Manpower: the new alternative energy source.

Gym

When we think of alternative energy production, we automatically picture fields of wind turbines or homes laden with solar panels. However, can we still call these methods alternative when for the first time in 2019 renewable electricity overtook fossil fuels? Even with this great news, the UK is still a long way from being completely supplied by renewables, so are there other alternative energy sources that we, as a nation, can tap into?

Where we humans exert the most energy is in the gym. The miles and miles pounded into a treadmill and the forces exerted on weight machines may just give us the extra boost we need to meet the UK’s demand. There are already examples where gym users actually power the gym itself. Terra Hale, meaning “Strong Earth”, is a self-sustaining gym in London, taking the power generated by it’s spin class users then pumping any extra energy back to the grid. Though these gyms are not common, they are certainly on the rise as the population becomes more conscious of the environment (and their health!).

A similar gym near Bristol has cross training machines that each feed 100W per hour back into the building’s power supply. People here can kill two birds with one stone by getting fit and saving the planet. With this as an incentive, could we create enough energy through manpower to keep our lights on at night?

Think your workouts are enough to power the world?

An analysis by Uswitch found that gym goers in the UK generate enough energy to make 408 million cups of a month, or cook 4 million pizzas in an electric oven. Over a year this equates to 41.62 GWH generated by the UK’s gym population. This may sound like a lot, but that’s only 3% of the amount generated at the UK’s biggest wind farm, Rampion.

So it seems that powering the entire UK with this method is far from feasible, but perhaps the UK’s small islands could stand to benefit from this boost in energy. The Isles of Scilly, just off the Cornish coast, is the perfect size to be powered indefinitely by all the UK’s gym goers. Whilst the Orkney Islands, off the northern coast of Scotland, could be powered for 2.27 days. Meanwhile, over in Wales, the Isle of Anglesey would last for 1.54 days.

Smart cities the way forward?

So gyms alone aren’t quite ready to power the world, but what about harnessing energy from everyday life? Pavegen is a company that converts city footfall into off-grid power generating up to 5 watts of power for every foot-step. For cities of the future this may well be a viable solution with no reliance on the dedicated few that hit the gym everyday. For all the millions of people that make even the shortest journey by foot, they could be proud that they are contributing to the world’s renewable energy production. A fitter population and a renewable energy source all in one.

UK to See a Rise in Community-Generated Green Energy

The face of energy in the UK is changing. With the institution of a new tariff, the UK is making a push towards community-generated green energy. This shift comes as part of a larger initiative to improve the state of sustainable power in light of the growing threat of climate change.

The UK has made major strides in its attempts to go green. In 2019, the amount of electricity from zero-emission sources surpassed that of fossil fuels for the first time on record. But to achieve the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, it may require even more effort.

The move towards community energy is one such further effort. 

Community Power Tariff

In January of this year, Co-Op Energy announced the Community Power Tariff, the UK’s first tariff powered completely by community energy projects. On average, it will cost £5 more monthly than their standard tariff. In return, customers will receive power from community-generates sources and contribute to carbon offsets.

The price tag of another £5 doesn’t seem like much, but it does add up to an extra £60 a year. The cost may be well worth it to citizens with stronger convictions about community energy or sustainability but may turn some away. People who don’t want to pay for the tariff can still use one of Octopus Energy’s other options.

What Is Community-Generated Green Energy?

Community-generated green energy, as the name implies, is renewable power generated by local projects. Like other green initiatives, it sources energy from things like solar panels or wind farms, but it only uses local instances of these projects. Many communities across the UK already generate clean energy, and this tariff supports those practices.

The UK government already provides support for community energy projects. Their encouragement of small communities to pursue reduced emissions is likely a driving factor behind Co-Op’s new push in that direction. 

Motivations for Community Energy

All of these community energy projects and initiatives are part of the UK’s zero emissions goal. By encouraging rural areas to take sustainability into their own hands, the government and other groups hope to spur a unified environmental movement. But there are more benefits of green energy than just reduced emissions.

Renewable energy offers several tangible advantages for smaller communities. Clean air isn’t just better for plants and animals, but it’s better for people. Going green can significantly improve a community’s health, prolonging life and reducing medical bills.

Locally-generated energy also creates jobs. Plants like solar and wind farms need people to operate them, so building or expanding these can increase jobs within the area.

What to Expect

The first thing residents might notice when switching to community energy is a bigger energy bill. If you get your green energy through a program like Co-Op’s Community Power tariff, your monthly bill will go up. But if your community energy comes from a local push towards sustainability instead of through a power company, it may have the opposite effect.

