Dimplex has welcomed the initial findings of the Energy Savings Trust’s heat pump field trial, which has identified that correctly designed, specified and installed heat pumps retrofitted to existing domestic properties can achieve carbon dioxide emission savings and reduce home heating bills. The report also identified a number of areas including design, commissioning and user operation where there is still much scope for improvement.

The 83-site field trial, supported by the industry, has monitored technical performance and user behaviour in a wide cross-section of domestic properties throughout the UK, using heat pumps from a variety of manufacturers.

Key findings of the report are that despite a varied set of performance results, well installed heat pumps can achieve valuable savings particularly when installed off the gas grid (replacing fuels such as LPG and oil), but whole house efficiencies can vary widely.

As a leader in the renewables sector, with over 30 years’ experience in manufacturing heat pumps that are widely acclaimed in Europe, Dimplex was among the first to introduce the technology to the UK. And the company has been providing advice and training consistent with the report’s conclusions throughout its time in the UK market, addressing factors such as the sensitivities of the technology regarding installation and commissioning, user operation, the heat pump’s integration within the overall design of the building itself and levels of building insulation.

Chris Davis, Dimplex’s business development director for Dimplex renewables and chairman of the BEAMA Domestic Heat Pump Association says:
“We welcome this trial which provides valuable information for policy makers and the whole industry in improving performance and ultimately lowering carbon emissions. The conclusions are broadly in line with our anticipations and it confirms our view that in the correct situation heat pumps work very well but education and training are essential to future success.

“A number of trial sites show very encouraging levels of performance which clearly indicates the technology itself works. The challenge now is to identify measures that improve the lower functioning installations and using these for future market education. This is why the planned second year of the trial is so important,” he says.

The trial was established as a partnership by government organisations, heat pump contractors, manufacturers, energy suppliers and technical consultants. And it’s anticipated that the trial will form the basis of further investigations into the factors which influence heat pump performance.

“We’ve made a commitment to funding the proposed year two trial extension which we very much hope will go ahead. This will provide a unique opportunity to review the performance of systems against a measured benchmark and demonstrate directly to installers and designers what factors really affect performance in the field and what needs to be done at a design and installation stage to maximise efficiency. This is absolutely vital in the early days of a growing market and presents a perfect opportunity to raise the benchmark for the sector as a whole”, adds Chris Davis.

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