Heat Pumps - An Exp...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Heat Pumps - An Expensive Folly?

11 Posts
9 Users
11 Reactions
1,000 Views
(@diverted-energy)
Estimable Member Member
439 kWhs
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 64
Topic starter  

Havin expected a demand in Portable Gas Heaters and Butane over this Winter due to worries of power cuts and selling a number of them to people wanting to prepare for the possibility of Power Cuts.

Although the Grid has been very tight on a few occasions, as I have said before, supply of electricity when the wind isn't blowing is tight and continues to be. Our reliance on Wind Generation is literally shocking and without, other sources are very limited, especially when Gas Generation is running at Max.

What I did NOT expect, was people who have spent £15,000 to £17,000 on Heat Pump Installations knocking on my door and handing over cash in exchange for a Portable Gas Heater and 15kg Butane Bottle because they cannot justify or afford the £17-£22 per day to run a Heat Pump system that is not delivering the promised heat in very cold weather.

Stories I have heard from many this week have convinced me that a Heat Pump is something I will never, ever entertain. It is nothing more than a very expensive system for a Hot Water tank in my belief and £15,000 is better spent elsewhere.

Using two Air Source to Air Units I have, plus small portable and fan heaters with as much Solar put against them on days when sun is Shining and outdoor Ambient is over 6 degrees and only using the Gas Boiler (yes, Gas Boiler) for only 90 minutes each night, has up to now cost no more than £25 for the last 10 days.

At 34p/kwh for electric to run an Auxiliary Heater to offset against a Gas Boiler at 10p/kwh makes absolutely no sense. A guy here last week needs 45kwh per day to heat his house, £15.30 via Heat Pump running Auxiliary Heating Element or if he still had a Gas Boiler £4.50!!

So, it has been cheaper for him to justify buying 2x 4.2kw Butane Gas heaters from me at £130 each plus two 15kg Calor Bottles at £45 per refill than continue to burn money in his Heat Pump. I received a text off him the other day to say he is seeking legal advice on mis-selling.

I am meeting with him in a couple of weeks in order to advise on Solar and also installing a 'discreet' LPG Propane boiler to use instead over very cold Winter nights. His Gas supply was disconnected, but LPG, he can source his own fuel, without Standing Charges attached to it.

I have said it before and will say it again - it won't be long before the "Have you been mis-sold a Heat Pump" adverts start appearing on TV. It is wrong that the Government continue to push this form of heating while refusing to invest in Generation that reduces the price of Electricity,

My scenario works well for me, use Solar for Heating via Air to Air and resistive heating, Batteries, use diversion to Hot Water Tanks for the Spring to Autumn, with excess into the car over Summer.

Heat Pumps - I cannot find one calculation that justifies the cost and poor or inefficient or expensive performance over 8 weeks of the year when a small amount of Gas is being burnt. As for saving the planet, look at how much CO2 of the electricity put into Heat Pumps via the National Grid over the last 3 weeks - as for every 1kwh a Heat Pump is being supplied as Electricity, most from Gas at 2kwh heat equivalent for 1kwh electricity supplied - effectively doubling the amount of Gas the 1kwh of electric consumed.

You may as well just burn the boiler, at least efficiency is 98%, not a poxy 48%.

WITHOUT A HEAT PUMP: My annual Energy

3,000Kwh Gas - for heating at 4p/kwh - £120 (with Boiler set to 8kwh output and flow at 57 degrees).

1,200Kwh Electricity - at 20pkwh - 90% used over winter - £240

Standing Charges £240 per year - A total of £600 less Government rebates £550 - £50 for the year.

£15,000 for a Heat Pump and give up my boiler - NOT A CHANCE.

Anyone reading this, think carefully before you commit.. Get Solar instead if you are spending that kind of money and don't have it.

This topic was modified 1 year ago by Diverted.Energy

   
Quote
(@benseb)
Reputable Member Member
735 kWhs
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 105
 

Fuel is expensive. Even with ASHP being the cheapest in all but the coldest temperatures, people just want cheaper and heating a single room is a cheap option 

A 3 bar radiator is a lot more expensive than ASHP but probably cheaper to heat one room than a whole house

The issue here isn’t the tech, it’s the price of any fuel. 

