Making an impact

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Published: 17 March 2020


Stuart Fairlie of Elmhurst Energy Stuart Fairlie of Elmhurst Energy

The Advanced Product Modelling Service from Elmhurst Energy Consultancy can help heat pump manufacturers demonstrate their product’s effectiveness, says Technical Director Stuart Fairlie. 

Building Regulations require a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) calculation to be carried out before starting work on a dwelling and, in certain circumstances, on extensions and conversions too. The calculation produces a rating that typically indicates a score from 1 to 100+, with higher scores representing lower energy costs and associated CO2 emissions. This score is determined by many factors including the dwellings thermal elements, heating systems (space and water) and lighting; it also takes into account the positive impact renewable technologies can deliver to a dwelling. 

To meet current regulations, builders and developers must achieve a ‘PASS’ on their calculation or Building Control will not sign off the development and the property cannot be let or marketed for sale. SAP Calculations can also help those involved in the design of new dwellings to shape an improved energy profile, reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

The release of the Government’s Future Homes Standard Consultation is expected to significantly increase interest in energy efficiency innovations as house builders look to achieve compliance for their building projects. With 27 million existing houses and the government’s commitment to build 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, while achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, it is clear that the adoption of new technologies could be a viable way to achieve this vision – and heat pumps will play a significant role.

Manufacturers that can demonstrate how their product or innovation can positively impact a building’s energy performance will be one step ahead of the competition. To support this, Elmhurst Energy Consultancy has now launched an Advanced Product Modelling Service which, using the government-approved SAP and RdSAP, can demonstrate the effectiveness of heat pumps for different types of dwellings, making clear to both manufacturers and clients, the impact a heat pump has on both new and retrofit applications under the current legislation. It also demonstrates how the methodology for the EPC calculations for heat pumps requires modification to truly show the energy benefits of this renewable technology.   

Elmhurst has been working closely with Mitsubishi Electric to model the effectiveness of its Ecodan air source heat pump

Elmhurst Energy’s expert consultants recently worked with Mitsubishi Electric to model the effectiveness of its Ecodan air source heat pump. Using SAP and RdSAP, Elmhurst was able to demonstrate the effectiveness of Ecodan for four typical types of dwellings: 

•    Example 1 - 1970s semi-detached dwelling with an LPG boiler 
•    Example 2 - 1930s detached dwelling with an oil boiler  
•    Example 3 - Pre 1900s mid terrace property with a wood burner and back boiler
•    Example 4 - 1950s top floor flat with electric panel heaters

The analysis found improvements to the SAP, Environmental Impact and Dwelling Emission Ratings where an air source heat pump was modelled as opposed to a main gas heating system, with the larger detached dwellings seeing the biggest improvements. Detailed analysis revealed that installing an air source heat pump helped improve the SAP rating across all examples, with the most improvement being made from combining the Ecodan heat pump with the benefits of improved insulation. In one such scenario the EPC rating improved 210% from G 20 to D 62 (1970s semi-detached property).

“The Elmhurst modelling has helped us and our clients understand the impact that a heat pump has on retrofit applications under the current legislation,” explains Max Halliwell, Communications Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Ventilation Systems.

“More importantly it has highlighted that the methodology for the EPC calculations for heat pumps requires modification to truly show the energy benefits of this renewable technology. We look forward to working with Elmhurst on future modelling where we anticipate very significant benefits for our Ecodan range of heat pumps, due to the new grid emission factors. We know that heat pumps will play a significant role in the UK’s drive to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

www.elmhurstenergyconsultancy.co.uk