Action Surrey: Surrey's Low Carbon Community

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Renewables: Ground Source Heat Pump

Ground source heat pumps extracts heat from the ground using pipes buried underground. The heat extracted is then used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, warm air heating systems and hot water for your home. 

Ground source heat pumps are powered by electricity but are typically 3 to 4 times more efficient than conventional electric heating. They are most environmentally friendly when used in conjunction with solar photovoltaic panels, or a green energy tariff.

Is your home suitable?

  • Check whether you need planning permission for ground source heat pumps, to check contact your local council's planning department 
  • Is your garden suitable for ground source piping - the ground needs to be suitable for digging a trench or borehole and be accessible to machinery
  • Ensure your house is insulated as much as possible to make the most of your heat pump's potential efficiencies
  • What fuel are you replacing? - Ground source heat pumps are most cost effective when replacing electricity or coal heating systems.

Financial incentives

Ground Source Heat Pumps that generate renewable heat are eligible for the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. This will pay property owners annually over a period of 7 years for the heat that their heat pump generates. Visit our Incentives for Renewable Energy page for more information on the renewable heat incentive.

Have you thought about a hybrid heat pump?

In older properties where it is not possible to insulate to a high enough standard, a heat pump may not be fully effective on its own. If this is the case, you can install or have another heating system alongside the heat pump, usually a traditional gas or oil-fired boiler.

A heat pump and boiler set up is known as a hybrid heat pump or bivalent system. For most of these systems, the heat pump will provide all your heating needs, and the boiler will be switched off. However, on some occasions when the heat pump can not provide enough heat on its own for the property then the boiler will be switched on. This means that the system is ideal for all seasons, keeping your home cool in the summer and warm throughout the winter.

In this instance, the heat pump can be switched off and the boiler will provide all the heat, or both systems can run at the same time. This can be based on what is most cost effective for you and your property.

For more information contact Action Surrey on 0800 783 2503 or email

Alternatively, fill out our enquiry form online to obtain a survey and no-obligation quote.

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*All figures are taken from the Energy Saving Trust April 2019 figures