250sqm house. 30kWh Sunsynk/Pylontech battery system. 14kWp solar. Ecodan 14kW. BMW iX.


   
ReplyQuote
(@benseb)
Reputable Member Member
735 kWhs
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 105
 

Also where did you get 48% efficiency?

 

Mine was 275% on the coldest days 

250sqm house. 30kWh Sunsynk/Pylontech battery system. 14kWp solar. Ecodan 14kW. BMW iX.


   
ReplyQuote
(@derek-m)
Illustrious Member Moderator
13737 kWhs
Veteran Expert
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 4168
 

Posted by: @diverted-energy

Havin expected a demand in Portable Gas Heaters and Butane over this Winter due to worries of power cuts and selling a number of them to people wanting to prepare for the possibility of Power Cuts.

Although the Grid has been very tight on a few occasions, as I have said before, supply of electricity when the wind isn't blowing is tight and continues to be. Our reliance on Wind Generation is literally shocking and without, other sources are very limited, especially when Gas Generation is running at Max.

What I did NOT expect, was people who have spent £15,000 to £17,000 on Heat Pump Installations knocking on my door and handing over cash in exchange for a Portable Gas Heater and 15kg Butane Bottle because they cannot justify or afford the £17-£22 per day to run a Heat Pump system that is not delivering the promised heat in very cold weather.

Stories I have heard from many this week have convinced me that a Heat Pump is something I will never, ever entertain. It is nothing more than a very expensive system for a Hot Water tank in my belief and £15,000 is better spent elsewhere.

Using two Air Source to Air Units I have, plus small portable and fan heaters with as much Solar put against them on days when sun is Shining and outdoor Ambient is over 6 degrees and only using the Gas Boiler (yes, Gas Boiler) for only 90 minutes each night, has up to now cost no more than £25 for the last 10 days.

At 34p/kwh for electric to run an Auxiliary Heater to offset against a Gas Boiler at 10p/kwh makes absolutely no sense. A guy here last week needs 45kwh per day to heat his house, £15.30 via Heat Pump running Auxiliary Heating Element or if he still had a Gas Boiler £4.50!!

So, it has been cheaper for him to justify buying 2x 4.2kw Butane Gas heaters from me at £130 each plus two 15kg Calor Bottles at £45 per refill than continue to burn money in his Heat Pump. I received a text off him the other day to say he is seeking legal advice on mis-selling.

I am meeting with him in a couple of weeks in order to advise on Solar and also installing a 'discreet' LPG Propane boiler to use instead over very cold Winter nights. His Gas supply was disconnected, but LPG, he can source his own fuel, without Standing Charges attached to it.

I have said it before and will say it again - it won't be long before the "Have you been mis-sold a Heat Pump" adverts start appearing on TV. It is wrong that the Government continue to push this form of heating while refusing to invest in Generation that reduces the price of Electricity,

My scenario works well for me, use Solar for Heating via Air to Air and resistive heating, Batteries, use diversion to Hot Water Tanks for the Spring to Autumn, with excess into the car over Summer.

Heat Pumps - I cannot find one calculation that justifies the cost and poor or inefficient or expensive performance over 8 weeks of the year when a small amount of Gas is being burnt. As for saving the planet, look at how much CO2 of the electricity put into Heat Pumps via the National Grid over the last 3 weeks - as for every 1kwh a Heat Pump is being supplied as Electricity, most from Gas at 2kwh heat equivalent for 1kwh electricity supplied - effectively doubling the amount of Gas the 1kwh of electric consumed.

You may as well just burn the boiler, at least efficiency is 98%, not a poxy 48%.

WITHOUT A HEAT PUMP: My annual Energy

3,000Kwh Gas - for heating at 4p/kwh - £120 (with Boiler set to 8kwh output and flow at 57 degrees).

1,200Kwh Electricity - at 20pkwh - 90% used over winter - £240

Standing Charges £240 per year - A total of £600 less Government rebates £550 - £50 for the year.

