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Heat Pump Association rejects HFC claims

The Heat Pump Association (HPA) has rejected claims that air-source heat pumps emit hydrofluorocarbons that would add 20 per cent to their carbon footprint.

The report, by Atlantic Consulting, further stated that the overall carbon footprint of a UK heat pump is around the same or higher than those of gaseous heating fuels, as estimated by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

This calls both UK and EU policy into question, including the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive, said lead author Eric Johnson.

“The Atlantic Consulting report is a carbon footprinting exercise and as such has no bearing on the RHI scheme or for that matter the RES Directive as these both relate to renewable technologies and not carbon efficiencies,” said Terry Seward on behalf of the HPA.

“That said, the carbon efficiency of heat pump technologies will of course vary across Europe depending upon the carbon intensity of electricity distribution systems applicable in each country.”

Mr Seward added: “We do not accept that the overall carbon footprint is roughly the same or higher than gaseous fuels used for heating in the UK.

“In our view it is totally inappropriate to attempt to factor in alleged average HFC refrigerant leakage data as the majority of heat pumps are hermetically sealed and like a domestic refrigerator, leaks are highly unlikely.”

Atlantic Consulting claimed its report is supported by a study earlier this year by the University of Delft, which stated that a heat pump is no more environmentally friendly than a gas-fired boiler.

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