In order to be eligible to claim for quarterly payments from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incenve (RHI) scheme, ground source heat pump installaons must be compliant with the Microgeneraon Cerficaon Scheme (MCS), writes Kensa Heat Pumps.

he MCS is an independent scheme designed to evaluate heat pump systems and installers against robust criteria, providing greater protection for consumers. At the end of October 2017 the MCS standard MIS3005 ‘Requirements for MCS Contractors undertaking the Supply, Design, Installation, Set to Work, Commissioning and Handover of Microgeneration Heat Pump Systems’ was updated.

The update includes a number of changes which will affect a heat pump project. Kensa Heat Pumps, the UK’s dedicated ground source heat pump manufacturer, offers top tips for installers following the two major changes, which are: uA standard Performance Estimate is now required to produce an MCS quote, and, uA room-by-room heat loss to BS EN 12831 is not needed until an order for a heat pump product has been placed.

Standard Performance Esmate

The standard Performance Estimate will detail the expected running costs of the heat pump system and estimated RHI returns, and should be consistent no matter which installer is used. To obtain this information and in order to produce an MCS compliant quote, the installer should obtain a copy of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – or SAP in the case of new builds. Ideally the EPC should be provided by the householder, or if the current lodged EPC is valid, downloaded from

Only one EPC should be used by any INDUSTRY COMMENT

The number of heat networks is on the rise, but too many are underperforming. Reasons for ineciencies can oen be found in data gathered by heat meters, which also help with faultfinding,

commissioning and design. Anthony CoatesSmith of Insite Energy explains why data is so valuable.

eat networks consume less energy than single- dwelling heat sources such as boilers, make residents’ heat use more affordable, and reduce carbon emissions. But many heat networks waste energy and money because of operating inefficiencies. Oversized systems, inferior components, poor maintenance, or lack of knowledge at the commissioning stage can be to blame but the solution can often be found in data collected by heat meters.


Although there’s a legal necessity for having meters in apartment blocks – to provide accurate, detailed and transparent billing in accordance with the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations – the commercial reason is equally compelling: to extract data which can be mined for financial gain. By capturing information about total energy consumption, instantaneous energy demand, flow temperature, return temperature, and flow rate, high-end meter systems enable detailed energy reporting and analysis.

But collecting information from meters isn’t enough by itself. With data alone, searching for the cause of system inefficiency can be like looking for a needle in the haystack.


How heat meters cut inefficiencies and costs Soware

Sophisticated software is also necessary to underpin and analyse the data.

That’s why the Department of Energy and Climate Change provided a substantial grant for development of the Pinpoint software now used by Guru Hub meters. It’s money well spent because it will lead to performance improvements in countless UK heat networks. The Guru system is one we recommend and widely adopt at Insite Energy, where we provide heat metering, billing and payment services to more than 90 heat networks and 8,000 end-users. We typically set-up metering systems to transfer information to the heat network operator every 30 minutes or perhaps every five minutes. Accessing more granular detail is possible by transmitting readings from the heat meters every minute or even by capturing information every five seconds.

In addition to this real-time data, ‘historic’ data is also useful. The key to unlocking the value in this is the metering system software, which contains sophisticated self-learning algorithms. The software examines how the demand coming through a meter changes over time and

automatically cross-references this live data with previously analysed data to identify and diagnose problems. To uncover problems, a good system will incorporate sensors which monitor pumps, flow rate, and flow and return temperatures even at the network’s furthest reaches. Common causes of inefficiency are unrestricted heat flow through a radiator, and HIU temperatures and pumps unnecessarily dialled-up to their maximum settings. The electricity needed by pumps is one of the greatest running costs in a plantroom and yet so many networks are driving pumps harder than they need to be.

Operang costs

The financial value of fixing or preventing such problems is considerable. In one building alone, efficiency improvements can save clients – and residents – thousands of pounds in operating costs. Savings are also achieved by reducing the time, cost and inconvenience of looking for faults.

Wasteful over-sizing of heat systems can be identified, quantified, and later rectified. And all of this learning can be incorporated in the design of future heat networks to make capital

expense savings through refinements such as changing the insulation, downsizing the piping, reducing the overall amount of pipework, and perhaps downsizing the heat- generator. This can also reduce the space required by the plantroom. There is a cost difference, of course, between the metering systems that do or don’t have these capabilities – but this is nothing compared to the savings enabled by such systems in capital expenses and operating expenses. Speed of payback on investment depends on how inefficient the site is to start with, but typically the capital savings will recoup the investment in high-end meters within one to four years. Every year after that, the savings are money in the bank. Digging data out of heat networks really is mining for something of high value. VISIT OUR WEBSITE:

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Top tips for ground source heat pump installers T

and all MCS contractors quoting for the project. It is preferred that the certificate is provided by an independent surveyor, but if it is provided by one of the prospective MCS contractors quoting, it must be made available without charge to all other contractors involved. Ideally, fuel prices used in the Performance Estimate should be taken from recent actual bills for the property (if existing). Electricity tariffs should not include the standing charge element, unless it is intended that the ground source heat pump is going to be the only electricity consuming device in the building.

Energy Performance Cerficate

The important figures from the EPC are the space heating and hot water requirements. If the building is being altered (e.g. extended, additional insulation measures, etc.), the figures may be taken from a draft EPC, which may not be formally submitted until the works are complete. If the requirements of the completed building differ from figures quoted on the draft EPC, then a new, up-to-date Performance Estimate should be provided as soon as these variations are apparent. The energy loads quoted in the Performance Estimate should only be used to calculate running costs and estimated RHI payments – they should not be used to size the heat pump. An appropriate whole house sizing method should be used, followed up with a room-by-room heat loss to BS EN 12831. This is the methodology used by Kensa Heat Pumps who, if necessary,

can oversee and certify an installation to be compliant using their MCS Umbrella scheme. Under the scheme Kensa takes responsibility for the sizing, specification, appropriate quotation, commissioning and MCS registration of the ground source heat pump system.

Roombyroom heat losses

The other major change is that a room- by-room heat loss to BS EN 12831 is no longer required before a MCS compliant quote can be produced, although this calculation is still required once the order has been placed. Any changes to the heat pump size caused by a more accurate sizing method being used or a change in operating temperature, should trigger a new Performance Estimate to be produced and, if needed, a variation of contract.

The standard

Performance Esmate will detail the expected running costs of the heat pump system and esmated RHI returns, and should be consistent no maer which installer is used.

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