Ground Source Case Study – Mr and Mrs Larkins, Northamptonshire

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Ground Source Case Study: The Larkins from Brigstock


Having considered ground source heating pumps for more than four years, when the Larkins, a horse-breeding and arable farming family from Brigstock, finally had the chance to build their dream farmhouse amongst 240 acres of pasture, installing a ground source heating pump was at the top of their list.

Mrs Larkins explains: “Being self-sufficient is something we’ve always really wanted and from our research into renewable energy and our consultation with Lewington Solar, we come to the conclusion that ground source heating would be the most suitable for our demands – which included underfloor heating throughout the property!

“Being self-sufficient is something we’ve always really wanted.”

“We liked the fact that the ground source pump would provide a reliable and consistent source of heat for our central heating, hot water and underfloor heating. The long-life and low maintenance were also big plus points, and we knew it was a case of now or never because the pump is cheaper and easier to install on new builds.”

It cost £13,000 for Lewington Solar to install the heat pump and a 280-litre hot water cylinder, and an additional £7,500 to install the underfloor heating. The entire job took 11 days to complete and the ground pump system consists of two 300-metre ground loops buried 1.2 metres deep.

“The ground sourcing heating pump will provide 100 per cent of the Larkins’ heating and hot water.”

Darren King, Lewington’s Renewable Energy Manager, says: “The ground sourcing heating pump will provide 100 per cent of the Larkins’ heating and hot water. It’s also an investment that will return excellent financial rewards. On average, the system will generate £3.20 worth of energy for every £1 of energy they pay for (known as the coefficient of performance).

As well as saving them approximately £200 a year in energy bills, because Lewington Solar is a MCS accredited installer, the system could generate as much as £700 per year from the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which is due to start next year.

Because Lewington Solar is a MCS accredited installer, the system could generate as much as £700 per year from the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which is due to start next year.

With the installation complete, Mr Larkins says: “The ground source heating pump is an impressive piece of kit and we are looking forward to a more sustainable way of life. As we want to be as eco-friendly as possible, we also asked Lewington to install a rainwater harvesting system to provide water for the farm and we are now seriously considering a solar electric system, which will provide electricity to run the house.

“We are thrilled with the service from Lewington Solar and with the ground source heating system they installed for us. The team have an excellent standard of workmanship and were friendly and efficient throughout. We would definitely use them again and have already recommended them to family and friends.

“In my opinion, if you have a piece of land about the size of quarter of a football pitch, a ground source heating pump is a fantastic renewable energy solution for your home which will pay dividends for many years to come!”

Know the facts

Ground source heating pumps

  • If you have more than 500 square metres of land (10 x 50 metres), then your property is suitable for ground source heating pumps.
  • Ground source heating pumps provide heating and hot water all year round. This is because they are located below the earth’s surface, which stays at a consistent temperature, regardless of the season.
  • For a 3-bed semi-detached house, latest figures from the Energy Saving Trust show a good-performing ground source heating pump will typically save £160 per year when replacing an oil heating system, £370 per year when replacing a solid heating system and £530 per year when replacing an electric heating system. Annual carbon dioxide reductions are 1,560kg, 5,330kg and 5,445kg respectively.
  • Ground source heating pumps are extremely low maintenance and offer a life expectancy in excess of 20 years.
  • Ground source heating pumps from Lewington Solar come with a 5-year warranty and don’t need any servicing or maintenance.
  • The average payback period for ground source heating pumps is 9 to 11 years.
  • Ground source heating pumps are subject to a reduced VAT rate of just 5 per cent.
  • Installing ground source heating pumps can increase the value of your home by up to £10,000 and make it easier to sell.
  • Ground source heating pumps produce enough consistent and reliable heat to act as the only heating system for your home. The heat pumps however can also be used in conjunction with other sources of non-renewable and renewable energy.
  • Planning permission is not needed, although we recommend you call your local planning office to check.

For more information on renewable energy sources and how Lewington Solar can help you lower your energy bills, visit our website at www.lewington-solar.co.uk, email info@lewington-solar.co.uk or call 01858 433 333 and ask to speak to Darren King. If you would like to speak to the Larkins directly about their ground source system, please let us know and we will arrange for you to do so.