The specific effects and their extent will vary depending on the community, but there are a few consistent consequences. Some of these might be noticeable immediately, like the monetary changes, but some might take a longer time to take effect. 

Short-Term Effects

The most evident immediate effect of community energy is the change in monthly charges. Whether your tariffs increase or decrease, it will only change by an incremental amount, but this will build up over time.

Another thing that might start changing soon after the shift to community energy is an increase in local project maintenance. With the Community Power tariff, Co-Op will start funding this upkeep. With truly local community energy, area leaders or residents will pay more attention to these projects. 

In either case, communities might see new job openings or an increase in the efficiency of local green power sources.

Long-Term Effects

Some of the most substantial effects of community energy will take place over a longer period. As more money goes into local renewable power projects, more green energy sources will start popping up. Feeding existing sustainability initiatives will lead to the development of new ones.

Perhaps the most significant impact of moving towards community energy is a decreased reliance on fossil fuels. Over time, if people maintain and expand these projects, more and more operations will run on green energy. In turn, this shift will lead to a cleaner, safer environment.

It’s critical to note that these predictions rely on the assumption that these community power projects are effective. Some people have called green energy tariffs into question, suggesting some companies may not be as eco-friendly as they proclaim. But a genuine push towards clean and local energy will ultimately be beneficial in the long run.

Written by

Jenna Tsui Technology Blogger, The Byte Beat

GDPR and Data Protection After Brexit

GDPR and Brexit

After years in flux, Great Britain has formally withdrawn from the European Union. The country’s departure is unprecedented and has raised several questions about British compliance with EU regulations — which are still in effect, who is still bound, for how long and more. 

One of the biggest questions is how Brexit will impact data protection in the wake of the EU’s landmark privacy rule, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. 

Here is how the U.K.’s exit from the EU will intersect with GDPR in the event of Brexit.

How Brexit Will Change Data Protection in the U.K.

Even though the U.K. has formally exited the EU, very few of the expected legal impacts of Brexit will happen right away. For the moment, the U.K. is still bound by many EU regulations and granted key freedoms — like freedom of movement — which will stay in place in the near future. Concerning data protection and GDPR compliance, nothing significant will change during the transition period this year, which ends on Dec. 31, 2020.

After that date, the U.K. will become a “third country” under the terms of the GDPR, unless it is deemed adequate by the EU.

If the U.K. becomes a third country, GDPR restrictions will apply to personal data transferred there from the EU. Companies will also need to update their privacy policies to reflect the U.K.’s status.

Classification of “adequate” requires the U.K. to adopt data protection equivalent to those in the EU. Last year, the U.K. accomplished this by folding its own version of the GDPR, the U.K. GDPR, into the Data Protection Act 2018. It’s equivalent to the GDPR in all aspects and is expected to effectively harmonize British data regulations with existing EU standards — which should ensure a decision of adequate status from the EU.

If granted, this adequate status could result in a return to business as usual. In this scenario, it’s likely that companies in the U.K. won’t need to make any changes to their current data collection policies, so long as they’re already GDPR-compliant.

At the moment, there is no clear timetable for when the European Commission will make its adequacy decision on the U.K. Current evidence suggests that the commission is preparing to make an adequacy decision before the end of the year. However, there’s nothing guaranteeing a timely resolution. Even if the EU finds the U.K. standards adequate, it may not be granted adequate status before the end of the transition period. With the U.K.’s adoption of the U.K. GDPR, there may be a period of several months or longer where it’s regarded by the EU as a third country.

In any case, however, U.K. companies continuing to do business in the EU will still be bound by GDPR regulations, just like any company based outside the EU that serves customers in the union.

Steps Businesses Should Take

Businesses currently bound by GDPR will need to continue following EU data regulations. They should expect that any of the GDPR impacts the company has felt so far will continue. User data will need to be protected adequately, and you will need to ask for prior consent before collecting user data, just as before. 

Businesses should, however, consider preparing for the possibility that the U.K. fails to be deemed adequate, or that the European Commission fails to update its status to adequate before the end of the transition period. This would result in the U.K. being regarded as a third country, at least for a brief period.

While the U.K. is regarded as a third country, businesses will effectively need to create their own GDPR safeguards and company policies that ensure the proper use and handling of personal data if they want to stay compliant. U.K. businesses will still be subject to fines from the EU if they fall out of compliance with the GDPR, even while the U.K. is considered a third country.

