The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils

Ground Source Heat Pumps

What are ground source heat pumps?
These systems use a loop of pipe filled with water and antifreeze, which is buried in the ground in a trench, absorbing heat from the surrounding earth and transferring it to a building to provide central heating and/or hot water.

What are the benefits?
Ground source heat pump systems can heat a whole building without any external fuel source and can produce more electricity than the pump uses to extract the heat from the ground.  The system is clean and efficient.

How does it work?
The system uses a ground loop to extract heat from the earth and this can be vertical for use in boreholes or horizontal/spiral for use in trenches.  A pump is used to distribute heat to a property by using an evaporator, compressor and condenser.  Heat is then distributed using underfloor heating, radiators and/or hot water storage systems.

Grants available
The Community Sustainable Energy Programme (CSEP) is an open grants programme run by BRE, an award partner of the Big Lottery Fund. Part of the Fund's Changing Spaces programme, CSEP has been set up to help not-for-profit community based organisations in England to reduce their energy bills and environmental impact. Both capital and project development grants are available under this scheme. Capital grants are available for the purchase and installation of a range of low carbon technologies such as solar water heating, photovoltaics or wood fuelled boilers, along with various energy efficiency measures such as cavity wall insulation. Project Development Grants are available for feasibility studies. See

More information - Ground Source Heat Pump Association

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