What to expect from a site visit

Site visit

Nu-Heat’s Field Sales Managers are out on the road, visiting customers on site daily. We work together with the Account Managers to provide guidance and support on system specification and to help customers with any questions they may have.

There are six Field Sales Managers in total and all have strong backgrounds in the plumbing and heating industry (totting up to more than 100 years!), so have the knowledge and experience to advise the most efficient solution for any project.

We are dotted around various locations across the country, so no matter where you are you can speak to us about a project face-to-face.

Who can have a site visit?

We visit a wide range of customers from architects, to help with specification of solutions; installers, to help build their technical knowledge and support their business; to the homeowner, to answer any questions about the solution we have quoted.

Site visits can be particularly useful when we are able to meet everyone involved in the project – the homeowner, builder and plumber – to discuss the finer details of the system and how it will be designed and installed.

When do you require a site visit?

The majority of site visits tend to be for projects that involve a more complicated underfloor heating system or systems where there is an integrated heat pump or solar thermal. A site visit helps us to ensure that the solution will perform efficiently and also gives us the opportunity to answer any questions you may have.

Hampstead property underfloor heating

What happens on a site visit?

This varies depending on the project. To begin with we will assess the site to check that the solutions being considered are cost-effective and will perform efficiently, as required. We also discuss the location for the system manifolds, outside spot for the air source heat pump, as well as any other indoor equipment associated with a heat pump installation.

With more complicated underfloor heating systems, we use the site visit to ensure that we have specified the best possible floor construction for the project as this can’t always be seen from a set of drawings.

Requesting a site visit

Any customer with a project that involves renewables or a tricky underfloor heating installation can request a site visit – simply ask your Account Manager for more info or fill out the form on this page and we’ll get back to you.

» You can find out more about the Field Sales Team in our ‘Meet the Team’ blog post here.

A 5 step checklist to assess your project for renewables

Ground source heat pumps

Nearly any property, new build or retrofit, can benefit from renewable technologies.

Whilst the majority of properties can enjoy some type of renewable solution, there are a handful of important considerations to ensure that the system installed is efficient and worth the initial investment.

We’ve put together a simple 5-step checklist to help you assess your project for renewables:

  1. How old is the property and how well is it insulated?Insulation is extremely important when installing a heat pump as they operate at their most efficient when producing lower flow temperatures. The more insulation you have, the less heat that is lost. If your property is a new build (built in the last 10 years), the insulation should be up to current Building Regulations, meaning it ought to be suitable for a heat pump.

    If you are renovating it is essential that the insulation levels are being brought up to Part L1B standards in order for the heat pump to be efficient. In this scenario, you will need to consider the costs of insulating your property versus the benefit of installing a heat pump.

  2. Does the property have access to mains gas?Heat pumps are ideally suited to properties without access to main gas as you’re likely to see a greater return on investment when compared to electric and the fluctuating prices cost of oil and LPG fossil fuels.A heat pump is still be a viable eco-friendly solution for a new build property that is on the gas grid, as the high levels of insulation mean that the heat pump will operate very efficiently.
  3. Does the site have plenty of free land?When it comes to choosing a heat pump, the site plays a big part in the type of unit required.A GSHP requires free, accessible land that is approximately 3 times the total floor area of the property to accommodate the ground loops. There is also the option of digging boreholes, although this is considerably more expensive.

    If space is not available, an ASHP is a good, cost-effective alternative.

  4. Will the property require planning permission?It’s important to check if your property requires planning permission before installing an ASHP.There is varying criteria for different Planning Authorities, so it is best to obtain clarification on planning permission. The main consideration is around the heat pump’s proximity to neighbouring properties and also the noise levels emitted.

    The majority of installations will fall under permitted development and one of the checks for this is that the heat pump is sited more than 1 metre from the edge of the property’s boundary (3 metres in Wales).

    Solar is also covered by permitted development rights, however you must check with planning if you are in an AONB, a Conservation Area or if the building is listed.

    As a GSHP unit is situated inside the property, planning is not required.