What to Expect With GDPR After Brexit

If the U.K. is granted adequate status, businesses will likely feel little difference when it comes to data protection regulation. If not, staying compliant with the GDPR may be a little bit more complicated, with companies needing to put new safeguards and stricter controls in place to ensure the proper processing of data. They will also need to notify their customers of the U.K.’s third country status.

However, disruption from the U.K.’s third country status is expected to be short-lived. The U.K. government and the EU appear to be in total agreement when it comes to standards that businesses should follow to ensure the proper handling of customer data. While Brexit is likely to have major impacts on many different aspects of British business and dealings with the EU, data protections seem to be a settled issue.

written by

Jenna Tsui Technology Blogger, The Byte Beat

The Great British Kettle Surge

the_great_british_kettle_surge

When we think about what could prompt a sudden & large need for energy our thoughts turn to the obvious, such as an arena bursting into life for a big concert, a skyscraper full of offices waking up or all of the bright lights of a theme park switching on at once. A gargantuan call for electricity will conjure these images, but we rarely think of something as small or simple as, say, a light-bulb, or a telephone ringing; or even a kettle

However, it’s this humble home appliance that regularly challenges the UK’s National Grid to keep the nation’s lights on. Known as ‘TV pickup’, the National Grid often braces itself for additional hundreds or even thousands of megawatts surging throughout the nation, all because of an ad break during a prime time television show or a special televised event. 

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This is ‘The Great British Kettle Surge’, the phenomenon of millions of kettles being switched on almost simultaneously, which occurs more often than one might imagine. It’s heavily ingrained in British culture to go for a cup of tea at the drop of a hat, so the common action of turning on a kettle might not seem significant, yet it’s the sheer quantity of kettles boiling across the nation that creates a national demand for electricity.

Due to the sudden nature of TV pickups, despite the National Grid’s best attempts at predictions, the electricity required may not be readily available. This is why the UK frequently has to export energy from other countries, often from some of our closest neighbours. France is widely recognised as the world’s largest exporter of electricity, which is why we turn to them as a reliable provider for electricity whenever there’s a break before the judges’ verdicts in The Great British Bakeoff or the viewing public needs reprieve from the results of a Love Island elimination.

The sheer amount of energy required from even one of the smallest TV pickups is, frankly, shocking, which is why Energy Controls created a visual aid to showcase this. Everything from Will & Kate’s Royal Wedding to the first Moon Landing has been measured in terms of viewership numbers, which boil down to how much electricity was needed for these events as well as how many kettles this staggering amount of watts could power.

How many cups of tea could the 2008 Olympics viewership have made? How many homes could have been powered by one of Beyonce’s biggest shows? And has the nation’s TV pickups become any less taxing over the last few decades? These questions, and many more, are visually represented below.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Creating a Sustainable Property

Renewable energy is fast becoming a concern for governments all around the world, especially with environmental activists putting pressure on their local governments to enact large-scale changes. According to the BBC, The Welsh Government aims to have all new homes running on sustainable energy starting from 2025. Not only do these plans work towards the goal of near-zero emissions by 2050, but they’re also aimed at providing better standards of living for Welsh citizens. Up north, plans are currently underway to build a huge wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire that will power over 4.5 million homes.

However, the truth is that we still have a long way to go before many of these government interventions really get started. And with new and existing homes accounting for 20% of greenhouse gases in the UK, homeowners need to be doing their part as well. Here is how you can create your own sustainable home:

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Sustainable Heating System

The simplest way to shift to a sustainable heating system is to upgrade what your home already has. A guide to the ‘10 Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill’ by HomeServe outlines how an old boiler that hasn’t been replaced in decades can be very inefficient in its energy use. If this is the case with your home, upgrading your boiler to an energy efficient model, like a combi-boiler, will reduce the amount of energy used and help you reduce your energy bills.

Energy Efficient Design

If your home is due for a renovation, consider partnering with contractors and engineers to create a more energy-efficient design. You can have your windows upgraded to either double glazing or, if you want to go further, you can update your windows to have smart glass that can adjust the tint of the window to reduce the amount of heat entering and leaving the home. Home Building details how you can also choose natural and recycled materials for the construction of new rooms, and even add eco-friendly features like green walls.

