How much roof space do I require?

For a solar pv system to be viable we recommend you require at least 10 panels. For this you require a roof space of 20m2.

Does my roof need to be south facing

South facing 35 degree pitch is the ideal scenario of the UK, however an east facing roof with a 20 degree slop will only lose 15% so as long as the roof faces at least 90 degrees from south and the angle of the roof is between 10 and 45 degrees it will more than likely be viable.

How much can I expect to benefit from solar panel subsidies?

Currently the feed in tariff will pay you for generating electricity PLUS and export tariff that will pay you a deemed 50% of what you generate.  For a typical 4kw system this can be £250 a year!

How much can I expect to save on my electricity bills?

This depends on a lot of factors such as usage, Electric tariff rate and solar system yield.  But as a guide a 4kw system will save an average house holder £300 per year.

Do I need to be on benefits to claim the grants?

NO the feed in tariff and export payments are paid by your energy supplier, the only requirement is a valid EPC.

Does my property need to be energy efficient to claim the grant?

To claim the higher rate feed in tariff your property needs to reach band D before the installation of solar panels. If your property EPC band  is D or lower then you will receive the lower rate but you will still be entitled to the full export tariff payments.

What is the feed in tariff scheme?

The feed In tariff scheme is a government back scheme that pays homeowners to generate clean electricity from solar panels.  The current Feed in tariff rates at 3.93 p/kwh for properties that reach band D or above EPC and 0.25p/kwh for properties that are rated below band D on their EPC.

An export payment of 5.24p/kwh is paid to all successful applicants and is paid upon a deemed calculation of 50% of solar electricity generated regardless of whether you have a smart, digital or analogue meter.

What’s the deadline on the feed in tariff?

The feed in tariff and export payments are expected to end March 31st 2019 as per Ofgem’s consultation back in 2015.  If you install a system its commissioned before the 31st March 2019 you are guaranteed feed in tariff and export payments for 20 years.

Can I charge my electric car from my solar system?

If your electric car is plugged in when the solar is generating you can offset a lot of mains electricity by doing this.   Hybrid cars with smaller batteries and lower charge currents can be easily charged by 100% solar on a reasonably sunny day.

What is battery storage?

Battery storage systems store the solar electricity generated in the day and this can be used in evenings and overnight to further reduce your reliance on the grid and save you more money.   Typically householder without a battery on use 25-30% of generated electricity with the rest going to the national grid  Wit a battery storage system you could turn this around and sue 75% of solar electricity generated wit the smaller 25% then only going to the grid.

Is battery storage worth it for me?

This depends on home usage.  For instance if the home is unoccupied 9-5 as you are in work,  battery storage is a good solution and can save you a lot in the long run.

ON the other hand if the home is occupied in the day, and there is a constant use in the house, Battery storage may not be worth it.

Homeowners with high electrical loads such as electric vehicles , electric agas, hot tubs, air/ground source heat pumps will tend to use a higher proportion of solar electricity generated and therefore will not benefit as much from battery storage.

What is a solar smart home?

New solar technology means you can now have a smart home through home automation.  Your system can be programmed to heat your to water or electric heating when you have excess solar electricity, You can also use the system to switch on appliances such as dishwashers or washing machine when the solar is producing electricity,  This means you save more on your electricity bills.  Smart home automation is a tenth of the cost battery storage so we always look at this before recommending battery storage.

I already have solar panels, how can I enhance my system?

If you already have solar panels, you can look at upgrading your inverter for an optimised system which uses optimisers on each panel and can boost your output by upto 25% if there is any shading on the system.  If you have an immersion heater, a water diverter switch can be a cost effective product that you can easily add and generally pays back in approx. 2 – 3 years. Battery storage can also be easily added to maximise the savings of your system.

What is the maintenance for solar pv systems?

As long as solar panels are installed on an inclination of at least 10 degrees the panels are self cleaning so require virtually no maintenance.  The Inverter ( brain of the system) has a lifetime of approx. 10-15 years so this will require replacing at some stage.  If the inverter is in a dusty location the grills/ fans may need cleaning.  We recommend periodic maintenance inspection every 3 years

How do they work?

They are essentially a fridge in reverse , they use the low grade temperature of the environment and then this is boosted to temperatures as high as 60 degrees via the heat pump.

How loud are air source heat pumps?

Air source heat pumps have a sound pressure level of approx. 50Dba at 1meter, this is equivalent to the sound of an average dishwasher or a light conversation.  From the outside, air source heat pumps are generally no louder than average background noise and unless sited near an open bedroom window cannot be heard from indoors.

Are air source heat pumps efficient?

In terms of efficiency they can run as high as 400% efficient , for every 1kw of electrical energy consumed  by the heat pump upto 4kw of heat is delivered.

I've heard that air source heat pumps are expensive to run is this true?

