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Powergen enters new era of low-cost, low-carbon heating

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Powergen is targeting the UK social housing sector and is to install 1,000 ground source heat pumps in selected locations across the country, with a promise to deliver lower cost heating and lower carbon emissions than any conventional system.

The technology, which extracts heat from the ground, is so efficient that it causes 50% less carbon dioxide emissions than a conventional gas boiler.
Paul Golby, Powergen UK’s Chief Executive, said: “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new era in the way we heat our homes in this country.”
“Ground source heat pumps not only offer cheap and reliable heating, they also cut down on greenhouse gases, which are a major cause of global warming.”
“This technology is also a major step towards the PIU Energy Review’s call for near-zero space heating buildings, as well as making it easier and cheaper for the people who can least afford it to heat their homes to a good standard.”
The ground source heat pump is a simple device designed to continually collect the solar energy stored naturally at a low temperature in the ground around a building.
Powergen commissioned British manufacturer Calorex to produce a specific heat pump for the social housing market. The programme announced today brings together the expertise required to deliver the technology to market.
The system consists of a length of pipe buried in the ground in a loop formation. A mixture of water and antifreeze is pumped through the pipe; the heat pump brings the energy to a useful temperature (maximum 70°C for domestic hot water) and circulates it to a property’s central heating.
The technology is particularly suitable for new build, highly insulated, homes. For a three-bed (100m2) well-insulated property, the annual energy, carbon dioxide and fuel cost comparisons are as follows: