So, your customer wants an integrated renewables system…

Installing an ASHP

With the new Domestic RHI now up and running, the renewables market is already growing and as a result, so are the opportunities for installers.  Given the number of potential combinations, successful multi-technology integration can be complex.

Here we look at the subject of integrating heat pumps, solar thermal and warm water underfloor heating systems, the legislation that may affect what you do and the help available to achieve a successfully integrated system.

Is the customer applying for the Domestic RHI?

The first question to ask is whether your customer wants to apply for any of the government’s financial incentives – the Domestic RHI and the Green Deal.

The Domestic RHI pays homeowners quarterly over a seven year period, helping to offset the initial cost of installing the renewable technology.  Tariffs vary depending on the technology that is being installed.  The Green Deal helps with the up-front costs of installing energy-efficient products offset against future energy savings.

If the homeowner is interested in any of the above it means that both the renewable product and the installer must be MCS approved and there will be a list of requirements that must be fulfilled in order to obtain an MCS Certificate and access funding.  There are plenty of approved generic installation training courses available throughout the UK and most suppliers offer short courses in their own products.

MCS approval for installers is based on training/qualifications in installation of the relevant technology followed by site inspections to check the quality of the work and provision of the correct documentation.  To allow you to concentrate on practical aspects of the job rather than admin, Nu-Heat supplies a comprehensive System Handover Pack to MIS standards that contains all relevant paperwork, manuals, bespoke M&E schematic drawings, heat loss calculations, energy summary, commissioning documentation, warranty certificates, health and safety information and user manuals.

Regardless of whether or not your customer is hoping for external funding it is vital to assess the project for the aspects that will affect product choice and system efficiency and then to discuss this with the supplier – they will be able to specify a sensible and cost-effective range of products based on your assessment and overall performance needs.

System design

System design is fundamental to the success of any heating system, especially when it involves renewable technologies.  A heat pump system must be designed to MIS3005, solar thermal to SAP 2013, and UFH in accordance with the Domestic Heating Compliance Guide.  The overall system must maximise efficiency whilst providing effective performance; and the fact that the UFH in particular will become part of the structure of the property means that the specification has to be right first time.

As a minimum the supplier should incorporate information relating to the building’s orientation, location, age and construction, insulation and heat losses, heat output requirement and DHW load into the system design and then tailor the specification to the available budget.  Having accurate information from the supplier allows installers to offer their customers genuine advice on whether a heat pump or solar thermal is suitable for their property, the size of unit needed, if there is a need for supplementary heating and, if so, the best technology to use.  The customer will be happy to have impartial advice from a professional installer, the system will heat the property fully and there will be fewer callouts.

Customer satisfaction

The best possible outcome for both installer and supplier is a happy customer, which is as much to do with system design and specification as it is with your ability, as there is little point having beautifully installed equipment that fails to heat the house effectively or provide enough hot water.  Therefore, our recommendation is to choose your supplier carefully; a good one will save you time and effort as well as help to maintain your professional reputation.

For guidance on integrated renewable systems, call us on 0800 731 1976.

Find out more about heat pumps and solar thermal.

The Domestic RHI – can we expect a renewables boom?

After many months of planning, the government’s much anticipated Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is finally up and running.  With such a long build up, and so many expectations to live up to, can we expect to see a real boom in the uptake of renewable technologies?

The initial figures are promising, with DECC hoping to see 35,000 households sign up in the first year alone.  If these targets are met, it is clear that it’s not just the homeowners who are set to benefit – installers and suppliers will also have a real opportunity to capitalise on the growing renewables market.

The Domestic RHI aims to encourage homeowners to switch to alternative, renewable heating solutions, such as heat pumps, by offering a financial incentive in the form of payback tariffs.  The quarterly payments are calculated and paid over a seven year period to help offset the initial cost of installing the renewable technology.  During the payback period and beyond, the homeowner will also benefit from on-going savings to their energy bills due to running a more efficient heating system in their home.