Invest in renewable energy generators

Huge energy farms are what come to mind when people think of renewable energy. The Spruce’s guide to ‘Home Renewable Energy Options’ at home, notes that there are generators you can install to power your home via wind turbines or geothermal energy. Solar shingles can be used in the place of solar panels at almost a third of the price. While these generators may require a bit of investment up front, those who have the resources should consider making the switch in order to kick-start their road to making their home energy efficiency.

If you are already buying in bulk, shifting away from single-use plastic, and using reusable hygiene products, the next step is to consider your home’s energy output. The current movement towards sustainable and zero-waste living provides the perfect opportunity for homeowners to move towards larger-scale changes. Homeowners can, in fact, start reducing their energy footprint right now. The goal is to make small, incremental changes until you have a truly energy-efficient home.

Article specially written for renewableenergyhub.co.uk

By Alyson James

Image credit: Unsplash

AUTHOR BIO: Alyson James is a tech junkie who has recently gotten into sustainable living. Her main goals for this year are to lower her family’s energy consumption, cut her sugar intake, clean out her wardrobe, and (fingers crossed) be able to do a hand-stand.

6 Ways to Slow Down Climate Change

Climate Change

If there’s anything the Australian bushfires have taught us, it’s the fact that climate change is real and can no longer be denied. Our planet is getting hotter and we must act quickly to prevent further climate catastrophes.

The bushfires are changing the way Australians live, as it should for people all around the globe. Thankfully, many individuals, families and organisations have recognised the impact of a warmer climate and are preparing to make changes now.

With so many great minds now focussing on the crisis, we’re seeing innovative ideas that can slow down climate change and ideally reverse it. Ideas are fantastic however it’s action that can change the world. Some of the ideas in this article may seem small and insignificant and others may seem outside your realm of influence. That’s okay! If we all work towards what we can control and make some adjustments in our lives, collectively we can produce a far better outcome.

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  1. Online connectivity

Why drive to work every day when online technologies allows most of us to work from home. You’ll help save the planet by not driving and producing carbon emissions and studies show you’ll probably be more productive. Some entire companies are moving to a work from home model that also means no large office needs to be powered, heated, cooled and maintained which will also save energy.

  • Automatic sensors

It’s easy for us all to forget to do the simple things like turning lights off when we leave a room. Installing automatic sensors in the home or office space is a great way to minimise the waste of energy. These simple devices can do things like turning off the lights when no one is in the room, adjust the indoor temperature when rooms are no longer in use, and control the water flow from faucets to prevent waste. Automatic sensors typically generate power usage reports, which is a fun way to monitor the improvements your gadgets are making.

  • Solar photovoltaic panels

The invention of solar photovoltaic panels has reduced our dependency on fossil fuels for energy. Solar PVs are a practical and cost-effective tool for converting energy from the sun into energy we can use daily. Technological developments over the years have improved solar PVs’ capacity for absorbing the energy from the sun and also lowered the costs. Though roof-mounted panels are still the more popular form of solar PVs, ground-mounted panels have become popular for solar farms. There are also practical ways to design your home to make use of passive solar.

  • Wind turbines

Just like solar PVs, wind turbines have contributed significantly to reducing our need to burn fossil fuels for energy. Wind turbines harness the wind’s kinetic energy and convert it into power we can use every day. They work best in open places where the wind is known to be strong. While we are seeing wind turbines power industry, in years to come maybe options will be developed to power our homes.

  • Renewable energy storage

One of the modern advantages of using renewable energy is the ability to store that energy for future use. That’s why many solar PVs now come with rechargeable batteries. Where the costs for batteries were once prohibitive, you can now purchase a battery solution at a fraction of the cost.

  • Distributed energy resources

It’s now possible for communities to take more control over their power consumption through distributed energy resources (DERs). DERs, also called microgrids, can produce cleaner energy and can lower power costs for consumers. While its challenging to gain community agreement on this type of project, if the global climate crisis continues to escalate its likely more people will want to get off the national grid, have more direct control over power usage, and save money by setting up a DER in their neighbourhood.

Our planet is getting hotter, and the increasing heat is wreaking havoc on our weather patterns. If we act quickly and rethink the ways we produce and use energy, we can slow down global warming and climate change.

Learn more about solar panels and renewable energy here.

Renewable Energy Strategies in the Oil and Gas Sector

Oil and Gas Industry

Renewable energy is suddenly taking a very important role in the energy industry; especially solar and wind. In light of this, major players in the oil and gas industry have begun to position themselves for this forecasted energy transition. 

