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3 September 2010

Caution urged over "leaked" heat pump report

HEAT pump manufacturer Stiebel Eltron has described speculation on the findings of an unreleased study into the effectiveness of heat pump performances in the UK as 'reckless and irresponsible.'
'It is vital we do not allow this unhelpful leak of a half-baked report to distort the truth about heat pumps,' said Stiebel Eltron's UK operations director John Felgate referring to a Daily Telegraph website report that new unpublished trials by the Energy Savings Trust (EST) showed heat pumps to be only variably effective at heating homes.

A comprehensive monitoring programme by the EST to collect detailed performance measurements and customer behaviour from a sample of 83 domestic ground and air source heat pump installations across the UK has been going on for over a year. Publication of the results was due at the end of July.

A spokesman for the EST allegedly told the Telegraph: 'Our responsibility to the public and the industry means we need to be 100% sure that the data have been fully understood and cross-referenced before this can be publicly released.'
The spokesman is reported to have admitted that the results indicated wide-ranging performance: 'We are aiming to secure funding for a second phase of the trial, so we can work out what is causing this variation, focusing on exactly what determines a high-performing heat pump retrofit installation, and ensure this becomes standard practice,' he told the Telegraph.

Stiebel Eltron's UK operations director John Felgate urged 'utmost caution' in dealing with what he described as 'the leaked findings of an incomplete study.'

Mr Felgate said leaking the report against the wishes of the authors, who have said they are still unsure about its findings, is 'reckless and irresponsible' and could seriously undermine Government plans to introduce the Renewable Energy Heat Incentive in Spring next year.

Referring to similar schemes on the continent he said: 'The schemes have proved hugely effective in Germany and France in encouraging people to go green.' adding that without the RHI the UK's ability to hit its green heat targets would be dealt a body blow.

'We must wait for the report to be rigorously tested and properly finished before jumping to conclusions. The RHI Is critical to the microgeneration industry and this ill-informed report must not derail it. he added.

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