Gas/GSHP/ASHP - Advice wanted for new central heating system

Freepost
Freepost Posts: 215
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edited 23 January at 2:41PM in Heat pumps
Hi,


We have, my sister and I, recently bought a very old house (read derelict) on a large plot in the country. We propose to rebuild the old house and sell it on but with the size of the plot we are looking to build two more houses to live in. Presently, the old house has an oil boiler which is very very old and would require replacing. The house isn’t connected to the gas main although the mains gas supply is a short distance down the road, approximately 70m away, and we are informed could be extended for £9K.


So my question is what type of heating system should we install, Gas, GSHP or ASHP? We propose to install under floor heating in the new houses. If we use mains gas then we would also have a source for cooking which is perhaps preferable to electricity! If we use GSHP, then we would require additional land mass to run the cables/pipes so would have to speak very nicely to the farmer that owns the adjacent field and see if he would be willing to sell or lease a portion of his field. A check with regard to prices of agricultural land in the area seems to be approx. £7K/acre. The third alternative is ASHP but these seem to have problems re - running costs and reliability.


Currently, we use approx. 17000kWh of gas/year and that costs in the region of (0.0376p/kWh [BG] x 17000) £640.00/year, since a GSHP or ASHP system uses electricity what would be the equivalent running costs or rather than being lazy perhaps a better question would be “how do I work out the equivalent running costs?”. Clearly, I have no idea how much heat you get for 17000kWh and some of that gas has been used for cooking!


I am aware that the Domestic RHI policy statement proposes financial support for GSHP @ 18.8p/kWh and for ASHP @ 7.3p/kWh but understand that this is only for seven years! Also what does this financial support relate to? Is it heat generated (how do you measure that) or is it power (electricity) used in the running of the pumps to generation the heat?


Seem that I've asked a lot of questions - clearly my knowledge base is very low, be gentle with me:o.


Thanks for your help.


F.

Comments

  • ilikecookies
    ilikecookies Posts: 196 Forumite
    edited 8 August 2013 at 3:23PM
    If it were me, and I was definitely planning to sell the property, I'd either install mains gas or oil.

    Mains gas because it will make the property much easier to sell - especially if the majority of properties in the vicinity have it. The added bonus is that if you connect up the main house and then do choose to build your own properties on the plot then you will be able to hook these properties up at a fraction of the cost too.

    If, however, £9k was prohibitive for the connection then I'd personally go with oil as this is the energy type used by the vast majority of off-grid folk and is the cheaper of the two from a running cost perspective. LPG, on the other hand, is cheaper to install than oil (as the tank is effectively rented from the LPG company) but you may find folks are more suspicious of LPG as it does cost more per kw/h.

    Personally for a property I was planning to sell-on I steer well clear of GSHPs/ASHPs. I suspect a GHSP would end up costing you more than the mains gas option and a LOT more if you have to purchase land, etc. In addition you have the "risk" factor associated with RHI (which is still not settled), performance (see threads on here) and more limited service/repair options if things go wrong. I suspect most buyers would prefer the simplicity and known quantity of mains gas. Ultimately you personally will not benefit from the cheaper energy anyway (if that materialises) so I can't see why you would want to pay more than the mains gas/oil/lpg option?

    As regards trying to work out the relative cost of a GSHP this site shows the relative running costs of different systems incl. GSHP/ASHP:

    http://www.nottenergy.com/energy_cost_comparison/

    I'm not sure how it deals with variances in the COP, etc though.

    If you get a company out to quote they will work it all out but I'd take their estimates with a pinch a salt as there are so many variables at play.
  • Ecodave
    Ecodave Posts: 223 Forumite
    The energy savings trust have recently published the results of phase 2 of their field trials into air and ground source heat pumps, and is worth a look if you are considering this technology. I notice at the end of the report that there is a bit about the RHI which says that the RHI will not be available to new properties, other than "self-build". So perhaps you need to check what will qualify as "self-build" and consider if it will be available to you.

    Without the RHI, it would be very difficult to make a case for heat pumps currently. Even with them, as ilikecookies states, if you are selling the main property, gas is likely to be more attractive to most people at the moment.
  • TiredGeek
    TiredGeek Posts: 199
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    The difference in price of a GSHP / ASHP system to a gas system should just about cover the cost of getting the gas supply in! (certainly will if comparing GSHP)

    If mains gas is nearby and is gonna cost less than ten grand to have the supply to the house then that's the route I'd take.
    Everyone understands how to fit and service a gas boiler, and they are easy to use.
    Heat pumps are a lot harder to fit correctly and supply lower temperatures so you have to know how to utilise them, though done right they can be cheaper to run than mains gas....

    Short of it is that if mains gas is available - grab it ;)
    A pair of 14kw Ecodans & 39 radiators in a big old farm house in the frozen north :cool:
  • Freepost
    Freepost Posts: 215
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    Hi,

    Thank you to everybody for the advice, it would seem that installing mains gas is the way to go.

    F.
  • J_B
    J_B Posts: 6,376
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    Freepost wrote: »
    would have to speak very nicely to the farmer that owns the adjacent field and see if he would be willing to sell or lease a portion of his field. A check with regard to prices of agricultural land in the area seems to be approx. £7K/acre.

    As an (ex)farmer, although 'agricultural land' may be £7K/ac (sounds cheap), a 'small parcel' which was then going to be 'residential land' would maybe be ten times that!

    A mains gas connection shared between 3 houses would soon sound cheap!!
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    J_B wrote: »
    As an (ex)farmer, although 'agricultural land' may be £7K/ac (sounds cheap), a 'small parcel' which was then going to be 'residential land' would maybe be ten times that!

    A mains gas connection shared between 3 houses would soon sound cheap!!

    Agreed if indeed the land were to be available for residential building.

    As the 'small parcel' of land is only to have GSHP pipes/cables buried underneath, I assume the OP has been advised that it wouldn't be classified as 'residential land'.

    A relative has a house with an attached acre of agricultural land - with all the restrictions that entails. The builder was given planning/building-control permission for a septic tank to be buried under that land. That tank requires more access(for emptying) than GSHP pipes should ever require.
  • Agree with ilikecookies that gas is the best option with oil second if you can't afford the £9K pipe cost.

    A good comparison of energy cost is the EST one.
    http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Energy-Saving-Trust/Our-calculations#7
  • marcus_h
    marcus_h Posts: 87
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    Would gas still be cheaper if the gov't is meeting up to £2300 of the installation costs for a GSHP, and paying you under the RHI? If you take out a loan to cover the rest of the installation, then the RHI payments should be similar, resulting in a cost neutral system. Or is that overly optimistic?
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115
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    marcus_h wrote: »
    Would gas still be cheaper if the gov't is meeting up to £2300 of the installation costs for a GSHP, and paying you under the RHI? If you take out a loan to cover the rest of the installation, then the RHI payments should be similar, resulting in a cost neutral system. Or is that overly optimistic?
    If gas is available gas is cheaper without a doubt. I don't think they pay the £2,300 if you can choose gas.

    If the choice is between oil/LPG/solid fuel and electricity or choosing a GSHP then the GSHP may be cheaper.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • marcus_h
    marcus_h Posts: 87
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    Does the OP qualify as someone to whom gas is available? It's not supplied, so i would think he could get the GSHP subsidy.
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