Heat pumps are a common household item in many parts of the U.S., Japan, and a few European countries. These pumps are considered to be eco-friendly (or, at the very least, more eco-friendly than traditional gas or electric heating systems) and they produce significantly less carbon than conventional systems. Interestingly enough, the U.K. has not yet taken advantage of heat pumping systems, despite having a cooler climate and putting most of the country’s gas consumption toward heating. However, this may be changing pretty soon.
Along with promising to get at least 15 percent of its energy through renewable sources by 2020, the government research organization DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) recently released a report — complete with a map of England’s rivers — detailing how natural waterways could be utilized to create heat through water pumps. These pumps would collect excess heat which is emitted from the sun and collects in natural water sources, and the heat is boosted so it is able to heat a building or produce hot water.
As one news source notes, this new technology isn’t limited to newer buildings; in fact, an 18th century mansion was able to set up a heat pump system earlier this year in order to heat its multiple apartments. Researchers note that the system does have its limitations, and that not every house will be able to accommodate a heat pump system, but that enough homes and buildings are predicted to be compatible with these systems that it could make a huge difference in the U.K.’s oil consumption.
Even if homeowners are unable to take advantage of water pump systems, there are still other ways to save money on heating costs — and with industry experts noting that oil prices are extremely high these days, it’s more important than ever to make sure that residents are able to heat their homes without emptying their bank accounts. Homeowners can take preventative measures, such as cleaning and adjusting the furnace or making sure that their home is properly insulated, before being hit with the fast-approaching winter heating bills.
And as for the proposed water pump change — well, only time will tell if the government will be able to find as much success in the project as it hopes to find.