Matlock resident wins nationwide competition


25 October 2023

Derbyshire homeowner, John Taylor, from Matlock, is celebrating after winning a competition that saw his home visited by TV and Architecture Pundit, Kevin McCloud.


The nationwide competition, organised by Belper-based business, Vaillant, called on the nation’s homeowners and heating installers to share their experiences where heat pump technology has been installed to great success.

One of three winning entries into Vaillant’s Heat Pump Possible competition, John Taylor, who lives in a Grade II listed property in Matlock, was interviewed on film by Kevin McCloud to uncover what led him to fit an air source heat pump at his property.  

As a 400-year-old property, complete with stone walls more than two feet in depth, John’s home isn’t the typical property where you might expect to see a heat pump. However, when the home’s existing boiler needed upgrading, John was keen to see if he could make the switch to a low carbon alternative. The install of Vaillant’s aroTHERM plus air source heat pump was completed in 2022, with the work undertaken by local installer IMS Heat Pumps.


Speaking about how he’s found living with the heat pump, John said: “Like many homeowners, we’re always looking at ways we can lessen our impact on the planet, so when it came to upgrading our existing heating system, I was keen to know if a heat pump was possible.

“Having installed the heat pump in 2022, it was our installers, IMS Heat who suggested we enter the Vaillant competition, which we did as we wanted to help show that even older, historic properties, like our own, can be suitable for heat pumps.

“Not only has the installation of the Vaillant aroTHERM plus helped us significantly reduce our carbon emissions, but it’s already been put through its paces during the cold snap we had in December last year, where temperatures in the area dropped to -7°C. The air source heat pump worked efficiently to ensure not only were we warm, but we also had enough hot water too.”


Despite the listed status of John’s home, the property’s extra thick walls and existing double glazing meant extra upgrades to the building fabric, which can often be a barrier for homeowners considering heat pumps, weren’t required. In addition, John’s home, which was converted from a barn 1997, was also eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which saw him receive funding of £5,000 to put towards the equipment and installation costs.

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One of the judges who was involved in selecting the Grade II property was Mark Wilkins, Technologies and Training Director at Vaillant. He said: “John’s home was unanimously chosen by the judges as combined history with innovation. it’s a great example of a heritage property, that may be seen as impossible to heat with modern technology such as a heat pump. It’s Grade II status meant that there were several considerations that needed to be addressed to ensure the installation protected the historical and architectural significance of the property.

 “John’s Matlock home is a shining example of the capabilities of heat pumps, and we’re confident that Vaillant’s Heat Pump Possible campaign will support even more homeowners to better understand how low carbon technologies, such as heat pumps, can work effectively in their homes.”


Emma Bohan, from IMS Heat Pumps, added: “It has been fantastic to be involved in this project. Although it is an established technology across Europe, heat pump technology is still relatively new to many homeowners in the UK, so it is understandable that making the switch can be daunting. It is always great to have a customer like John, who is not only committed to lowering their own carbon footprint but is willing to share their experience with others. We hope this will encourage more people to explore how this technology could work in their own home.”


Earlier this year, Vaillant called on homeowners and heating installers to share their heat pump projects in homes where the technology may, on the surface, not have seemed the most obvious option. With an aim of showcasing the true potential of the low carbon heating solution within different property types, three winning entries were selected to demonstrate that heat pumps are possible across a plethora of UK housing types.

The two other winning entries include a 1960’s semi-detached house in Peacehaven and an idyllic Cornish boathouse.


To watch the full video, view the other winning properties and keep up to date with Vaillant’s Heat Pump Possible campaign, please visit: