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A model for the heat pump market

We’re delighted to be taking a role in new Government initiatives to cut emissions from homes by supporting Ovo in its pilot rollout of heat pumps in South East of England.

Parity Projects’ software will help Ovo identify suitable homes and provide a Whole House Plan to participating households to show the impact of a heat pump and related insulation measures.

The challenge of decarbonising heat

Heat pumps can work for any home, but work best when homes are well-insulated. Getting the balance right between improving the fabric of homes and heating them with low carbon heating is core to the Net Zero challenge for housing. But optimising this to meet carbon, fuel bill, budget and SAP goals has not been easy.

There are a number of reasons for the delay in switching from heat pumps to gas, including both customer and commercial inertia, but a thread running through this inertia is the difficulty in modeling options and providing advice.

The particular challenge is the relationship between heat pump efficiency and the fabric of the homes. They work best when a home keeps heat in, a challenge in Britain’s existing leaky housing stock. To develop the market, housing and energy professionals need to understand this relationship across thousands, and millions, of homes.   And to have confidence in the market, consumers need to understand – in plain language – the relationship between heat pumps and housing fabric: the leakier the house, the bigger system is needed at higher upfront and running cost.

This advice has not – to date – been available at scale, as it requires the testing of thousands of combinations of measures, including insulation, glazing and different heat pump options, to optimize costs and savings  for each home. 

The solution

Parity Projects has addressed this gap by developing new functionality for its home energy planning software, to intelligently size heat pumps in relation to other measures planned for homes. Our software tests the impact of specific heat pump models against up to 2400 other energy saving measures, and does this for each individual address. This process demonstrates the value of insulation measures and avoids oversizing heat pumps, which are both more expensive upfront and less efficient to run as they find it more difficult to maintain the set temperature with a lower heat demand. 

Our software can support programmes by housing associations, private landlords and energy service companies such as OVO (link) by helping them identify the homes that are ready for heat pumps, and the whole house measures that are required in others before or alongside the installation of heat pumps.

Layering this property data with additional socio-economic data, partners can also identify homes potentially most in need, or develop area-based programmes. It also powers our white-labelled customer-facing Home Energy Planner, so individual householders can see the carbon and cost implications of different combinations of measures.  

As ever, our modelling is reliant on the quality of the data held on each home, which is why we continue to keep data quality management at the centre of our approach – cleansing and collating data for landlords from multiple systems and sources; and helping fill the gaps for local authorities and others interested in area-based programmes through digital searches; and linking end-customers to trusted advisers for on-site verification.

Contact us for more information on our software.

Click here to register interest in the trial.