How heat pump systems work
Heat-pumps are electrical devices which convert energy from the air outside of your home into useful heat, in the same way a fridge extracts heat from its inside. In well insulated houses they are very economical to run. They are an extremely efficient alternative to oil, gas, solid fuel and electric home heating systems.
Different types of heat pump systems draw heat from different sources: air, water or the ground. Heat generated is released via radiators, underfloor heating or warm air. All heat pump systems, excluding those providing warm air to the home, can supply all of the hot water needed for baths, showers and sinks.
This short video from the ESB shows how heat pumps work:
Heat pump system types
The most common heat pump systems extract heat from external air, typically using an outside unit. These heat pump systems do not require underground piping to source heat and so can be cheaper and easier to install compared to ground source heat pump systems. The most popular heat pumps are air to water heat pumps.
A ground-source heat pump system uses the earth as a source of renewable heat. Heat is removed from the ground through collector pipework and then transferred to the heat pump. The ground collector can be laid out horizontally at a shallow depth below the surface or else vertically to a greater depth.
Water source heat pump systems use open water, such as lakes, rivers or streams, as a heat source. Heat is removed from the water through collector pipework and then transferred to the heat pump.
Click here for more information on Heat pumps.
Ensuring Your Home Is Heat Pump Ready
One of the requirements for a dwelling to qualify for a heat pump system grant is that the dwelling has low heat loss. This is to ensure your heat pump system performs well and your electricity bills are not too high. You can achieve this by insulating your home and/or by upgrading your windows. Note: ECTC also offers grants for home insulation, windows and doors.
Before applying for a heat pump system grant, you must engage with our Technical Advisor; he will carry out a technical assessment of your home, and will advise you on what steps to take to make your home “heat pump ready”, i.e. to reduce the heat loss on your home. He will provide you with independent guidance on measures necessary to ensure that the dwelling fabric heat loss is lowered to an acceptable level for a heat pump system to perform effectively and efficiently. The required heat loss level is expressed as a Heat Loss Indicator of 2 Watts/Kelvin/m2.
Please note that uninsulated homes built more than 30 years ago may require substantial and costly upgrades to qualify for a heat pump system grant.
Who can apply
Applies to homes built and occupied before 2011.
All homeowners, including landlords, whose homes were built and occupied before 2011 can apply. This is defined as the date your electricity meter was installed. Note that this is different to other grant measures where the home must be built before 2006.