Greenwich is set to be the focus of a feasibility study aiming to explore the possibility of switching gas-heated homes in a high-density area to ground source heat pumps.
The project dubbed Greenwich Thermal Infrastructure Motivating Electrification (Greenwich TIME) aims to coordinate a transition to low-carbon heating in a high-density area of the UK.
Partners of the project include Element Energy, Kensa Contracting, Nationwide Building Society, UKPN, OVO Energy, Heat Geek and DG Cities.
The project has been funded under Heat Pump Ready Programme Stream 1, phase one, which is part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP). This is aiming to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.
By exploring the possibility in integrating heat pumps, the project directly supports Royal Borough of Greenwich Council’s carbon neutral plan to reach net zero carbon emissions in 2030.
“Achieving widespread rollout of heat pumps in homes up and down the country is key to the UK reaching net zero,” said Sam Foster, partner at Element Energy. “The government’s Electrification of Heat project has recently demonstrated that heat pumps are technically compatible with essentially all housing types.
“The key challenge is now to engage households and bring together the delivery partners – including equipment providers, installers, suppliers and finance – to make heat pumps attractive, affordable and convenient for all. We are delighted to be working with a brilliant team on the TIME project to develop and test innovative approaches to encourage and enable a heat pump community in the heart of Greenwich.”
In May, the government launched a new scheme designed to ease the adoption of low carbon heating technologies through a series of grants.
It offers £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump, £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler and £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump, all of which can be completed without VAT.
But the scheme is yet to deliver an upswing in enquiries for domestic heat pumps, members of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association have said. In fact, it found that there have been fewer enquiries over the past two months than there had been a year ago.