Major investments by the oil majors into renewable energy has called for the question of whether this is an indication that they are gradually transitioning into energy companies. Also, upon closer study of this trend, it is easy to classify the major players into leaders in renewable energy investment and slackers. 

The results indicate that of eight majors, five have invested significantly in renewable energy. The results also indicate a very noticeable link between renewable energy strategies of oil majors and their proven oil reserves. 

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Projections from BP’s 2018 Energy Outlook show that renewable energy would be the most rapidly growing energy source and is estimated to increase five-fold by 2040.

 The figure would then effectively make up about 14% of primary energy globally by this time in the future. In addition, the oil and gas industry has taken hits and the majors are looking for other profitable prospects as this industry gradually declines. 

Although there has been no peak demand for oil in a while, it is expected to occur soon as this industry typically experiences oil demand growth slows down first before peaking. Therefore, oil and gas jobs are still very much in circulation. 

Renewable Energy Strategies by the Major Players 

In light of these happenings, the oil industry is at a crossroads as to whether it should somewhat reinvent itself and bear the banner of renewables businesses instead.

 This is further encouraged by the increasing costs of extracting hydrocarbons, this effectively presents an incentive of gravitating away from hydrocarbons and accelerating the energy transition towards the cheaper renewable energy resources. 

This also calls for the question of whether renewables could be the next big business for oil majors to divert their scarce capital into and away from upstream oil. 

Due to this, most oil firms are constantly researching what other sustainable ventures can replace what is the best cash cow presently available in the world so that their future is assured. 

On top of all of these, the increasing concerns about climate change, especially after the Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21) Paris Agreement may be further motivation for this strategy in order to prevent hardening investor sentiment towards carbon emissions.

 In the wake of COP21, over 170 countries reached a consensus to make efforts towards placing a limit on global warming to significantly below two degrees Celsius, and this would very well require major investments in low-carbon energy sources. 

Sequel to this, the chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Mr. Ben van Beurden recently made it known to investors that Royal Dutch Shell was now an energy transition company as against its previous oil and gas company tag. 

The present business models of the oil majors and renewable companies, however, do not share similarities. And the oil industry would very much likely for instance, have an entirely different capital cost compared to the renewables sector. 

Majority of renewable ventures such as solar and wind projects typically churn out cash flows similar to annuities for decades after an initial up-front capital expenditure that usually comes with a low price risk and this is very much different from the models of oil businesses that put in place the probability of facing oil risk. 

This brings about the argument that the power business is almost becoming an identical version of the oil industry with the increasing share of intermittent renewables. 

This often requires the skill set of a trader in order to increase volatility and it also provides a risk reduction in a future that is going to be an environmentally low carbon one. 

The Rise in Renewable Energy 

Data from the International Energy Agency indicates that renewable energy accounted for nearly two-thirds of the net new power capacity globally in the year 2016; in addition, almost 164GW came on stream. 

Projections show that over the course of the next 20 years, renewable energy would experience the most rapid growth in terms of global primary energy and would be responsible for two-thirds of global investments in power plants to 2040. 

As a form of a strategic response to the rising cost of hydrocarbon extraction and growth potential in the renewable energy sector, oil companies have started to exhibit a major presence in the renewable energy and electricity sector. 

However, there are various levels to this engagement, the oil majors, of course, are at the forefront and are fast developing strategies to acquire the major portions of this rapidly growing renewable energy market. 

While at this, they also continue to get a grip of value propositions of renewables while weighing it still against oil and gas developments.

 This comes as a result of pressure from climate activists and shareholders to limit global warming by reducing carbon emissions from hydrocarbons. 

It is worthy of note that oil majors including Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, BP, Eni, Petrobras, and Statoil/Equinor have all begun to gravitate towards big energy.

 In addition, of all oil majors, only ExxonMobil has not made a move towards developing solar and wind assets. None of the oil majors have investments in geothermal energy while only Total and Petrobras have exposure to hydro activities. 

Conclusion 

The oil and gas industry is one that has taken quite a few hits over the past few years with oil prices constantly fluctuating.

However, this doesn’t imply that the industry is indeed still a very formidable one. With the rise in global warming, major oil players have begun to seek other alternatives for clean and sustainable energy and prevention of energy losses

This implies that one thing is certain, the oil and gas industry is indeed evolving and this, therefore, guarantees longevity. 

