Heat Pump Case Studies: Retrofit Heat Pumps Project

Property type: 4-bedroom, detached property built in 1988 near Malvern, Worcs

Product installed: IVT HT+ C11 ground source heat pump with 'slinky' ground loop in 3 x 50 metre trenches

Distribution system: Radiators

Installation date: September 2011

Cost savings: Approximately £850 in the first year

Rachel & Terry Tobin run the Myrtleberry House B&B in Castlemorton Common near Malvern, Worcestershire and in September 2011 they replaced their old oil boiler with one of Ice Energy's IVT ground source heat pumps. Having now been through their first winter experience of heat pumps, we caught up with the Tobin's to see how they are getting on with their renewable energy heating system. 

What prompted you to investigate heat pumps?
"We are very into green issues and as I run a studio B&B I am keen that I show my green credentials. We are on the Responsible Travel website and as much as possible we try to take the 'green' option" says Mrs. Tobin.

"We were looking to replace our old oil boiler and Ice Energy were recommended to us by close neighbours who are in the building trade and installed one of Ice Energy's heat pumps at their own property."

How did you find the installation process?
"The groundworks for the heat pump took about two weeks as we had 3 x 50 metre trenches dug by a builder friend in our garden and paddock to hold the pipework for the ground loop. The installation itself only took about a week and there were only a couple of days where we didn't have any heating which didn't really matter as it was a warm time of year."

How have you found living with heat pumps?
"Wonderful - our house has never been so warm and comfy! We haven't noticed winter at all this year and we now make use of the whole house all year instead of turning off the radiators in certain rooms - a real benefit when living with teenagers! We rarely need to adjust the system although we do make the effort to turn down the temperature control when we are going on holiday.

We now have constant hot water which is wonderful as we never run out which is a major benefit in terms of showers and also for lots of floor mopping as we puppy walk for Guide dogs. An additional benefit has been the increase in water pressure. Previously, showering was nearly impossible as the pressure was so bad but now it is fantastic and we have showers in half the time."

How would describe the benefits of heat pumps for you?
"I can't remember life before heat pumps now. We never feel the need to light log fires which we used to have to do to top up the heating.

We no longer have an ugly oil tank at the side of the house which we had to have filled up three times a year. We also lost all the tanks in the airing cupboard and attic so have gained lots of extra storage space."

Have heat pumps reduced your running costs?
"It's early days but in the first year we saved around £850 over the previous year's cost of oil and servicing."

What has the service been like from Ice Energy and would you recommend them to others?
"The before and after service has been fantastic; there is always someone prepared to talk through any issues or concerns you have both before and after the installation. I would definitely recommend heat pumps and Ice Energy to others and in fact have already done so.

Additionally any prospective Ice Energy customer who stays with us will receive a free tour and talk on the installation by ourselves which will outline the process we went through and our experiences so far. We will also offer them a £10 discount on their stay."

Solutions Used

  • IVT HT+ C11 ground source heat pump with 'slinky' ground loop in 3 x 50 metre trenches, 1 metre wide and 1 metre deep

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