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Re-HEAT project reaches landmark in drive to decarbonise heat in Scottish buildings

07/12/2022

The first combined heat pump and home heat battery storage system has been installed in a home in Inverness as part of the roll-out of 150 zero carbon heating systems across Scotland. 

Our Re-HEAT project is testing the benefits of zero carbon heating for households and how Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) like us can manage the impact that heat pumps may have on grids. 

Re-HEAT is a large scale trial we are leading on alongside Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), working in partnership with energy supply and solutions provider E.ON, heat pump manufacturers, Daikin and thermal storage unit manufacturers, Sunamp. 

Installation of heat pumps with storage can help provide a comfortable temperature because they operate at a consistent temperature throughout the day. Our Re-HEAT project will also test whether participating households can reduce their energy bills compared to gas or pure electric heating, by taking advantage of times when electricity prices are lower to charge their heat batteries. In the future, smart devices will allow households and businesses to benefit from flexing their energy use in response to a request, which will give them greater control over their energy bills whilst helping to balance supply and demand on the local electricity network. 

The Scottish Government is committed to reaching Net Zero by 2045, and decarbonising heat in buildings is a priority. Heat pumps are already appearing across Scotland, with around 39% (500,000) homes in our Distribution license area expected to have them installed by 2030. 

To maximise the benefit of a heat pump system, the fabric of the property, such as its insulation, must be of a sufficient standard to allow a consistent temperature to be maintained. Insulation can also help keep energy bills lower for residents. Participants in our Re-HEAT project are assessed to ensure their properties are suitable for these technologies. 

scott mathiesonScott Mathieson, our Network Planning & Regulation Director, said: “Our electricity networks are at the heart of the transition to a Net Zero Scotland, and we recognise the need to take action now to ensure they are able to cope with the significant increase in demand we know we’ll see as more low carbon technology is connected.

“We are really pleased to see our ReHeat project reach its first significant milestone, kickstarting our work to explore how electricity networks can facilitate the large-scale electrification of heat – which comes at a time when innovative solutions are more critical than ever to ensuring a Just Transition and to enabling us to keep power flowing to our customers and communities.”

Rhys Williams, Re-HEAT Project Manager for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said:

“We are delighted to have reached the landmark of installing the first heat pump in a customer’s home and look forward to tracking the benefits to that household over the next couple of winters. Households with a heat pump and an electric vehicle can have a peak electricity requirement that is twenty times higher than households without these low carbon technologies. It is therefore essential that we manage the transition to net zero technologies as efficiently and cost effectively as possible."

Charlotte Flowerdew, Programme Manager at E.ON said: ““We are delighted to be part of this ground-breaking project in Scotland. We have seen impressive uptake from households but there is still some time for eligible homeowners to take advantage of the funding available to upgrade their heating and hot water system to the latest technology. This will help lower carbon footprints and may help to reduce heating costs.”

We are a part of a Heat Electrification Strategic Partnership with the Scottish Government and SSEN, focused on accelerating the decarbonisation of heating in Scotland. Re-HEAT is a £5 million project, funded via a number of schemes including £1.26m from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and £1.2m from Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland.

Scottish households who are interested in getting involved can find out more and register their interest here: Re-Heat | E.ON (eonenergy.com)

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