HEAT pumps are not an easy technology for people to get a grip of. The idea that you are taking something that is basically cold – be it air, the ground, or water from a lake or river – and making heat by taking a few degrees out of the heat source, is counter-intuitive. This is particularly true when the heat source is at, say, 8C and you are talking about delivering hot water at 40-60C. Yet heat pumps can be shown to do this very successfully, so arguing against them makes no sense. The technology is well proven and has been deployed successfully both in Scotland and for many decades in Scandinavia. Moreover, as Ross Skirton, sales and technical director at Incognito Heat Co, explains, there are plenty of residential premises in Scotland where a heat pump of one sort or another would work very well. By this he means that for many in Scotland’s off-gas areas the heat pump could be shown to be a cheaper and substantially greener solution to the household’s heat and hot water requirements than an oil-fired boiler, an LPG-fuelled system or an all- electric heating solution. For houses that have access to the national gas grid, the case is much less clear. The problem with replacing a gas-fired boiler with a heat pump solution is that gas prices in the UK are very low, particularly in comparison to some areas of Europe, where gas prices can be 40-50% higher than here.
Herald 4th May 2019 read more »