Over the past few years we’ve covered the work being done by social housing providers to upgrade ‘traditional’ heating to renewable technologies.
Not only does this have the potential to help alleviate high bills for the tenants, it can also help reduce the overall emissions of the property and therefore the housing stock.
But what is involved for the tenants? And do they understand why their Housing Association might be heading towards a renewable option.
We hope the following frequently asked questions will help increase overall understanding.
What is an air source heat pump?
Heat pumps are recognised as a low carbon alternative to traditional heating systems such as direct electric, gas and oil.
The UK Government is fully behind heat pumps as a key part of the future and by 2030, the Committee on Climate Change forecasts that heat pump heating will rise to over 1 million units per year.
Essentially an air source heat pump is a heating system that harvests and upgrades free heat energy from the air to provide heating and sanitary hot water in your home.
Typically each individual home will have an outdoor heat pump which will connect to an indoor cylinder to deliver reliable heating and hot water.
In comparison to existing heating systems, energy bills should decrease due to the higher efficiency of the system.
The market leader by far is the advanced Ecodan heat pump range from Mitsubishi Electric which also offers Wi-Fi-enabled, smartphone controls and energy monitoring as standard.
Why does my housing association need to change my current heating system?
HA’s are under increasing pressure to adhere to new and existing Government legislation outlining how homes should be maintained in order to keep residents happy, as well as help reduce the UKs emissions. Being energy efficient is a big part of this and the benefits to residents with renewable heating systems like Ecodan are not just lower fuel bills but reliable heating and hot water all year round.
For the Housing Association, changing existing heating system to a renewable technology can reduce a property’s carbon footprint because overall energy consumption is reduced and for new housing stock, renewable technology assists in meeting the demand for more sustainable homes.
How will a heat pump actually benefit me?
The drivers for replacing the heating systems for Housing Associations may be to reduce carbon emissions and increase renewable credentials, but tenant/residents satisfaction is always paramount.
Removing heating systems like direct electric and storage heaters will significantly improve comfort levels and offer a level of control many tenants will have craved.
Heat pumps can also reduce running costs, saving money on heating bills, and because market-leaders such as Ecodan have an A++ energy rating, they are recognised as one of the most efficient on the market.
What will the installation process be?
Heat pumps are generally easy to design and install, reducing installation time and minimising any disruption to tenant’s property.
The actual amount of work will depend on each property and also whether other improvements to the fabric, such as new windows are being installed at the same time.
Most heat pump installations should take little more than a couple of days and manufacturers such as Mitsubishi Electric work closely with approved installers and social housing providers to keep tenants involved and informed throughout the process.
Maintenance on a heat pump is also simpler than gas, and with a professionally maintained Ecodan offering an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, savings on maintenance can be made and disruptions to housing stock are very infrequent.
There are now thousands of examples of heat pumps up and down the country and their use is set to increase further. Ensuring tenants understand the reasoning behind the change in their heating is an essential part of the process and manufacturers such as Mitsubishi Electric will get involved in helping educate tenants to the benefits of switching.
If you would like further information the company has produced a series of FAQ videos about heat pumps that can be viewed at https://homeownerportal.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/.