09 HPM 0413

HPM April 2013

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com NEWSDESK Renewable heating in rural areas questioned in report A new report has questioned the suitability of renewable heating for rural homes. The independent research was commissioned by OFTEC and compared biomass, heat pumps and solar thermal technologies in off gas main households that currently use oil. The report exposed some of the downsides of renewables in off-gas areas, including high installation costs and the possibility that the renewable technologies will not produce the expected carbon and fuel cost savings when compared with oil heating. OFTEC's director general, Jeremy Hawksley, said: "OFTEC supports the government's aspiration to improve home energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. However, the research shows the technologies that are likely to be incentivised through the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive will not deliver the promised carbon savings in a real life situation, and could end up increasing fuel bills." The installation costs for air (ASHPs) or ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) were also found to be high, at £10,000 and £17,000 respectively. The heat pumps were not a straight swap for the oil boiler due to the lower temperatures they produce. This meant that larger radiators or underfloor heating also needed to be installed - at additional cost. The report highlighted that unless heat pumps operate at their highest efficiency rating, running costs will rise dramatically due to higher electricity consumption, making their high installation costs hard to justify. Using ‘real world' data, the report calculated that a GSHP could reduce fuel bills by £113 per year. By contrast an ASHP would be £311 more expensive to run than an oil condensing boiler. The report concluded that, for existing oil heating customers, the cost of switching to renewables was hard to justify. Upgrading the existing oil heating system by installing a condensing boiler and improving heating controls is a much cheaper option and could cut fuel bills by around 20%. Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and heat pump ventilation (HPV) renewable technology appears to be bucking the economic trend by enjoying sales growth, according to one of the UK’s leading suppliers. Sales of HPV products for Total Home Environment, a specialist in ventilation, heating and cleaning systems, have increased by 23%, year-on-year. THE’s managing director, Michael Hunt, said: “Government carbon neutral targets, building regulations and rising fossil fuel costs are all driving this increase in demand. If carbon neutral targets are to be met by home builders and developers, an effective and efficient HRV system is now an essential component as new buildings become increasingly insulated and airtight. Pressure from Building Regulations Part F (adequate ventilation) and Part L (energy conservation), coupled with continued rises in fuel costs, mean that saving heat while having sufficient ventilation in the home is now vital for future builds.” A long-standing charity has received a donation that will support 50 of the abandoned animals (above) that it looks after. Margaret Green Animal Rescue was given the money by the Wessex Group, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Every month in 2013, the Dorset-based Group, which features a collection of companies that install and/or maintain heating, air conditioning, plumbing and renewable energy, across the south, is donating “50 somethings” to a charity or good cause. So far this year the company has provided 50 sensory toys for a Dorset charity that looks after children with severe learning difficulties and has planted 50 yards of snowdrops in Shaftesbury where it was founded. Heat recovery products bucking trend Wessex Group helps good causes PHEX at three venues across the UK PHEX will be visiting a number of regions across the country for a series of one-day exhibitions, starting at Wembley stadium on April 30. The mobile show will then visit Doncaster racecourse on May 8, the Silverstone Motor Racing Circuit on May 21 and Bristol City Football Club on June 18. Each event will be open from 10am until 4pm. Visitors to all the shows can speak with exhibitors from all sectors of the HVAC market, examine the latest products, seek technical advice, and have the chance to talk to manufacturers about legislation changes that directly affect their business. The shows will also be running a programme of seminars and demonstrations based around the theme of Total Heating Solutions. The seminars will help the installer make the most of current market trends and find new ways to grow their business. Each one will last between 30 and 45 minutes. Landlord fined £17k for five offences A private landlord has been fined £17,000 for a series of safety breaches that left a Sheffield family at serious risk from a dangerous boiler fitted by an unregistered gas fitter. Sima Yaqub, of Sheffield, appeared before the city's magistrates where she pleaded guilty to five breaches of the gas safety regulations between July 15, 2011 and March 15, 2012. The Health and Safety Executive told the court that Ms Yaqub, who owned a property in City Road, had demonstrated ‘a complete disregard for the welfare and safety of the family who rented the house’ and ‘neglected her duty of care as a landlord’. She was also ordered to pay £6,916 costs. 8 APRIL 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY


HPM April 2013
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