This depends on output temperature of the heat pump, the lower the better , for instance a well designed underfloor heating system can run at 35 degrees and a 400% efficiency which is cheap to run,  however a poor radiator system running at 65 degrees can be just 270% efficient – costing more to run

Do I need a well insulated property for an air source heat pump?

Not necessarily, Its all about getting the radiators right,  A well designed underfloor or fan convector system in an uninsulated property will work just as efficient as a new build.

Are air source heat pumps suitable for me?

Air source heat pumps are most suitable for properties off the gas grid.  The estimated running costs savings are shown below

  • Oil Boiler –ASHP running costs Saving 25-50%
  • LPG Boiler- ASHP running costs Saving 40-60%
  • Storage heaters – ASHP running costs Saving 70%
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Can air source heat pumps provide space heating and domestic hot water without a back up?

Yes air source heat pumps generally provide all your heating and hot water demands, they can heat domestic hot water up to 60 degrees, which is plenty hot enough ( bathing temp is 35-40 degrees).

Is planning required for air source heat pumps?

Air source heat pumps are classed as permitted development if

  • there are no wind turbines and there is only one air source heat pump on site,
  • the installation passes a noise calculation
  • the property is not a listed building
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How much electricity will an air source heat pump use?

Difficult to say and depends on usage, how well property is insulated and design temperature of system.

For a modern 3 or 4 bedroom detached property, an air source will use 4000kwh per annum (£600/ year) and for a large 5 bedroom old Welsh farmhouse an air source will use 10000 kwh per annum (£1500 per annum)

Where is an air source heat pump sited?

Air source heat pumps use the ambient outdoor temperature to collect heat, there is little value in putting them in a sunny location and it is more important to keep them out of the prevailing wind.

Air source heat pumps are generally sited on the outside wall of a house as near as practicable to the pipework for the central heating/ hot water system.

I am on an expensive electric tariff, will an air source heat pump cost a lot to run?

Yes, if you are on a high electric tariff such as a variable tariff , an air source heat pump can be on par with the running costs of an oil boiler.  You should look to get the best deal you can as your electrical usage will go up.  A rate of 13-14p/kwh is reasonable.

Can I retrofit an air source heat pump to my existing system?

It depends on the heating system, some house have radiators and pipework that has been oversized for their existing system and we can retrofit to this with little upgrading,  Other houses have smaller pipework such as microbore and single panel radiators- in theses cases there may be some upgrading work required on the heating system.

In most cases the hot water cylinder will require replacing to a heat pump compatible type.

What is a high temperature heat pump ?

High temperature heat pumps are a special designed heat pump that give an output temperature of 80 degrees even when the outdoor temperature is -20c.  This is achieved by using a cascade system. They are specially designed for older properties and are known as straight swaps for oil boilers with no upgrading required on the radiators or hot water cylinder so can be ideal as they are minimal disruption, quick installation and guaranteed to work in older properties.

The downside of high temperature heat pumps is that they can be slightly more expensive to run than low temperature systems.

Why install an air source heat pump?

If you are on oil, LPG  or storage heaters the running costs can be considerably cheaper, Air source heat pumps are reliable, low maintenance and an extremely clean/safe heating system with no fossil fuels being burned on site.

The Government backed renewable heat incentive generally covers the installation cost as well so long term Air source heat pumps are an excellent investment.

How much are air source heat pump installations?

Prices vary on system type and size of property but can range from £8,500 for a small new build upto £12,500 for a larger property.

What is the maintenance for air source heating systems?

It is recommended by manufacturers that the heat pump system is maintained annually and Bi annually for larger commercial systems.   This maintenance schedule consists of glycol top ups, filter changing, checking pressures, checking controls and settings and cleaning of various parts of the system.  Hafod Renewables have a ‘Hafod Care’ plan which covers the heat pump and downstream equipment such as the pressurised hot water cylinder.

What is the Renewable heat incentive?

The Renewable heat incentive is a government backed scheme that pays homeowners for generating renewable heat.  The current rate for air source heat pumps is 10.49p/kwh capped at 20000kwh.   The amount you receive depend on your energy performance certificate.  The scheme is paid for 7 years and payments are indexed liked to inflation.

How much could I expect to receive?

This depends upon the property and EPC .  Larger and uninsulated properties tend to earn more through the scheme as they require more heat.  An uninsulated  4 bedroom Welsh farmhouse may receive £1500 per year.

Modern smaller insulated properties and new builds earn less as they require less heat. A modern 3-4 modern house may receive £700- £1000 per year

Do I need to be on specific benefits to receive the RHI?

NO the RHI is paid for all householders that can obtain a valid EPC.  A valid EPC is an EPC that is less than 2 years old and the report does not recommend loft insulation and cavity wall insulation.

I have solid stone walls and no cavity – will I qualify for the RHI?

