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France Encourages Heat Pumps by Ending Gas Subsidies

Views: 217     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-07-06      Origin: Site

In March, the French government announced that it would no longer provide subsidies for installing fossil-fuel-fired heaters and would instead bolster funding for renewable energy heating. This effort is part of the government's "resilience plan," which aims to reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas while increasing the adoption of renewable energy solutions.

To cool down high gas demand, the government will revamp and deploy its "MaPrimeRenov" to incentivize building owners to switch out fossil gas heaters for heat pumps, biomass heaters, and hybrid systems that use renewable energy instead. Here is a look at heat pumps, what subsidies the French government provides for this system, and how they will help you cut down your energy bills.


Heat Pumps


Heat pumps are cooling and heating systems that are mounted on the outside of a building. Heat pumps do not generate heat; instead, they transfer it. They work similarly to air conditioners in that they heat up and cool down your home by moving air from a hot place to a cold place where it's needed and vice versa.


SPRSUN's Heat Pumps


When the inside of your house is hotter than the outside, they bring in cold air to cool it; the opposite happens when the house is cold. These appliances use electricity to pump air and a refrigerant to distribute heat, similar to a refrigerator. Thus, they are more energy-efficient than air-conditioners and furnaces in all environments.


In recent years, the demand for heat pump systems has exploded across Europe. The European Heat Pump Association states that over 25% of the 7 million units heater market in 2021 were heat pumps. Heat pumps are now widely used not only for renovations but also to heat new buildings.


France intends to increase this amount significantly. Residential heating electrification is a key component of the European nation's decarbonization policies. The government aims to provide an extra 1,000 euros on top of the already available subsidy for people who adopt "virtuous" home heating systems. This extra subsidy will be available from April 15 to the end of 2022. Meanwhile, subsidies for new fossil-fired fuel gas heater installations have been terminated indefinitely.



Types Of Heat Pumps


Ducted Air-Source Heat Pumps

The air-source heat pump is the most widely used, and it functions by transferring heat between the indoor and outdoor air. Heat pumps are great space heating alternatives in most climates. However, if you live in areas that experience subfreezing temperatures for the better part of the year, go for the newer models as these come with advanced technology making them efficient in all conditions.


Ductless Air-Source Heat Pumps

Air-source heat pumps come in a ductless option, also known as mini-splits for residences without ducts. In addition, "reverse cycle chillers" are available; these generate cold and hot water instead of air and thus work well with radiant floor heaters.


Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps can be ground-source or water-source. Ground-source geothermal heat pumps heat between a building and the ground while water-source transfers heat between a building and a close source of water.

Generally, geothermal heat pumps are slightly expensive to install but cheaper to operate and maintain due to the relatively constant temperature of the water or the ground they lie in.

Geothermal heat pumps offer several benefits. They are durable, dependable, and can be used in various buildings to save 30% to 60% on energy and control humidity. They are also built for harsher environments than air-source heat pumps. However, this type of heat pump may not be the right one for you, depending on your landscape, subsoil, and size of the lot.



Absorption Heat Pumps

The absorption heat pump (AHP) is the latest heat pump for home heating solutions. It's a gas-fired heat pump utilising natural gas or steam from geothermal-heated or solar-heated water to transfer heat. AHPs are therefore different from mechanical energy-driven compression heat pumps. They also make use of larger units and consume low electricity.


Heat Pumps Running Costs and Efficiency


When designing a residential heating system, energy efficiency is critical. It affects both our overall energy bill and CO2 emissions. Regardless of whether you heat and cool your home with natural gas or heat pumps, some CO2 will come out.  

Solar energy is the only home heating solution that doesn't result in emissions. On the other hand, super-efficient heat pumps require little electricity to operate, which will result in some CO2 depending on how the electricity is generated.

