Ground Source Heat Pump in Scottish Tower House

Ground Source Heat Pump in Scottish Tower House

Property type: Detached, A-listed Tower House in Central Scotland

Product installed: 2 x IVT HT Plus E11 ground source heat pumps

Installation date: September - November 2009

Distribution system: Radiators

Previous heating system: LPG boiler

Cost savings: Heating bill halved overnight

RHI benefit: Payment levels have exceeded expectations by a considerable margin

Between September and November 2009, John and Hazel Hunter installed two Ice Energy ground source heat pumps in their Tower House in Central Scotland. It was an interesting installation not only because the property is A listed, but also because of its location. Read on to find out more.

What prompted you to investigate heat pumps?
“Due to the rise in the price of LPG, we were looking for an alternative when we saw ground source heat pumps being installed in a property similar to ours on Grand Designs.”

How did you find the installation process?
“The installation process was protracted and interesting due to the problems we ran into with the ground works!

“Over 1400 metres of 40mm pipes were needed, 100 metres of which had to be insulated to reach a point where we had 1 metres depth in soil.

“The house is A listed (Scottish equivalent of Grade 1 listing) and sits directly on a rocky outcrop, hence the distance we had to go to reach 1 metres depth of soil. Even then we had to excavate shale bearing rock at points in the dig.

"We replaced the LPG oiler and retrofitted the new heat pump system to the old pipes and radiators."

What has it been like living with your heat pump?
“We are very satisfied. There were some teething problems with dirt in the heating system which we resolved quickly. We have had three breakdowns. However, since we have two separate pumps controlled by a step controller, we have never been left without heating.”

Have you applied for the Renewable Heat Incentive?
“Yes. The application process was quite straightforward except for the unforgiving nature of the Ofgem website and its bureaucracy over the SPS calculation. The payment levels we will receive have exceed our expectations by a considerable margin.”

What impact has your heat pump had on running costs?
“Our heating bill halved overnight. The cost of excavations pushed up the total cost of installation to almost £35,000 but this will be repaid in 10 years (disregarding RHI payments)”.


What are the benefits of ground source heat pumps?
“The house is now warm all the time that the heating is on (about 9 months of the year). Our heating bills are now just over half of what we paid 5 years ago and the system’s ‘auto adjustment’ for outside temperature changes is great.” 

Why did you choose Ice Energy as your heat pump provider?
“The salesmen at a housing exhibition in Glasgow included the engineer who subsequently masterminded our installation. We were very impressed with his knowledge and honesty - ‘we’ve made all the mistakes that can be made so we won’t make them again.’

What has the service been like from Ice Energy and would you recommend them to others?
“The service has been very good and I have already recommended Ice Energy to many people.”

Solutions Used

  • 2 x IVT HT Plus E11 ground source heat pumps