Electrification of Heat – 1950s detached house heat pump installation

Raj and family live in a 1950s five-bedroom detached house in suburban Surrey, England.

Raj and his family have been on a journey to reduce their carbon emissions over the past 10 years. They have bought an electric car, installed rooftop solar PV, done insulation upgrades and installed smart heating controls.

A heat pump was the next step in this journey to living a fully sustainable life. In addition to their gas boiler was old and unreliable, and the family worried that it could break at any time.

The Electrification of Heat (EoH) demonstration project, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is seeking to better understand the technical and practical feasibility of a large-scale rollout of heat pumps into existing British homes.

The Challenge

The recruitment and installation phase of the EoH project ran from July 2020 through to October 2021, and despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, 742 heat pumps were installed into a broad spectrum of housing types and socio-economic groups, that reflects a representative sample of households across Great Britain.

The range of different heat pumps installed, included:

  • Low-temperature and high-temperature air source heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Hybrid heat pumps incorporated with a gas boiler
  • Some additional technologies, such as heat batteries were incorporated.

Householders were asked to reflect on their first hand experiences of taking part in the programme, including disruption during the installation work, thoughts on the noise and aesthetics of the technology and the outcomes for warmth and comfort.

The Solution

After carrying out a full inspection of the property, the installers suggested an air source heat pump which was installed in the garden, with a new hot water tank in place of the old gas boiler in a kitchen cupboard. Only three of the homes 15 radiators needed upgrading with larger ones.

The Outcome

Raj felt that the installers did a brilliant job with the heat pump installation and appreciated their support with the system configuration. The total process took seven days due to a tricky install on the hot water tank. However Raj said the installers did everything
they could to minimise disruption and provided portable heating systems during the installation.

Raj and his family are happy with how warm their house is after installing the heat pump. They are particularly pleased with the increase in hot water pressure as they can now have two showers at the same time. “This has been really convenient for us”, Raj said.

Read the Full Case Study

Raj and family, air source heat pump installation into a detached house in Surrey, England.

Electrification of Heat Demonstration project

Reports, statistics and case studies helping to overcome barriers to deployment and demonstrating the feasibility of a large-scale roll-out of heat pumps.

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