Back in 2010, the term ‘eco-bling’ sprang into the spotlight when Doug King, Visiting Professor of Building Engineering at the University of Bath, used it to describe “unnecessary renewable energy visibly attached to the outside of poorly designed buildings.”
He argued that simply adding renewable technologies to a building that is poorly designed and energy hungry is unlikely to make it less carbon intensive. A more effective approach, in his view, would be to start by analysing how and where the building uses energy and then design ways to improve its efficiency.
A decade later, his reasoning still resonates. Take Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs). Along with heat networks and hydrogen, ASHPs have an important role to play in the energy transition. But spending the entire budget on a heat pump to decarbonise an older, draughty non-domestic building without any other preparation will not necessarily guarantee success.
As heating professionals are only too aware, a poorly performing heat pump will result in high running costs, an inadequately heated building, and unreliable heating and hot water.
So how to avoid this and ensure that customers achieve best value performance for budget from a heating system refurbishment?