Ground Source Heat Pump Advantages and Disadvantages

Workers Laying Geothermal Coils in an Underground Trench

Geothermal energy advantages and disadvantages in 2019

Geothermal energy is becoming a popular resource all over the world. We use it in heating homes via heat pumps. We use it in industry. Parts of the world even have geothermal power plants. It’s one of the best renewable sources of energy. It doesn’t harm our environment as no greenhouse gasses will be produced. And we have it in abundance. Most areas in the UK and all over the world can benefit. One of the countries that utilises geothermal energy more than anyone else is Iceland. Iceland’s geothermal power is heating and providing hot water to 87% of its buildings. More projects using geothermal power are planned for the UK. In Cornwall there are plans to open a geothermal power plant. It is hoped that in the future geothermal energy can provide 20% of the UK’s energy supply.

Geothermal energy is harvested by drilling into the earth’s surface and down to the core. The heat is passed through a cycle of evaporation, compression, condensation and expansion. It can then be used within the building to heat or cool it.

There are Geothermal energy advantages and disadvantages, let’s look at both:

Geothermal advantages:

Geothermal is renewable and sustainable:

Geothermal energy is heat produced by the earth’s core. This heat is unlimited and can be used over and over and any used is a much smaller amount than that of the earth’s heat content. The resources in geothermal reservoirs are naturally restored making it a renewable source.

Highly efficient:

 Geothermal heat systems are highly efficient. Most systems have a COP of 3-4.5 meaning that for every unit of energy used to power the system it supplies 3-4.5 units of heat. They are calculated as being 400% efficient. Being so efficient can save you up to 50% on household bills.

Lowering your carbon footprint:

If you’re thinking about a heat pump the chances are, you’re looking for a greener way to heat your home. Heat pumps don’t need to burn anything to create heat therefore there are no carbon emissions. The heat pump does require a small amount of electricity, however. Heat pumps are considered environmentally friendly. The refrigerant used is also not harmful to the environment. Another way to reduce your carbon footprint would be to generate your own electricity, this could be with solar or wind.

They improve air quality:

Your heat pump produces clean air, nothing is burned, and filters remove all harmful things such as mould and dust. Good news for asthma or allergy sufferers.

Low maintenance:

 Heat pumps don’t require a lot of maintenance. They are extremely reliable. There are very few moving parts in the system meaning the pump can have a lifespan of 20 years and the pipes potentially longer, up to 50 years with warranty.

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Disadvantages of geothermal energy

Greenhouse gases:

This may be confusing, as it has been described as eco-friendly and renewable. There are some greenhouse gasses trapped beneath the earth. Sometimes extracting geothermal energy can release some of these greenhouse gases. The earth needs to be drilled into to reach the earth’s heat. This release, however, is a much smaller amount than man made greenhouse gasses from fossil fuels. Geothermal is still an eco-friendlier option.

High initial costs:

To install a geothermal pump in a domestic setting can be expensive. This is due partly to work that is involved with drilling and laying pipes. Return on investment can, however, be good. You could make your money back using the RHI scheme and reducing bills in 2 to 10 years. The cost ranges from £10,000 to £18,000 for ground source pumps.

Space:

Your property will need a fair amount of space for most systems. These systems require pipes to be laid underground in ditches. There is the option on vertical ground source heat pumps if you have less space.

Overall geothermal energy is going to save you money. You do need to consider for what purpose you plan on using it and whether your property is suitable. There are many kinds of systems and some are more suited to things such as underfloor heating. However, without good insulation this kind of heating will not be cost effective. Having taken all factors into account, geothermal heat pumps are a great way to introduce a green way of heating into your home. They are considered eco-friendly and will significantly reduce your carbon emissions. The initial costs are high which is unavoidable, but with the RHI and your savings on bills, we think geothermal heat pumps are a great return on investment. One of the advantages to ground source heat pumps is no planning permission will be required. Once installed, the pipes are no longer visible. It is always best to check with your local authority before starting an installation.

BestHeating Content Manager Jess Steele says “another great advantage of installing an eco-friendly heat pump is that they can easily operate with both modern designer and traditional column radiators. Whether you are considering a ground source or air source heat pump, there are no technical requirements for them to operate effectively in your home as long as your existing radiators are able to provide enough heat.”

“Although there are no specific requirements restricting the use of radiators with heat pumps, there are some concerns regarding the maximum output temperature that is achievable. For this reason, it is advisable to contact a heating engineer to determine whether your existing radiators will heat your home to a comfortable temperature with a heat pump. In some cases, additional heat sources such as heated towel rails or underfloor heating may be required to adequately heat certain rooms.”

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