Ecovision worked alongside Mrs Stacey to find an effective renewable heating solution that suited her Grade 2 listed property in Suffolk, which is estimated to reduce her heating bills by 50%. The result exceeded her expectations both in terms of the how efficient the system has proved to be within a property of historic nature and of the smooth transition and minimal disruption when making the switch to an Air Source Heat Pump.
As is often the case, when Mrs Stacey first made her enquiry she was sceptical as to whether an Air Source Heat Pump would be suitable in a listed property, such as their 2 bedroom home in the market town of Bury St Edmunds. However, she was reassured of the capabilities of renewable technology, combined with a historic building, after thorough investigation. “We didn’t know very much about renewable technology until we attended the Listed Property Home Show in London in February 2015.”, Mrs Stacey comments, “We were anxious to change the system we inherited when we bought the cottage (ancient night storage heaters) but gas is not available in the village and we did not want to use oil.”
The front section of the house is constructed of heavy historic timber frame with lather and plaster infill, and the rear section is 9” solid brick. As the property is Grade 2 listed, no improvements can be made to the insulation of the building. This was a major consideration for the family when they were looking to upgrade their heating system.
Many people think that Heat Pumps will only work in brand new properties with lots of insulation, but this is simply not true. Whilst it is true that good insulation standards will reduce running costs, regardless of fuel source, Heat Pumps are just as capable as a traditional fossil fuel system to provide all necessary heating and hot water, even in historic, poorly insulated buildings.
Keen to find an alternative to the expensive electric storage heaters, and on the advice of a neighbour who was having a system installed by Ecovision, Mrs Stacey approached the company in order to find a solution. Ecovision have vast experience in the installation of modern heating solutions within historic houses, and were therefore able to determine that an 8.5kW Air Source Heat Pump and 180L Cylinder would be the most suitable heating solution for the Grade 2 listed property. This system will be able to provide the Stacey family with heating and hot water all year round.
Ecovision also ensured that minimum levels of efficiency, set by the government, were met to provide substantial savings in making the switch to renewable technology, a saving in this case of around 50% annually in comparison to the electric storage heaters previously utilised at the property. “We are expecting a significant reduction in electricity bills compared to last winter although due to the very mild weather this will be difficult to gauge until temperatures drop considerably.”, comments Mrs Stacey, “However we have already noticed a difference from last winter with our old storage heating system. The house has been completely transformed, the system gives off a gentle heat and even our cold, damp bathroom is now constantly dry and warm.”
As well as a reduction in her heating bill, Mrs Stacey will also benefit from the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), and will receive a quarterly payment from the government for a period of seven years. The combination of the savings on heating bills and the RHI benefits means that Mrs Stacey will see a return on her investment, of just over £9,300, in just under 6 years. This means that the RHI payments Mrs Stacey will receive will exceed that of return on the initial expenditure.
The quotation included a full central heating system installation with radiators. On her experience of Ecovision’s installation process, Mrs Stacey comments “As we had no pipework from a previous central heating system it was a major installation and quite an upheaval for us. However all three of the workmen were very professional, efficient and friendly and each day made a concerted effort to leave the house as tidy as possible. They are a real credit to the company.”
Mrs Stacey states that she would definitely recommend both Air Source Heat Pump technology and Ecovision as a company to others thinking of making the beneficial switch to renewables concluding, “I found Ecovision a very easy company to deal with and we are delighted with the result.”