£15,000 for a Heat Pump and give up my boiler - NOT A CHANCE.

Anyone reading this, think carefully before you commit.. Get Solar instead if you are spending that kind of money and don't have it.

Rather than selling your clients gas heaters, you should first direct them to this forum, unless your post is some form of advertisement?

I fully agree with your sentiments concerning solar PV systems, but I would suggest that you revise your calculations with regard to heat pumps. The 1kW of electrical energy put into a heat pump can produce 3 or more kW's of heat energy out. So the 2kW's of gas burned at the power station can equate to 3kW of heat energy, not one. If the heat pump is not achieving this level of output then it has not been correctly installed and commissioned.

Please ensure that your facts are correct before posting.

 


   
ReplyQuote
(@hughf)
Noble Member Member
2918 kWhs
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 479
 

Blimey, I hope you aren’t in any way involved with accounting, because your maths skills are shocking 🤣

Off grid on the isle of purbeck
2.4kW solar, 15kWh Seplos Mason, Outback power systems 3kW inverter/charger, solid fuel heating with air/air for shoulder months, 10 acres of heathland/woods.

My wife’s house: 1946 3 bed end of terrace in Somerset, ASHP with rads + UFH, triple glazed, retrofit IWI in troublesome rooms, small rear extension.


   
ReplyQuote
(@oswiu)
Reputable Member Member
793 kWhs
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 121
 

Boy is there a lot to go through here...

Posted by: @diverted-energy

What I did NOT expect, was people who have spent £15,000 to £17,000 on Heat Pump Installations knocking on my door and handing over cash in exchange for a Portable Gas Heater and 15kg Butane Bottle because they cannot justify or afford the £17-£22 per day to run a Heat Pump system that is not delivering the promised heat in very cold weather.

 

If the heat pumps aren't performing then there's clearly a design issue, but I think you're misunderstanding the calculations here. 

At £20/day and 34p/kWh that's 59kWh of electricity or a load of 2.45kW. With a COP of 2.9 (which is how mine was performing on the coldest day) this would yield a heat output of 171kWh or 7.1kW. That's a very reasonable heat load (albeit higher than mine) when it's so cold. 

I'm not a buyer of butane, so I'll take your word at £45 for a bottle of 15kg if I swap in a bottle (which I don't have). Calor's website tells me that 15kg of butane has 205kWh of combustible energy in. If we assume 90% efficiency of our burner, then that gives us 184.5kWh of heat output. This is only marginally higher than the heat pump and it was more than twice the price of the electricity! Also we'd have to buy one of these every single day that we needed that much heat! 

 

At 34p/kwh for electric to run an Auxiliary Heater to offset against a Gas Boiler at 10p/kwh makes absolutely no sense. A guy here last week needs 45kwh per day to heat his house, £15.30 via Heat Pump running Auxiliary Heating Element or if he still had a Gas Boiler £4.50!!

 

So, it has been cheaper for him to justify buying 2x 4.2kw Butane Gas heaters from me at £130 each plus two 15kg Calor Bottles at £45 per refill than continue to burn money in his Heat Pump. I received a text off him the other day to say he is seeking legal advice on mis-selling.

 

It beggars belief that you sold this man a solution almost twice as expensive as running his heat pump thinking it was the right thing to do for him in a time of need. 

The right thing to do would be to ask why on earth he's running solely on an auxiliary heater at 100% efficient vs 200%+. It doesn't even make sense though because that comes out to a heat demand of less than 2kW which has got to be the smallest I've ever heard of for a house. Is it a Passiv Haus maybe? 

What I suspect really happened is that this chap didn't understand that his heat pump is 300% efficient, and came to you assuming he was using 45kWh of heat per day whereas it was actually almost 150kWh of heat, which from a 90% efficiency gas boiler (unlikely used that efficiently) would have cost about the same as a heat pump. 

 

I have said it before and will say it again - it won't be long before the "Have you been mis-sold a Heat Pump" adverts start appearing on TV.

 

Now this part I can agree with. There is much to be done to improve the quality of installations in this country. 

