Heat pumps ‘could cut running costs by 25%’

CO2 emissions can be reduced by up to 70% compared with gas boilers, claims WSP report

CIBSE Journal October 2016 news heat pumps

Heat pumps can help improve urban air quality

Using heat pumps rather than gas boilers for heating and cooling could cut the operating costs of commercial building operations by 25% and improve urban air quality, according to a report by consultancy WSP.

Having studied the energy models of 600 buildings in Europe, Asia and North America – covering offices, retail centres, warehouses and airports – it concluded that heat pumps were the most cost-effective solutions. WSP’s research showed that, on a whole-life basis – and without government incentives to support low-carbon heat uptake – heat pumps were 25% cheaper to install and operate than conventional systems. If incentives are taken into account, it added, heat pump lifetime costs are even lower.

WSP associate director Andrew Marsh-Patrick said: ‘Beyond the cost benefits, heat pumps play a major role in improving city air quality as gas combustion accounts for up to 40% of nitrogen oxide emissions in cities. Heat pumps are also highly energy efficient and can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 70% compared to gas boilers [using average European grid emission factors].’