Bungalow owners benefit from reliable home heating - and get paid for it

Malcolm and Christine West who have had Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme for their bungalow.
Malcolm and Christine West who have had Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme for their bungalow.

Owners of an off-grid bungalow are now benefitting from comfortable, convenient and reliable home heating – as well as annual payments of almost £600 under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme – after swapping their solid fuel boiler for a renewable system from NIBE.

The new air source heat pump package utilises renewable energy from the air outside the bungalow to provide efficient space heating and hot water all year round.

Built in 2001, the three-bedroom, one-bathroom property in Houghton Conquest was originally fitted with a high-maintenance anthracite-fired heating system.

When the time came to replace it, owners Malcolm and Christine West were faced with the challenge of finding a brand new, cost-effective and energy-efficient solution.

Being off-grid, a conventional gas system was not a viable option for the bungalow, so Mr West researched renewable heating systems online before enlisting the expert help of renewable energy specialist and NIBE VIP Installer Better Planet.

Better Planet’s team of experts specified, designed, sized and fitted a new F2040 air source heat pump (ASHP) system from NIBE – made up of an 8kW ASHP, complete with hot water storage and intelligent controls.

Charles Paulsen-Rakic, sales engineer at Better Planet explains: “Mr West already knew he wanted an air source heat pump, and after carrying out a full site survey – including a heat loss calculation – we recommended the NIBE system as the best solution. Not only is it low-maintenance to run, NIBE products are also renowned for their quality and reliability – and because we are VIP Installers, the parts and labour are all backed by a seven-year warranty.”

Mr West added: “I’ve always been interested in renewable heating technologies, but they weren’t as well established when the house was originally built. However, when our existing anthracite boiler started to approach the end of its 14-year lifespan, we made the decision to upgrade. We’re also getting older, and realised that the regular refuelling and ash removal could become quite taxing in the future. All in all, it seemed like the right time to switch to a greener, less demanding system – and we’re delighted we did.”

Before going ahead, it was crucial for Better Planet to ensure the property was adequately insulated and airtight, so the system could perform to its full potential and qualify for ongoing payments under the RHI scheme.

Charles said: “The bungalow already had cavity wall insulation, but we advised that Mr West increase the loft insulation for maximum heat-loss protection. Given that air source heat pumps operate at lower flow temperatures than coal boilers, we also resized all the radiators in the bedrooms to run at a maximum temperature of 50°C. The rest of the house already had underfloor heating, which was the ideal match for the new heat pump, as both run at similarly low temperatures – so all we needed to do was adjust the existing manifolds.”

The new NIBE system is now fully up and running, providing the property with a consistent and convenient supply of hot water and space heating. The Wests have also been successfully accepted onto the domestic RHI scheme, and expect to receive annual payments of £563 for the next seven years.

Mr West added: “Charles and the Better Planet team were extremely helpful, courteous and reliable at every stage of the process, including during our RHI application on the Ofgem website.

“The application process itself was quick and straightforward – we did everything online and it took just two weeks from start to finish. We’re very happy with our new NIBE air source system, and are looking forward to hassle-free heating seasons for many years to come!”

NIBE’s MCS-accredited F2040 air source heat pumps are designed to meet 100% of properties’ heating power demand in the 5-16kW range – featuring high-end inverter technology for maximum efficiency, reliability and heating output. They are optimally partnered in a package with NIBE hot water storage solutions and intelligent controls.

For more information on NIBE’s air source range – or any product in the company’s market-leading domestic heating, ventilation and cooling portfolio – please visit www.nibe.co.uk