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1 November 2023

Electrification of heat project proves heat pump viability across many types of housing

Two Aira Clean Energy Experts putting an air source heat pump outdoor unit onto its base
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In a remarkable stride towards sustainable energy solutions, the Electrification of Heat (EoH) project, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), has proved that all housing types are suitable for heat pump installations.

The EoH project's findings challenge long-standing myths that certain property types are incompatible with heat pumps. From elegant Victorian mid-terraces to stately pre-World War II semis and even utilitarian 1960s blocks of flats, the EoH project demonstrates the versatility of heat pump technology across the rich tapestry of British housing.

Different homes, same result

The evidence and data collected during the project proves that all property types and ages are compatible with heat pumps. 80% of all installations occurred in properties previously connected to the gas grid, where mains gas had served as the primary heating source before heat pump installation.

The EoH project encountered minor shortfalls within anticipated margins. For pre-1945 properties, installations reached 22%, slightly lower than the real-world average of 30%, while later age brackets exhibited a slight excess (e.g., 24.2% compared to 20% for the 1945-1965 period). These disparities hint at the greater challenge of integrating heat pump systems in older homes, particularly pre-1945 buildings. Nevertheless, the successful installation of 163 heat pumps in older properties shows that such obstacles can be overcome.

The project was carried out across three geographical regions of Great Britain, and delivery contractors were appointed to install the heat pumps:

  • South East of Scotland – Warmworks, in tandem with Energy Savings Trust and Changeworks.
  • Newcastle – E.ON, partnered with Newcastle City Council and Your Homes Newcastle.
  • South East of England – Ovo Energy, joined by Kaluza, RetrofitWorks, Parity Projects, and SunAmp.

The implementation phase stretched from July 2020 to October 2021, during which an impressive 742 heat pumps were installed in diverse housing types. These installations included low-temperature and high-temperature air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, and innovative hybrid models that seamlessly integrated heat pumps with conventional gas boilers.

Pioneering the clean energy revolution

The EoH project has not only shattered the myths that have surrounded heat pumps for years, but has sown the seeds of change for homeowners, policymakers, and the energy sector. By installing heat pumps into properties previously reliant on gas grids, the project paints a vivid portrait of the pivotal role these systems play in the global narrative of sustainable energy transformation.

Aira is committed to helping more people join the clean energy revolution, one home at a time. We are on a mission to install heat pumps in five million homes across Europe within the next 10 years. Our all-inclusive monthly payment plan, which has no upfront costs, will help UK households reduce their carbon footprints by 75% while saving 25% on their heating energy bills. We firmly believe that, by improving the technology and reducing costs, heat pumps will become the obvious and most affordable choice for consumers.

This research represents an important step towards helping us realise this mission, because its findings demonstrate the need for a fundamental change in our approach to residential heating. We must build on this momentum by educating communities about the benefits of installing a heat pump in their home, which is the single most effective thing that any of us can do to reduce our carbon footprint, and inspiring policymakers to continue to pave the way for a sustainable future.

In order to install a heat pump, you should own your property (or have permission from your landlord), have outdoor space to store the unit, and have a reliable electricity supply.
During our quick call with you, we will find out if your home is already heat pump ready. We will discuss various aspects of your property, such as the size of your home and when it was built.

A heat pump will work far more efficiently if your home is well-insulated. Not every home will need insulation but if it is required, we will take care of it for you as part of our Aira all-inclusive plan. This will all be discussed with you during your home energy assessment.

Yes, our indoor unit can be installed in a garage, but our experts will recommend the best location for your air to water heat pump after visiting your home.

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