Heat Pump and Ground Source Heating Funding: Are You Eligible?

The traditional methods of heating a home are fast approaching a point where they are becoming non-viable. The world's supply of fossil fuels is dwindling, and the costs of heating and cooling a home are ever increasing. Smart forward thinking individuals are becoming more and more interested in renewable sources of power, heat, and light. Two of the most discussed and innovative technologies to date are Air Source Heat Pumps and Ground Source Heat Pumps. These two styles are heating are very important steps toward decreasing the carbon foot print of humanity as well as allowing for long term viability of a home and residence with renewable sources of heat that do not necessarily depend on dwindling fuel supplies.

A air source heat pump is a type of heating and cooling system that accomplishes its task by moving a chemical refrigerant through the pump's coils and compressors. This allows for a similar effect as a refrigerator on a much larger scale. An air source heat pump draws heat out of the air and funnels it into the home. There are a few drawbacks in extremely cold weather. However, the potency of the device can be improved by changing the type of refrigerant used. These units have an average coefficient of performance (COP) rating of three that can waver from a rating of four in a mild climate to a rating of one in a very cold one. The COP is determined by how much heat output is generated compared to the amount of electricity used. In the instance of a three rating the equipment generates three times as much heat as the amount of electricity being used.

A ground source heat pump, which is also known as geothermal heat pumps, work in a manner similar to the air source heat pumps. The difference in their function is that ground source heat pumps are installed in the ground and are proven to be much more efficient. These types of heat transfer pumps generally maintain a three and a half to four rating on the COP scale. Ground source heat pumps start out with a higher COP rating at the beginning of the heating and cooling system and gradually lower in efficiency as heat is transferred. however, they maintain their efficiency longer than air source heat pumps due to the generally stable temperature of the earth at around eight feet below ground level.

Installing either source of heating can be quite expensive. There are many sources of funding to aid the individual or commercial enterprise in outfitting or retrofitting their homes and offices with such renewable heating and cooling sources. There are several types of government sponsored funding in the United Kingdom that can be acquired by residential owners and commercial enterprises alike. These grants and funds are the Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP), Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP), Scottish Community & Household Renewable Initiative (SCHRI), and the upcoming Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The LCBP has two phases. The first phase is designed for personal homes and residences, and house builders. This is a lower scale grant that can be acquired for a grant of up to twenty-five hundred pounds. The second phase is useful for commercial enterprises on a larger scale. Schools, charity organizations, corporate structures, and similar individuals receive monetary compensation for installing energy saving heat systems. This particular grant scheme will end on April 11th. It is set to be replaced by the RHI. Claims with the phase II version of this grant can be made available up to fifty percent of the cost of installation.

The CERT is a programme designed around compensation for retrofitting older homes and commercial properties. This is a programme slated primarily for home builders and renovators instead of private residence owners. This grant can be awarded for up to ninety percent of the actual cost of the installation depending upon the level of improved energy efficiency in comparison to the older system.

The CESP is a grant for not-for-profit organizations in the UK area that are for community-based. The amount of the grant varies between each organization but there are millions of pounds worth of funding in this grant at present for worthy charity organizations that qualify.

The SCHRI is an initiative programme available only in Scottland. This is a programme scheme equivalent to LCBP I and allows for thirty percent of the installation costs for installation of energy efficient equipment. There is a hard-cap of four thousand pounds that can be awarded in this grant.

The RHI is a grant programme many individuals are eagerly awaiting. In this scheme the owner of an energy efficient home can receive several hundred pounds per year for eighteen to twenty three years simply for installing an air or ground source heat pump. The incentive programme will completely pay for the average cost of installation in three and a half to sixteen years for most private residences or businesses depending upon which type of heating source is used. For large scale complexes and buildings the amount of money awarded can be nearly double the standard rate but the must use a ground source heat system and it will generally take roughly nineteen years to have it completely paid off.

Overall the funding and incentive grants are available to any individual or commercial enterprise that meets the energy efficiency standard as outlined in the individual grant. An approved installer of micro-technologies must be used to meet the requirements of each grant. With the available programmes most individual or commercial enterprises can afford to install a heat pump, whether it be an air source or ground source version.

Click here for more information about funding for ground source heat pumps
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