Frequently Asked Questions

Ground source heating: frequently asked questions

A series of frequently asked questions to help guide you through some common themes. If you have any more questions please get in touch.

Is my property suitable for a GSHP?

This will depend on the size of your property and amount of room inside, amongst a few other things. Our surveyor will look at your property beforehand and decide what is the best option for you.

There is no property type or architectural era that is unsuitable for a heat pump – the Government-funded Electrification of Heat project has demonstrated.

What is the efficiency of a heat pump?

The efficiency of a heat pump depends on factors such as the energy source or how well insulated the building is. See our top tips on maximising efficiency, how it’s affected and how it’s measured. 
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How do gas boilers compare to ground source heat pumps?

Modern condensing gas boilers can be around 90% efficient. This means that 90% of the energy used by the boiler goes to heating the home, while the remaining 10% is waste heat that is passed through the flue to the outside. The heating system isn’t as efficient as it could be because of this wasted heat.

 

Ground source heat pumps can be 300% efficient which means they can deliver three times the amount of energy they consume from electricity. When multiple properties are linked to a shared ground array system, there is even a chance to increase this performance by utilising waste heat from applications such as server rooms and supermarkets – the options are endless.

When comparing ground source heating to gas, it’s important to consider the relationship between flow temperature and efficiency. A ground source heat pump operates at a lower flow temperature than a boiler, but that’s certainly not to say the heat pump doesn’t reach the building’s required temperature; it may just require a larger surface area such as underfloor heating or a larger radiator.


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What is the difference between an air source & ground source heat pump?

There are many factors that differentiate air source from ground source heat pumps – including the fact that air source units absorb heat energy from the air, and ground source units from the ground or water.
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What compliance standards can heat pumps meet?

Ground source heat pumps can help the affordably of a project and and easily conform to building methods and regulations. Explore the accreditations of Kensa’s heat pumps and how they benefit installers, households and businesses.
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What heat source can I use for a heat pump?

Ground source heat pumps can absorb energy from sources such as soil, water or rock. Find out how heat pumps collect heat and compare each source’s cost, space and efficiency.
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What is a ground source heat pump borehole?

A borehole is a type of ground array. Discover how deep they are, how they collect heat and what sort of projects they are perfect for.
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What is district heating?

Traditionally, district heating means delivering heat to multiple dwellings from a centralised system. However, Kensa has a low-carbon approach. Discover Kensa’s innovative Shared Ground Loop Arrays and how they connect communities to a net-zero carbon future.
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How do ground source heat pumps reduce air pollution?

Air pollution is typically created by combustion heating systems that burn gas, oil, LPG or biomass to produce heat. Ground source heat pumps improve air quality with next-to-no emissions. See the important role they play in reducing pollution.
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How much will I save on my heating with a GSHP?

This will vary and depend on what heating system you are replacing. Replacing older, less efficient systems could see you save up to two-thirds on your heating bill, such as with night storage heaters. 

What temperature does a ground source heat pump operate at?

A ground source heat pump operates at around 45-50°C. Regular gas and oil powered boilers send heat into radiators around 75°C. 

So, how will the GSHP compensate for the loss of incoming heat?

We will put bigger radiators inside your home. A bigger surface area on the radiator means that you will get the same amount of heat transferred into the room as you do with your oil boiler without needing to leave the heat pump on all the time. 

Is the cost of further home insulation included in this retrofit because of the above?

Unfortunately, the cost of further insulation in the home is not covered by Heat the Streets Project funding.

Are there any service charges?

We will be charging around £300 a year service charge to maintain, service and repair the ground infrastructure and borehole.

I am guessing that doesn't include the cost of running the heat pump. So how is it calculated and how much does it cost?

You will pay for the electrical consumption of your heat pump – think of it as a new appliance in your home. As people all have very different heating habits it’s impossible to predict your energy costs even after survey.

Who pays when the common part of the system break down?

Kensa Utilities will be responsible for the equipment up to the external wall of your home. We will make any necessary repairs to the equipment. If the repairs are required due to damage by an organisation or an individual we will recoup costs from that person

Who owns the pipe from the street to my new heat pump (I.e. through my garden)

Kensa Utilities will own the pipework up to the external wall of your home.

Who pays when the heat pump breaks down?

You will own the heat pump (your new appliance) and be responsible for all repairs and maintenance.

Does the yearly fee includes a yearly heat pump service?

No, the annual fee (which we will charge monthly) only covers your use of the ground array infrastructure, you are responsible for maintaining your heat pump. 

What is the lifespan of the whole fitted system in my house.

We estimate your heat pump will last around 25 years. Your hot water cylinder, pipework and radiators will have a similar lifespan

Can you pay the £6000 and not get a land registry tie ?

We will calculate the appropriate value for a buy-out for these properties

If the retrofit damages the property (broken plaster, trenches, etc...) does the project pay for making good as it was before any work was carried out?

We will be responsible for making good after installation within reason. We will fill holes in walls and reseed lawns but we are unable to cover the cost of redecoration/replacing floor coverings (for instance where a carpet has been fitted around pipes that have been removed during the project)

Will the project also see to removal of oil boiler, pipes, rads, etc...?

We will remove and dispose of your old heating system within the home. We will make safe any oil storage but we will not remove it.

What becomes to all the items disposed of? Recycled? Landfill? Etc...

All waste will be disposed of legally and responsibly.

How noisy is the heat pump system?

The heat pump noise is similar to a quiet dishwasher.

How much room in my utility would you need to install the whole system?

This depends on the heat demand of your property and the size of heat pump you require.

Where will the boreholes be?

This depends on the location of your home and the available space local to it as well as the heat demand of the property.

How do you ensure least soil disturbance/ noise where boreholes are dug?

We only use experienced contractors and monitor site safety and tidiness fastidiously. Boreholes are drilled with a diameter of 15mm which is not very wide.

How many boreholes are required per household for the system to work?

Roughly 1 borehole per property, dependent on property heat demand, size of the drill rig and drilling conditions.

What happens to the borehole waste?

This is disposed of responsibly by the drillers.