  5. Electricity supplyMost heat pump installations should only require a standard single-phase electricity supply.For larger properties, usually over 330m2, where a heat pump over 12kW will be specified, it is likely that a three-phase supply will be required. You would need to contact your electricity supplier for more information.


Qualifying for the RHI

One of the big appeals of a renewables system is that the installation cost can be offset by applying for the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive. In order to qualify for the scheme the system must meet strict design and installation criteria, something that Nu-Heat can help you and your installer with.

Find out more about whether a heat pump is right for your project by watching ‘Everything you need to know about heat pumps‘.

You can also visit use our Heat Pump Selector Tool or call 01404 5440650 to speak with an expert.

Nu-Heat wonders why the winner of The Apprentice was advised against the renewables market

Joseph Valente

This year’s The Apprentice winner, Joseph Valente, is a young plumber who set out with a vision of expanding his business into the renewables market. He showed drive and passion for our industry but was advised to steer clear of renewables by experts, instead focusing on smart technologies. We can’t help but wonder, why?

The advice and comment given on the show was interesting, arguing that these eco-friendly, efficient and sustainable solutions are “not that big in the UK” and that smart controls would be a better investment. It’s a contrast to recent figures from Ofgem which show that over 30,000 heat pumps, biomass, and solar thermal systems were installed in the first year of the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (RHI), and this doesn’t take other installations such as PV into account. You could argue that the smart stat and controls market is far more saturated with some very big players including Heatmiser, Nest and Hive. Adrian, Nu-Heat’s Marketing Director, explains further:

“There has never been a better time to start installing renewable technologies. This is in part due to the confirmation that the RHI will continue until at least 2021, acting as a huge financial incentive for homeowners to consider an alternative, more environmentally-friendly way to heat their home.

“Whilst it’s true that the yellow tape surrounding renewables can make it tricky for plumbing & heating engineers to install some of these technologies, there is support available to make this far easier. MCS accreditation can be costly, but experienced suppliers can take on this work, dealing with all of the paperwork and even visiting site to commission a system to ensure they meet the strict guidelines required for RHI payments. This allows every plumber to install renewable technologies to the highest standard without the worry, or cost, of MCS.”

» Find out more about heat pumps here

» Find out more about solar thermal here

» You can also watch our new video ‘Everything you need to know about heat pumps’ here

Good news for the RHI following the Government’s Spending Review

There has been a fair amount of speculation on the future of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) over recent months, so many were pleased when Government confirmed that they are committed to the RHI until at least 2021.

The outcome of the recent Spending Review was a positive move with the Government continuing to fund the RHI as an incentive for homeowners, with the aim of encouraging many to opt for an efficient and eco-friendly way to heat their home.

This announcement is great news for anyone currently looking to install a renewable technology such as a heat pump, solar thermal, or biomass, in their home as they can apply for funding with certainty that the scheme will continue to run. The RHI offers a tangible benefit with the tariffs helping to offset the cost of system installation

The continuation of the RHI is also good news for installers. By backing such an appealing incentive we can expect the interest in renewable solutions to grow, bringing more work of this type to installers across the country.

Useful resources

You can find out a bit more about heat pumps and solar thermal through our list of useful resources:

» Heat pump selector tool
» Ground source heat pumps
» Air source heat pumps

Nu-Heat also offers a range of MCS support packages for installers, ensuring any plumbing & heating engineer is able to install a renewable system that complies with strict MCS guidelines, qualifying for the RHI. Call us on 01404 549770 for more info.


RHI tariffs

When opting for a ground source heat pump (GSHP), you could receive around £15,000 back in tariff payments over the 7 years period thanks to the RHI.

Current RHI tariff rates (December 2015)

RHI Tariff payment
pence / kWh
Possible RHI payments over 7 years using Nu-Heat renewable technologies*
*An average two-bedroomed house, using 15,000kWh of heating per year with a SPF of 3.4 on GSHP and 2.7 on ASHP.
Solar thermal based on average 3-bedroomed, 4-person household using 49,640 litres of hot water p.a.
May 2014.