Yes, as you don’t have a cavity wall , you are exempt from requiring cavity wall insulation.  The RHI is only paid for properties with UNFILLED cavities.

Hang on , so the RHI pays more for uninsulated properties?

Yes!  Although this seems counterintuitive, the government have Renewable heat targets to meet. The more heat they can buy off you the better.  The biggest carbon savings and RHI payments tend to be large, old stone ,  single glazed window properties.

On the contrary new build properties are built to such good insulation standards they require little heat therefore the carbon savings are minimal and the RHI Payments are lower.

What if my EPC recommends loft insulation/ Cavity wall insulation?

We offer packages that can help you to meet the required standard to qualify for the RHI

How much land do I need for a ground source heat pump?

There are 2 methods of installation;

  • a borehole method utilises drilling rigs that drill to depths of 100m.  This can fit into the space of a small front garden or 20m2.
  • an horizontal system is a network of typically 500meters of pipework buried 1 meter deep and requires ¼ acre of unobstructed land.
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How easy is to retrofit a ground source heat pump to my existing system?

This depends on your current heating system, sometimes pipework and radiators will require upgrading and in almost all cases your hot water cylinder will need upgrading.   Ground source heat pumps require an internal area of 1.2 x 1m for smaller houses and 2.5m x 1m for larger houses for the equipment.  A close by garage or outbuilding is ideal but can increase installation costs if far away from the central heating pipework.

Are ground source heat pumps free to run?

No, the ground source uses electricity but at an efficiency of typically 4:1 meaning for every 1kw of electricity it consumes 4kw of heat is delivered.  A well designed ground source heat pump will cost approx. the same amount of a gas central heating system at todays prices.

Which is more efficient , ground or air source heat pumps?

This is dependant on location.  At a coastal position with a mild climate there is not much difference in running cost between the two.  However if a property is in a harsh weather location, ground source heat pumps can be cheaper to run.

What is the cost of a ground source heat pump?

If you have land available a horizontal ground source will cost in the region of £15,000 – £18,000 including excavation of trenches.  A vertical borehole system will cost in the region of £25,000- £30,000

Are there any grants available?

There are no upfront grants for the capital costs, however there is a government subsidy called the Renewable heat incentive that pays you for generating renewable heat and is paid dependant on your EPC.

The current rate is 20.46p /kwh and is capped at 30,000kwh.  The average householder earns approx. £3,000 a year from the scheme paid for 7 years with larger/ uninsulated properties earning up to a maximum of £4700 per annum which equates to over £30000 over 7 years.

I would like to install a ground source heat pump but don’t want to lock away my cash. Is there any other option?

Yes, you can finance the system using our ECO fund system. You can borrow upto £15000 at a rate of 5.9% that can be spread over 5 or 10 years.  In most cases the  RHI payments is more than the Monthly repayments of the loan so you are immediately cash positive.

How much will a ground source heat pump save me in running costs?

Ground source heat pumps are most suitable for properties off the gas grid.  The estimated running costs savings are shown below

  • Oil Boiler –GSHP running costs Saving 25-60%
  • LPG Boiler- GSHP running costs Saving 40-70%
  • Storage heaters – GSHP running costs Saving 75%
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Can ground source heat pumps provide all my space heating and domestic hot water?

Yes, for most properties ground source heat pumps are designed to provide 100% space heating and heat your water to 60 degrees which is plenty hot enough for bathing.

Can a ground source heat pump run on my existing electrical supply?

Yes, domestic properties up to approximately 300m2 that have a standard domestic electrical supply generally obtain permission from the distributor network operator.  The only cases where they are prohibited are if there are too many heat pumps on the local network or you are extremely remote with a very poor electrical supply.

My property is a large 6 bedroom rural uninsulated property – can I install a ground source heat pump?

Yes , all properties can install a ground source heat pump but for larger properties we install hybrid systems, this is where you leave your existing boiler in situ and install a ground source heat pump to provide typically 75% of your heat requirements with the reminder met by the back up boiler.

Do I still get the RHI payments with a hybrid system?

Yes, hybrid systems are entitled to the RHI but the ground source heat pump must be metered.  Meter readings are submitted quarterly.

I am on an expensive electric tariff , will an ground source heat pump cost a lot to run?

Yes, if you are on a high electric tariff such as a variable tariff , a ground source heat pump can be on par with the running costs of an oil boiler You should look to get the best deal you can as your electrical usage will go up.  A rate of 13-14p/kwh is reasonable.

What is the maintenance for ground source heating systems?

It is recommended by manufacturers that the heat pump system is maintained annually and Bi-annually for larger commercial systems.   This maintenance schedule consists of glycol top ups, filter changing , checking pressures, checking controls and settings and cleaning of various parts of the system.  Hafod Renewables have a ‘Hafod Care’ plan which covers the heat pump and downstream equipment such as the pressurised hot water cylinder.