The Electrification of Heat Demonstration (EoH) project is seeking to better understand the technical and practical feasibility of a large-scale rollout of heat pumps into existing British homes.
Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the project is managed and coordinated by Energy Systems Catapult in partnership with Delta-EE and Oxford Computer Consultants.
Three Delivery Contractors were appointed to install up to 750 heat pumps in three regions across Britain.
The Electrification of Heat Challenge
Heating accounts for 37% of total UK carbon emissions, with heating buildings responsible for over half of that figure – at around 20% – and heating homes contributing about 14%.
With 87% of households on the national gas grid – replacing fossil fuel gas boilers with heat pumps can make a very substantial contribution in achieving this target – alongside other options such as district heating and converting the natural gas grid to deliver hydrogen.
But the heat pump market in Britain is small and consumers – particularly those living on the gas grid – have been slow to switch to the technology. Research suggests this is partly driven by economics but also due to challenges in current domestic consumer proposition, such as the varying thermal efficiency of the housing stock and extremely high market penetration of gas boilers.
To date, most heat pumps in Britain have been installed in large, off-gas grid homes, where there are fewer barriers to deployment. They are also being predominantly installed by either well off early adopters, housing developers or social landlords.
The Electrification of Heat Project
The Electrification of Heat Demonstration project seeks to better understand these barriers and provide evidence on the feasibility of a large-scale rollout of heat pumps, by seeking to increase confidence in the technology to levels that could underpin a public debate and strategic decisions on the future of heat networks.
To support this, the project aims to:
Develop, test and evaluate products and services that increase the appeal of heat pumps and identify optimal solutions for a wide range of homes.
Demonstrate that heat pumps, including gas-electric hybrids, can deliver high consumer satisfaction across a wide range of consumers in Great Britain.
Demonstrate the practical and technical feasibility of heat pumps, including gas-electric hybrids, across Great Britain’s diverse housing stock, as well as identifying the costs.
Capture learning from the project to help improve awareness across the renewable heating supply chain, raise acceptance and support wider deployment of heat pumps in Great Britain.
The project aimed to recruit enough participants to install and monitor up to 750 heat pumps across a representative range of housing archetypes, again with the majority on the gas grid.
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.
Outputs derived from the project will include:
Evidence on heat pump suitability across a range of housing archetypes, including system and installation costs.
Real-world performance data for heat pumps and demand profiles across a range of housing and consumer types.
Insights found to inform future government policy in this area.
What is a heat pump and which one should I choose?
Check if a heat pump could be suitable for your home
Wondering if a heat pump is the right choice for you? The government has launched a new tool in collaboration with Energy Systems Catapult and Oxford Computer Consultants to help people check if a heat pump could be suitable for their home
The BEIS Energy Innovation Programme has made approximately £14.6 million available as part of Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project. The contract is divided into five parts, with a competitive tender process carried out for these appointments to ensure bids are evaluated fairly and transparently:
As the appointed Management Contractor, Energy Systems Catapult will provide overall programme management of the Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project and manage, monitor and coordinate the Delivery Contractors on behalf of BEIS.
Work closely with the Delivery Contractors to develop a shared approach to participant recruitment, and lead the design of the home suitability surveys, installation and monitoring processes, as well as collating, managing and analysing data, and disseminating the project findings.
The project will be managed by the Energy Systems Catapult’s Homes team and will run until September 2023.
Three locations and three delivery contractors were announced for the installation of heat pumps:
South East of Scotland – lead delivery contractor Warmworks working with Energy Savings Trust and Changeworks.
Newcastle – lead delivery contractor E.ON working with Newcastle City Council and Your Homes Newcastle.
South East of England – lead delivery contractor OvoEnergy working with Kaluza, RetrofitWorks, Parity Projects and SunAmp.
An independent contractor, ICF, was appointed to evaluated the overall delivery of the project against the agreed performance indicators and metrics.
For any queries about the project and coming tenders, please contact BEIS here.
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