Heat Pumps - I cannot find one calculation that justifies the cost and poor or inefficient or expensive performance over 8 weeks of the year when a small amount of Gas is being burnt. As for saving the planet, look at how much CO2 of the electricity put into Heat Pumps via the National Grid over the last 3 weeks - as for every 1kwh a Heat Pump is being supplied as Electricity, most from Gas at 2kwh heat equivalent for 1kwh electricity supplied - effectively doubling the amount of Gas the 1kwh of electric consumed.

 

You may as well just burn the boiler, at least efficiency is 98%, not a poxy 48%.

 

I don't even understand what your point is. You already have an air to air heat pump. Is your problem with air to water heat pumps specifically? They're basically the same thing but with a heat exchanger attached and they can do your hot water as well. 

I also don't get where you're getting 48% from. As another person said heat pumps run 200-500% efficiency over the year meaning even if the electricity grid was 100% fossil fuels (it isn't) you'd still use less fossil fuels heating with a heat pump than you would burning the same fuels in your home directly. So if I take your numbers of 2kW gas to 1kW electricity, then that would come out to 3-5kW of heat averaged across the year. As I type this the grid in my area is 50% fossil fuels, that 2kW of gas along with renewable, nuclear and other sources would be giving 6-10kW of heat energy. 

 

Anyone reading this, think carefully before you commit.. Get Solar instead if you are spending that kind of money and don't have it.

I absolutely agree to carefully consider investment options and not spend money one doesn't have. It's worth considering though that if your gas boiler breaks, as mine did a month ago, then the money spent upgrading the heating system only has to be done once and thereafter heat pumps are cheaper to run and not all that more expensive than a good gas boiler to replace. Of course there's currently the £5,000 BUS grant in England and Wales as well, and £15k would be considered on the  expensive side anyway. 

 

This post was modified 1 year ago 3 times by Oswiu

   
ReplyQuote



(@hughf)
Noble Member Member
2918 kWhs
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 479
 

@oswiu It’s great that you had the patience to write what I didn’t… 🤣

Off grid on the isle of purbeck
2.4kW solar, 15kWh Seplos Mason, Outback power systems 3kW inverter/charger, solid fuel heating with air/air for shoulder months, 10 acres of heathland/woods.

My wife’s house: 1946 3 bed end of terrace in Somerset, ASHP with rads + UFH, triple glazed, retrofit IWI in troublesome rooms, small rear extension.


   
ReplyQuote
(@kev-m)
Famed Member Moderator
5561 kWhs
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1299
 

 

@diverted.energy

There are a few folks that post on the Facebook heat pump groups whom you would get on very well with. They are either (1) ex-ASHP owers who have had really poor installations removed (2) people who have a little superficial knowledge of ASHPs picked up from social media but really don't understand the basics of heat engineering or (3) people in the gas or oil heating industry who can't accept that theiy will need to move on.

If you sell gas heaters the people who come to you to buy them are not going to be a representative sample of ASHP users.  There will be lots of people local to you who are very happy with their ASHPs but you won't be meeting them.

Of course there are going to be problems with any disruptive change but I don't think any general conclusions can be drawn from your experiences.  


   
Derek M reacted
ReplyQuote
(@redbuzzard)
Eminent Member Member
212 kWhs
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 18
 

A badly designed, installed or configured heating system of any kind is likely to be an expensive folly.

FWIW my most expensive 24 hours for heating + DHW in December was 14/15 Dec when the ASHP consumed 49kWh, costing £17.46. I expect to use maybe 6000kWh for heating and DHW annually. Mean outside  temperature was certainly below freezing.  For the last 4 days it has averaged 15 kWh/day at £5.47 (mean o/s temp c. 7C)

The daily cost when temperatures are sub zero is a punch in the gut but the issue is the cost of energy.  I have about 120 sq. m. heated to 21C, and 90 sq.m. at about 17C. 

Our current house replaced a poorly sealed and insulated  1950's bungalow of 100 sq. m. heated area.  Looking back at some bills recently I saw I had used 27,000 kWh of gas in one year for heating, DHW and cooking.

