Heating and hot water account for around one-third of the UK’s carbon emissions, so it is not surprising that it continues to receive a considerable amount of scrutiny, especially from those in power.
In 2016, the UK along with the world’s other leading economies signed the Paris Climate Accord, committing to keep global warming under 2°C. As a result, and in order to meet the target, a series of objectives have been set, a crucial one being a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050, as advised by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
The government is taking decarbonisation seriously and the switch to air source heat pumps (ASHP) seems to be something they are eager to encourage, for both commercial and multiple occupancy residential properties.
Commercial heating – A Renewable Re-invention
In 2016, a study revealed the fact that 14% of carbon emissions can be attributed to industrial processes. This is in addition to the heating and hot water demands being met by the burning of fossil fuels.
With air source heat pumps offering very high efficiencies under the right conditions, retrofitting commercial properties will make a considerable dent in current emissions, helping that all-important carbon-neutral goal to be achieved on schedule.
Yet convincing commercial organisations to adopt something new is not always the easiest job. With upgrades comes a cost, but something so fundamental as hot water and heating offers a business case for it to gain sufficient support.
Additionally, there are many practical benefits to switching to high-efficiency heat pumps, reducing energy consumption means less CO₂ production and lower operational costs, and don’t forget your company gets all the kudos it deserves for going green.
With that said, here is a summary of all the potential advantages of your company adopting heat pumps:
#1 Reduce CO₂ Output, Earn Green Kudos
Quitting your company’s sole reliance on a gas-based system can drastically cut your CO₂ emissions. Heat pumps produce heat without emitting any CO₂, and the small amount of energy required by a unit from the electric grid is increasingly becoming decarbonised. So, advertising the fact that your company working towards attaining net-zero is a brilliant way to show you are playing your part.
Many people do care intensely about the green agenda, so many people like to see the companies they use showing their support and decarbonising their operations, so advertising the fact that you have gone green is sure to impress.
#2 Reduce Operational Energy Costs
For many organisations, the energy bill can be a contentious issue. There is a struggle between keeping energy costs down, while at the same time, maintaining a working environment where staff and visitors feel warm and comfortable.
Under the right conditions, heat pumps offer an extremely efficient alternative for heating or providing hot water to a building. Heat pumps have a negligible demand for electricity and instead of burning carbon-rich fossil fuels to produce heat, using the principle of vapour compression, a heat pump utilises the heat that already exists in the environment. Escaping the reliance on fossil fuels means you are no longer at the mercy of unplanned for cost increases, allowing those resources to be directed to a more rewarding part of your business.
#3 Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund
For public sector organisations, the Governments new Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund is a £1b fund being made available now for the upgrade of public buildings and social housing to make them more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. As with all current Government decarbonisation initiatives, ASHPs are perceived to have a key role in attaining change that is rapidly required from both new build projects and more critically ageing building stock. The latter especially throw up a range of physical and technical challenges when it comes to adapting or upgrading to new, more efficient systems. Therefore, it is critical to speak to experts, such as Adveco, early on when it comes to scoping out a project and agreeing an application design which delivers on the criteria established under the Decarbonisation Fund.
Heat pumps offer maximum versatility, being able to be installed into a variety of building types and sizes. For larger-scale commercial applications, the annual fluctuation in efficiency due to shifts in ambient temperature, and the peak and high-temperature demands of commercial domestic hot water (DHW) systems means hybrid approaches that combine ASHP with secondary heat sources (gas or electric) are most likely to be required. Despite the potential complexity, the versatility of the ASHP enables it to be integrated in a variety of ways that meet the typically bespoke requirements of such projects.
Whether you have a large single building, or several smaller buildings, a school or medical centre with a substantial heating or hot water needs, heat pumps can help meet the unique demands of the site.
#5 Minimal Upkeep
Air source heat pumps which have been correctly specified to the regional climate will provide consistent operation absorbing heat from the air throughout the year. For the UK, Adveco will size units based on the Ecodesign Average European Temperature Scale, which sets a minimum reference design temperature of -10°C. This allows for the realistic calculations of Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP). That said, units will still efficiently operate down to -20°C, and many southern and western regions of the UK exhibit much warmer climate.
Despite continually operating at often sub-zero temperatures during the colder months, heat pumps require very little maintenance and, of course, there is no risk of carbon monoxide, CO₂ or NOₓ from the appliance. Smart, remote monitoring ensures any potential issues are quickly flagged and attended to, and if serviced regularly, a heat pump can easily last as long as 20 years
Time to Consider Changing to Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP)
Heat pumps are repeatedly cited in government documentation, so their adoption will no doubt be incentivised. Making the switch to ASHPs offers a variety of benefits for commercial enterprises and public sector organisations, meeting the obligations for sustainable investment and ‘greening the brand’, but it also helps your organisation to maximise its operational budget.
The commercial and public sectors are going to be a key part of the UK achieving its carbon-neutral goal by 2050. There has never been a better time to adopt the technology and reap the rewards of renewability.
This blog was co-authored with boilerbrain.