Energy is necessary to keep Scotland ticking over, it fuels our businesses, heats our homes, hospitals and schools but with energy production comes greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide is the most substantial greenhouse gas released by human activity and is created mostly from the emissions of burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. These emissions cause harmful damage to the earth through climate change. However the Scottish government aims to reduce these harmful energy sources by having 30% of total Scottish energy consumption from renewables by 2020. It is estimated that 40% of carbon emissions come from commercial heating and cooling, so it’s no wonder businesses are looking for new ways to heat their premises whilst also reaping long term benefits. One way companies can work to reduce Co2 emissions in Scotland is to harness one of the planet’s greatest carbon neutral sources available all around us through ground and air sourced energy.
Ground source heat pumps extract heat from the ground through pipes buried in the soil. The heat can be transferred to heat radiators and under-floor systems, water and hot air systems all from a completely natural source. Although there is some electricity needed to run ground source heat pumps, meaning they have some environmental impact they are still much preferred to conventional heating systems as the energy they extract from the ground is constantly being renewed naturally.
Air source heat pumps work in a similar way to ground source pumps, but they extract heat from the air and transfer it to heat radiators, under-floor systems, water and hot air systems. These have the same environmental impact as ground heat pumps, as they do need some electricity to run, but again its at a much reduced rate in comparison to traditional methods. Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. They can create heat from the air even during the bitter Scottish winters. Heat pumps in Scotland can still produce heat when the temperature is as low as -15° C.
There are two main types of air source heat pump, but only air-to-water pumps are eligible for the governments renewable heat incentive scheme. Air-to-air systems, which heat premises through air circulation, do not qualify. Air-to-water source heat pumps work by distributing heat through your businesses wet central heating system pumping hot water into your radiators from your boilers, which in turn heat your business.
Non – Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive
The Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Government approved scheme that provides financial incentives to promote the installations of renewable heat throughout The UK. Once your renewable heat system is installed your business will receive quarterly payments for every kilowatt hour produced for 20 years. After March 25th 2016 all heat pumps installed must meet a minimum performance standard and come with an EU energy label in order to be eligible for the RHI. Below is the renewable heat incentive tariff payment scheme which is payable to businesses who apply until 31st March 2016: source Energy Savings Trust.
Not only will your business receive an income from the RHI, but great savings can be made on top of this. By installing a ground or air source heat pump your businesses energy bills will be reduced, although some electricity is still used as the system is powered by electricity you will save by replacing the current fuel your business uses with that sourced from natural, completely free, sources. Savings will also be made due to the efficiency of new heating systems. It is likely your current system is not heating your building to its full potential. You will have lower running costs thanks to the installation of an efficient system. Using your heating system correctly will not only benefit the planet, but your bank account too. Proper control of the thermostat will allow you to make savings. A useful tip is to set the temperature slightly lower, but have the heating system come on a few hours early. This will allow your workers to still feel comfortable but reduce wasted energy. Heat pumps are especially efficient, providing huge savings if your company is heated by oil or LPG as seen it the source below. Depending on the size and nature of your building, heat pump systems will very in cost but there is no doubt there are significant savings to be made as heat pumps deliver around 4 kWh of energy for every 1 kWh of electricity used to power it, which means they are 300 to 400% more efficient than electric heating. With all these benefits and the government targets for carbon emissions still a mile away, can businesses continue to be picky about their heating systems? Is it time your business caught on to this trend for 2016?