What is now apparent to me is that I should have put in some solar PV.   Nothing to do with the heat pump which is using far less energy than any form of direct heating would (unless I chose to be considerably colder).

2021 built 2 storey detached house, 212 sq.m. / 2300 sq.ft. heated area. EPC 87B. Mitsubishi Ecodan 11.2Kw ASHP, weather compensated flow temp, UFH, MVHR.


   
SKD, Mars and Derek M reacted
ReplyQuote
(@allyfish)
Noble Member Contributor
3119 kWhs
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 379
 

Well, if ASHPs are an expensive folly, I'm a fool.

Currently I'm requiring about 86kWh a day for heating 3/4 floor area of the house and daily hot water. Heating is on 18hrs a day, hot water generated once a day. I will consume about 20kWh electricity for that, so the efficiency is around 400% and the daily bill about £7.24.

To do the same with my old Worcerster Danesmore 26/32 kerosene oil boiler... It was about 80% efficient, but less so when firing on and off. Let's assume 80% for now. 86kWh of heat energy needs 103.2kWh of kerosene @ 10.35kW/litre. About 10 litres a day x £0.90 a litre = a daily bill of about £9.

So now, in winter, even when the CoP of my ASHP isn't fantastic, it's 20% cheaper. The exceptional couple of weeks in December cost me more each day, it cost everyone more no matter what you heat your house with. The ASHP was defrosting a lot, the CoP well down, but we get 3 or 4 weeks like that a year. So over a year, we're quids in.

All the above negates solar PV. That won't generate much today, or much in the winter months, but will make a big impact over the summer. I'll have hot water for free, battery charge for free and the majority of our non-heating season electricity consumption for free. That more than offsets those 3-4 weeks a year when I look at the smart meter and cringe each day.

All fuels will go up again in the spring; mains gas, LPG, electricity, kerosene, coke, hardwood, softwood, etc. No matter what fuel you use you'll pay more. Second to GSHP, ASHP is by far the most energy efficient means, that's just a fact. I'm not chucking a load of smelly boiler fumes and CO2 out into the path in front of the house either, or experiencing that kerosene smell in the utility every time I walk in.


   
mjr, SKD, Derek M and 1 people reacted
ReplyQuote
Majordennisbloodnok
(@majordennisbloodnok)
Noble Member Contributor
4116 kWhs
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 367
 

An expensive folly? No, it wasn’t.

I have the luxury now of a full year’s data. I know how much oil I used with the old boiler I replaced and when during each year I needed to top up the tank (and therefore the prevailing price of the oil when I’d have needed to buy it). I know how much electricity my ASHP has used and when.

Simple comparison shows it was in the region of about £100 less to operate the ASHP from the grid than the boiler. No assumptions or complicated maths; my ASHP made economic sense in practice.

The boiler was getting on and needed to be replaced, which would have cost about £3,000. After RHI is taken into account, the ASHP cost us about £4,000. Not as cheap, but comparable.

The real kicker, though, is that there is no commercially available domestic solution for me to generate my own gas for a boiler, so any gas or oil boiler will be totally powered by bought energy. Switching to an ASHP has allowed me to seriously offset those running costs with solar PV. With that taken into account, the ASHP has proved more in the region of £1,000 cheaper to run.

Of course, I can’t use all the solar PV I generate, so some has been exported under an agile Outgoing Octopus tariff. That has proved VERY well worth doing, actually making me something like £500 over and above the savings already mentioned.

Is an ASHP an expensive folly? The numbers say categorically “No”.

105 m2 bungalow in South East England
Mitsubishi Ecodan 8.5 kW air source heat pump
18 x 360W solar panels
1 x 6 kW GroWatt battery and inverter
Raised beds for home-grown veg and chickens for eggs

"Semper in excretia; suus solum profundum variat"


   
Derek M, Kev M and Mars reacted
ReplyQuote



Share:

Join Us!

Latest Posts

Heat Pump Humour

Members Online

x  Powerful Protection for WordPress, from Shield Security
This Site Is Protected By
Shield Security