However, the CO2 emitted by heat pumps is significantly smaller than what fossil-fuel-powered heaters produce. Heat pumps are the 2nd most efficient residential heating solution after solar. A 3-star-rated ducted gas heat pump results in only 2.4 tons of CO2, compared to 3.1 tons from an LPG unit, to heat a 15m2 area.

Heat pumps use a small amount of electricity as well. Compared to baseboard heaters, furnaces, and other electric resistance heating, modern heat pumps can save up to 50% on your heating costs. In the summer, heat pumps reduce humidity better than typical air conditioners, resulting in lower energy consumption and a cosier home.

The other factor is running costs, which depend on the unit's "Coefficient of Performance" for heating and "Energy Efficiency Rating" for cooling. Manufacturers usually assign stars for these performance measurements.

The more stars a heat pump has, the more efficient it is and the less money it will cost to run. For example, ducted gas heaters with a four- or five-star rating are the cheapest to run and are only a few dollars more expensive than natural gas heaters. Apart from star-rating, the type of system matters. As already explained, geothermal heat pumps are the cheapest to operate and maintain.

Of course, insulation, heat demand, and government renewable heat incentives impact operating costs, too. France wants to lower the initial costs of heat pump installation, simplify home renovation laws, and issue energy certificates to motivate even low-income households to switch to this alternative form of space heating and cooling.


What Features to Look for in a Heat Pump


Heat pumps are getting better thanks to a slew of new innovations. Modern heat pumps have two-speed compressors and no longer have limited operating capacities. Unlike standard compressors that could only operate at specified degrees, two-speed compressors can adapt to any outdoor temperature heating and cooling requirements without wearing off or switching on and off. The advantage is increased energy savings.

Plus, two-speed compressors pair well with zone control systems that use automatic dampers to achieve different temperatures for different rooms as required.

Some modern heat pumps have dual-speed or variable-speed motors on their outdoor, indoor, or both fans. These fans maintain comfortable airspeed to save energy, decrease cool drafts, and reduce full-speed fan noise.


SPRSUN's Heat Pumps


Some super-efficient heat pumps also feature desuperheaters, which use waste heat from the appliance's cooling mode to boil water. Heating water with these heat pumps is two to three times more efficient than with standard electric water heaters.

Look for heat pumps that have scroll compressors as well. Scroll compressors are better than standard piston compressors at distributing refrigerant into smaller and smaller areas. They're also quieter and last longer.

Heat pumps with a gas furnace in addition to electric resistance are also better. To boost a heat pump in winter conditions and thus reduce electricity usage, most manufacturers are now installing gas furnaces on heat pumps resulting in dual-fuel or hybrid systems. In the winter, the gas furnaces boost the appliances' performance making them more economical than standard heat pumps or fuel-fired furnaces. However, exact energy savings are determined by the relative costs of heating fuel versus electricity.

In recent decades, heat pumps have also switched out the old non-inverter technology for inverter technologies to reduce the frequency of stops and starts and thus minimise energy loss while lowering the compressor's temperature lift.


Looking For the Best Heat Pumps on The Market?


If you're looking for the best heat pumps, SPRSUN has various options for water heating, air conditioning, and swimming pool heating. You can choose heat pump systems based on their energy source (geothermal or air source), technology (DC Inverter, Split Heat, Mono Block, and Cold Climate), and other factors.

They cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000, depending on the type, installation fees, and your home's architectural style. However, the average cost is $5,680, depending on your location and current HVAC system. The company has been in operation for over 20 years and has earned a reputation as one of the world's leading suppliers of cutting-edge heat pumps. For inquiries, check here.


Wrap-up


With the French government incentivizing various renewable energy heating technologies, it's a good opportunity to renovate your home and install heat pumps. Heat pumps consume less electricity than baseboard heaters and furnaces and emit low CO2 than burning natural gas. Heat pumps don't need any fuel to generate heat; they simply pump and distribute hot air into a cold space to create warmth and vice versa with the help of a refrigerant. Check out the SPRSUN for some of the best heat pumps on the market.

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