Heat pumps help achieve very low fuel bills for Orkney Housing Association

Nibe
The annual electricity bills of this all-electric house built by Orkney Housing Association is about £350 a year. The secret is in the story. (Photo. Orkney Photographic)

Homes built by Orkney Housing Association in Stromness in 2006 with exhaust-air heat pumps to serve underfloor heating and domestic hot water were recently the focus of a programme on BBC Radio Orkney.

Jimmy Johnstone is a resident in one of the homes and clearly surprised the interviewer when he said that the bill in his all-electric house averages about £7 a week and does not exceed £10 a week, even in the depths of winter.

When the interviewer asked if the family made special efforts to conserve energy by turning off lights and keeping the heating on low, the response was that at that cost they did not need to make special efforts.

These 32 homes for two, four, five and six people are of prefabricated A-frame design. They are clad in Siberian larch and have a high degree of insulation.

A Nibe Fighter 360P exhaust-air unit includes a heat pump to extract and upgrade energy to serve the underfloor heating system and generate hot water. The exhaust air is discharged to atmosphere only a little above 0°C. There is an immersion heater in the hot-water cylinder to support the heat pump if necessary, but it is seldom used.

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