Commercial and industrial companies have received a boost this month with the planned introduction air source heat pumps to the ‘eligible technology list’. In spring 2014, commercial air source heat pumps will qualify for Renewable Heat Incentive and will receive a rate of 2.5p /kWh. So a smallish office with 20kw of heating running for 10 hours a day in the heating season, would receive around £100 a month in RHI. Along with the significant (usually 30-40%) energy savings from modern equipment, install costs could be recovered in as little as 3-4 years.

At this stage it appears that the new tariffs will only apply to air-to-water heat pump systems. Which is where a conventional heat pump (looks very much like an air conditioning external unit) is used to heat water that circulates in a conventional central heating system. Some companies such as Daikin are now producing air-to-water source systems that also offer cooling for the summer months. Although it must be said that the RHI is only available on heating energy used.

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