The ever-rising cost of energy bills can take its toll on a business. Whether you’re just starting up, or have been established for a while, you probably worry about the hit to your profits every time you pay your heating bill.
If you’re interested in making a long term investment in your business that will decrease those bills, it’s worth considering swapping from traditional heating to a sustainable source such as a heat pump. The initial outlay might initially put you off, but there are government incentive schemes that offer financial support. The following information sets out how tapping into sustainable heating could benefit your business.
What is a Heat Pump?
Heat pumps produce heat for your business without using a traditional boiler. There are two main types of heat pump: ground source, or geothermal, and air source heat pumps. Ground source pumps harness heat from the ground. Fluid-filled pipes are placed in deep trenches where the temperature remains stable throughout the seasons, even if the air temperature is colder. The heat from the ground is transferred into a pump where it used to warm up a refrigerant, which is compressed until it is warm enough to be used in the heating system.
Air source heat pumps work using a similar principle, but by taking heat from the air instead of the ground. It is possible to get heat from the air outside even during low temperatures. Warmth is taken at a low temperature and used to heat a fluid that is then passed through a compressor. Compressors consume significantly less energy than a boiler, which means you pay significantly smaller bills.
What are the Advantages of a Heat Pump?
There are plenty of advantages to heat pumps, which make them a great investment for your business.
Lower running costs. Heat pumps are much more cost effective to run than systems based on combustion. Due to their low running costs, a heat pump could save you approximately £1,400 a year. Though the initial outlay is expensive, your investment will be repaid within a few years.
Little maintenance required. Once installed, heat pumps need one annual check up, which can be done by you, and an inspection by a certified professional every 3 to 5 years. They are much less likely to break down than conventional heating systems, meaning no expensive emergency call outs for engineers.
Longer life span. The lifespan of a heat pump is on average between 14 and 15 years. However, high quality devices can last many years longer.
Better for the environment. Due to their low energy consumption, heat pumps are more environmentally friendly than traditional heating systems. They are also better for you and your family: due to the lack of equipment such as gas pipes and oil tanks, your business will be a safer place to work.
Can work in reverse. Some heat pumps are able to reverse the heat collection process, and can therefore provide a cooling system for your business during the summer. This may become increasingly important as climate change continues to advance.
But what about the cost?
One of the biggest perceived problems with installing a heat pump is the cost. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a typical system costs around £9,000 to £11,000. Running costs vary depending on a number of factors, including the size of your business premises, what room temperatures are necessary and how well insulated the building is. However, with potential savings of approximately £1,500 per year, the system could pay for itself within less than a decade.
The UK government offers a financial support scheme for the installation of heat pumps. Called the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), it pays a guaranteed quarterly income for 20 years to offset the cost of commercial heat pump installations. Sectors eligible for Non Domestic RHI include commercial, social housing, house building, industry, public and not-for-profit. The payments are made to you every quarter at a set rate and are intended to offset the cost of installing and running your new heating system.
Though heat pumps are expensive, they represent a smart investment in the long run. The system cleverly moves heat from one space to another, instead of having to produce it, which saves you money on energy bills. On top of this, the government is so keen for people to begin making the transition into green energy solutions that financial assistance is on offer. Looking at the bigger picture, heat pumps will save your company money in the long run, freeing up cash that you can reinvest back into your business to help it grow quicker. As the saying goes, you have to speculate to accumulate, so why not make the move to a heat pump system now?