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In the latest IPCC climate change report the world was warned that average global temperatures should not exceed a 1.5°C increase. According to the report, if global temperatures exceed this limit there will be catastrophic environmental breakdown.

The report also highlights that carbon emissions have dropped to the lowest levels since the dawn of the post-industrial age. Emissions since 1990 have actually decreased in total by 38%, which is comparable to levels back in 1890.

However, there is still a long way to go to limit the impact of climate change. The next steps for UK Heat Policy state that residential space heating and Domestic Hot Water (DHW) production in the UK accounts for 20% of all carbon emissions. If we include commercial and industrial processes, the figure rises to 40%.

You can reduce your household’s carbon footprint by installing a renewable energy heating system such as a ground source heat pump.

For a typical large house in the UK a 12kW heat pump system would provide all the heating and hot water for the household. Using the latest DEFRA carbon factors for typical heating fuels in the UK we can see the total amount of carbon released by each fuel for a 12kW household requiring 26,000kWh of energy for space heating and hot water each year.

Domestic heating Fuel Type

kg CO2 / kWh

Carbon Emission kgCO2/annum

Direct Electric Heating

0.28307

7,360

Oil

0.26831

6,976

LPG

0.21448

5,576

Mains Gas

0.18396

4,783

Air Source

0.09436

2,453

Ground Source Heat Pump

0.07077

1,840

 

carbon chart

The graph above illustrates the results that can be achieved by removing traditional heating systems from our housing stock and replacing them with a renewable sustainable heat pump system.

The following table details the carbon savings that could be made on this ‘average’ heat pump installation based on the replacement of the alternative fossil fuel systems. For the purpose of these calculations the average isoenergy seasonal performance factor (efficiency ratio) of 3.4 has been used.

Fuel

Kg CO2/annum Fossil Fuel

Carbon Emission of Heat Pump with 3.4 SPF

Kg CO2 Reduced

% of CO2 Reduced

Electric

7,360

2,165

5,195

71%

Oil

6,976

2,165

4,811

69%

LPG

5,576

2,165

3,412

61%

Mains Gas

4,783

2,165

2,618

55%

Of the 20% of the UK carbon emissions created as a result of domestic heating and DHW production, the UK has the potential to reduce this figure to around 12% if heat pump technology is widely adopted for UK housing stock.

If you are interested to see how much CO2 could be saved by installing a heat pump, please write to contact us or call 01293 821 345.

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