

HEAT PUMP = INSTALLATION COST + RUNNING COST + MAINTENANCE COSTS

£8000 + £1,285.10P X 7YEARS + £2405.03 X 3YEARS + £100SERVICE X 9YEARS = £25,110.79

£25,110.79/10Years/365Days = £6.80

INFRARED HEATING = INSTALLATION COST + RUNNING COST + MAINTENANCE COSTS

£7154 + £1,012 X 10YEARS = £17,274

£17,274/10Years/365Days = £4.73