In the last few years Nu-Heat has seen a steady growth in the sales of heat pump and solar thermal systems without any strong incentive in place.  One of our Directors, Adrian Troop, takes some time to share his thoughts on the Domestic RHI and how he sees it affecting homeowners, installers and the marketplace as a whole.


Do you see the Domestic RHI having a positive impact on the renewables market?

Most definitely, especially in the self-build market where we have already noticed a positive increase in activity levels.  This area has been slow over the last few years, with self-builders like everyone else having to ‘ride out’ the recession with little or no thoughts on building.  Now we are seeing plans for projects which have been hibernating for the last few years, which together with the launch of the domestic RHI, will have a very positive effect on the domestic market.

As an established supplier of integrated renewable systems, what do you think makes the Domestic RHI different and more appealing in comparison to previous Government incentive schemes?

The benefits of the Domestic RHI are that the construction of the scheme and the tariffs applicable look to be well constructed, repaying the investment in renewable installation, whilst reaping the benefits of lower running costs.  We want there to be a steady increase in the uptake of renewable technologies, allowing the market to cope with the growth and in return put out both quality designs and installations as a result.

Do you think the scheme will open up the option of renewable solutions in a wider range of properties?

There is absolutely no reason why the positive effects will not be felt across the board into smaller and mid-range houses especially as it is expected that 35,000 households are expected to fit the technology in the first year!

Do you think the RHI will be more popular with homeowners than the previous government schemes?

We are already fielding more enquiries on ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps and solar thermal in recent weeks since DECC started publicising the pre-Easter launch, so it’s already starting to gain momentum.  I cannot see why it won’t prove popular, as logic states that if you can get a renewables heating system installed and get paid back, in some cases with a profit, within 7 years why wouldn’t you?

Which renewable technologies do you envisage becoming the most popular due to the domestic RHI?

Here at Nu-Heat, we feel that ground source heat pumps will see a resurgence in the general market, as those who have the available space to install the ground arrays and the higher upfront costs of the units will be rewarded with generous tariff payments.  In addition, solar thermal added into the scheme at the same time will add to the return generated from the tariff.

Who do you think will most benefit from the Domestic RHI?

Apart from the renewable heating system owner, installer and supplier, perhaps one of the area’s most likely to benefit are warm water underfloor heating providers.  With the benefits of a low temperature heat emitter such as underfloor heating, maximising the efficiency of the heat pump and providing a higher seasonal performance factor (SPF), clearly underfloor heating market is set to benefit too.

Do you see the Domestic RHI as a real incentive for installers to consider adding renewable technologies to their offering?

We think so.  We implore installers to get involved in this exciting growth market.  If you are a MCS ready installer, you are sitting ready to capitalise on the growth.  Clearly there are still many installers without MCS who will want to have the opportunity to gain from the market.  Nu-Heat has considerable experience in supporting novice installers new to our products and we encourage you to contact us to find out how this works.


For more information on how Nu-Heat supports novice installers, call us on 0800 731 1976

Find out more about Nu-Heat here.

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for heat pumps & solar thermal

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme or MCS is often described as the renewables equivalent of Gas Safe. Although MCS is currently not a pre-requisite for installing a renewables system, it is an absolutely necessity if a homeowner wants to claim an income from the heat produced by the system under the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a grant through the Renewable heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme or apply for Green Deal funding.

All relevant Nu-Heat heat pumps and solar thermal panels have MCS approval.

Up until 22nd October 2013 older (legacy) systems could still apply for the RHI/RHPP.  However, it is no longer possible to obtain an MCS certificate for older systems and new installations will have to be registered within 10 days of being fully installed and commissioned in order to qualify.

The ability to install renewable technologies under the MCS banner will provide an ideal opportunity to expand your business into a new and growing area of the market, and Nu-Heat can help you achieve this.

For more information contact your Account Manager on 01404 549770.

Want to know more about our UFH solutions & full product range? View our product information videos online.

We have sixteen videos on our You Tube channel that have been designed to showcase how our products and solutions work as well as who we are and what we do as a company.

Our product videos are a great way to show your customers how each of the technologies you install work and integrate and as a Nu-Heat Registered Installer you have the opportunity to use our videos by embedding them into your own website.