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 PAYMENTS
GSHP
ASHP
SOLAR THERMAL
RHI Tariff payment
pence / kWh
19.1
7.42
19.51
Possible RHI payments over 7 years using Nu-Heat renewable technologies*
£14,154
£4,907
£1,540
*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.

What makes an efficient heating system?

Homeowners are telling us that choosing an efficient heating system is more important than ever before, with low running costs and low energy consumption being the key factors in choosing an underfloor heating system (UFH) or integrated renewables solution. With this in mind, what do you need to consider to make a truly efficient heating system?

Heating system

System design is essential

A good design and supply company will always specify and design an efficient and bespoke system that is well suited to the property and the homeowner’s lifestyle. For every system the bespoke design should be based on heat loss calculations for each individual room (one room could have three external walls, meaning a higher heat loss than another with just one external wall), and early recommendations may be made to improve the system’s efficiency – so you can be confident that the final design will result in a system that will perform. Find out more about what makes a good UFH system design in this blog post.

UFH is an efficient solution

Because the emitting area for UFH is large, sufficient warmth is provided across the whole floor surface to heat the room effectively. And, because UFH uses far lower water temperatures than a radiator system, the heat source doesn’t have to work as hard to reach higher temperatures and makes the most of a boiler’s condensing mode, so it operates much more efficiently, meaning lower annual running costs.

UFH works with gas, oil and LPG boilers as well as ground and air source heat pumps. The lower flow temperatures required for UFH make it an ideal partner for heat pumps, which provide optimum efficiency at low temperatures, therefore reducing the cost of heating. Insulation is extremely important when installing a heat pump – the more insulation, the less heat that is lost.

When paired with a modern condensing boiler, UFH is approximately 25% more efficient than radiators.

Flexible control

Controlling a heating system remotely is now an option offering great flexibility as well as reduced running costs. Remote access to heating controls ensures that rooms are heated only when needed.

Thermostats can be installed with UFH in each room, meaning individual room temperatures can be independently controlled from one single Smart Control – or even a smartphone. The flexibility to control room temperatures separately enables ‘fine tuning’, giving perfect comfort with improved system controllability.

You can find out more about the control options for UFH on our thermostats page.

A closer look at an ErP label

Newly introduced energy labelling and ErP

The introduction of the Energy Related Products Directive, or ErP, means that all new heating systems will now come with a product and package label to give a clear rating of their energy efficiency. Its purpose is to make the efficiency of heating products easier to compare, helping homeowners and installers to make informed and eco-friendly decisions.

Nu-Heat provides system package labels for all of our heat pump and solar systems. You will see the product and system fiche information as well as the energy label for the package in every quote. The label will also be printed and included in the handover pack with the customer user guides.

If you are installing our UFH in a project, the energy label for the heating package will be calculated and provided by the installer – this is because they have all of the relevant information on the heat source, thermostats and any other components. It’s simple for an installer to calculate and generate this label themselves and we have produced all of the required forms and an instructional video, available on our ErP resources page.

Careful integration means better system efficiency for the end user

The importance of system design, installation and commissioning support should not be underestimated when choosing an UFH system or integrated renewables solution – they provide the installer and homeowner with peace of mind that the system is being handled by experts and will perform as expected.

Our team will be happy to discuss or advise on an efficient UFH & renewables heating system for any upcoming projects. Call us on 01404 549770, 8am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Solar thermal – an affordable renewable solution

Solar thermal is both an affordable and efficient option for any homeowner who’s looking for a renewable solution – it can comfortably produce a large percentage of a household’s domestic hot water need without a hefty price tag.

Producing hot water throughout the whole year

A solar thermal system works year-round, obviously performing at its best during the summer months:

  • Typical average annual savings: 50%
  • Typical average July savings: 90%
  • Typical December savings: 10%

In roof solar thermal panel

Installation

Installing a solar thermal system requires minimal upheaval and offers immediate savings, making this type of technology a practical and cost-effective option for new-builds and existing properties.

For a homeowner, solar thermal is an option that enables them to improve their carbon footprint and take advantage of the government funding initiative, the RHI.

To access the RHI payments both the solar panels and the installation itself must be MCS approved.  At Nu-Heat, our panels have MCS approval, and we can also help installers with MCS by offering a comprehensive handover pack and a range of installation support options.

Positioning the panels

The builder or roofing contractor will usually install the panels either on or in the roof depending on the property.  Ideally they should be positioned on a south facing roof with a pitch of between 30° to 50°.

In retrofit projects, it is still possible to install flush-mounted, ‘in-roof’ panels as long as consideration is given to the specific roof structure.  Another option is to install the panels on a freestanding framework on a flat roof or in a garden.

Solar thermal for new builds…

Solar thermal is an obvious choice for new-build projects.  The panels and cylinder location can be specified from the outset and the pipework can be easily installed at an appropriate stage of the build.  Another bonus of considering solar thermal as part of a new build is that points will be awarded towards the Code for Sustainable Homes.

For smaller dwellings such as a flat or terraced house, a single panel solar system will streamline installation and provide a cost-effective option.

…and for existing properties

Solar thermal is also suitable for older properties.  It’s likely that most of the existing plumbing is reusable – the heating engineer will be able to offer advice on this and undertake installation of any new pipework, connection to the panels, cylinder and solar controller, with an electrician to connect up the control system.

Find out more

Check out the solar thermal section of our website to find out more or give us a call on 01404 549770.