Consultancy: Public Studies

Publicly available consultancy from Delta-EE

Heat pump use in Scotland - an evidence review
Evidence review for hydrogen for heat in buildings
Cost of installing heating measures in domestic properties

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Heat pumps are an efficient way of producing heat from electricity; they operate by capturing the latent heat in the air, ground or water and using it for heating.

Heat pumps are expected to play a significant role in decarbonising heat in Scotland; the Climate Change Committee has described them as a 'low-regrets' option, and they feature prominently in Scotland’s Draft Heat in Buildings Strategy.

However, heat pump efficiency can vary across the heating season and in different buildings, meaning the costs and impacts on wider energy systems depend on the context.

This desk-based review looks at evidence on how heat pumps currently, or are likely to, perform in practice in Scottish buildings. The research identifies best practice relevant to Scotland and gaps in the available evidence.

The scope of the research was for both domestic and non-domestic buildings. However, the majority of the relevant datasets relate to domestic settings.

Hydrogen is one of only a handful potential heat decarbonisation routes which offer a mass-market solution.

This project was commissioned to help build a clear evidence base, using existing literature relating to all aspects of the use of hydrogen to heat buildings, including supporting infrastructure and costs. Lessons gained thus far from key projects have been synthesised along with a wide range of evidence sources on aspects such as technical feasibility, safety and costs.

A study providing cost data for different heating appliances

4D Heat: Using domestic heat to address wind constraints
Addressing decarbonisation at the grid edge: a whitepaper with Siemens
Impacts of the energy transition on industrial & commercial businesses

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A Network Innovation Allowance project joint funded by National Grid ESO and Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks

Published in October 2020

Decarbonisation is a critical transition that is affecting all businesses in the commercial and industrial sector and is reshaping the foundations of the energy industry. A key driver of this transition is policy, spearheaded on a global scale by the Paris Agreement. A new public whitepaper, based on recent expert insight and market interviews and reflects Siemens’ and Delta-EE’s common view on the topic, is has just been published.

Published in October 2020

The 2019 EU Market Monitor for Demand Side Flexiiblity
Future for all: Making a future retail energy market work for everyone
Fuel Cell Micro-CHP Status in the UK and Future Market Outlook

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Published in November 2019

Published in July 2019

This article was published by the FCDIC in The Journey of Fuel Cell Technology, Volume 18 No. 4, in Spring 2019.

Smart Energy GB: Smart Meter Benefits and Their Role in Mitigating Climate Change
The Technical Feasibility of Electric Heating in Rural Off-Gas Grid Dwellings
Walking In The Footsteps Of Giants: Eight Lessons Energy Companies Can Learn From The Tech Sector's Mistakes

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These reports produced for Smart Energy GB look at cost savings households could make within a smart energy future, and the role of smart meters in mitigating climate change.

A report produced for the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), investigating the feasibility of installing different types of electric heating in rural off-gas grid dwellings.


A whitepaper published in conjunction with Access Partnership.

Demand Scenarios Report

Too Hot To Handle
The opportunities for a fuel cell/heat pump hybrid technology in UK residential homes

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A report on the impact of heat pump uptake on the distribution network


Policy Exchange’s new report highlights that the previous Government’s plan to decarbonise heating by fitting electric heat pumps in most homes by 2050 would cost about £300 billion. Delta-EE conducted the research for this report, but did not do the policy spin conclusions.


Cost and carbon savings, customer appeal and network flexibility

Delta-EE Heat Study Report
Benefits of Micro-CHP Study
Research into the use of Smart Heat Pumps in Load Management

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The report concludes that gas can play a vital role in residential heat to 2050.


The report, prepared for COGEN Europe, shows that micro-CHP will significantly contribute to EU goals


Research carried out in partnership with the University of Ulster for the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
(formerly the Department of Energy & Climate Change)

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This ground-breaking report develops three scenarios for the future of residential heating in the UK – analysing how each scenario performs in terms of:

  • Impact on customers
  • Retrofitability
  • Impact on the energy system
  • Government target to completely decarbonise residential heat by 2050 

The report finds a balanced approach – with gas, heat networks and electric heating all playing major roles, could offer the lowest risk and lowest cost option to largely decarbonise heat. Other scenarios explored were a customer-choice led scenario, and one where heat networks and electric heating dominate. 

The report is the most comprehensive domestic heat study ever undertaken in the UK. The analyses focuses on how the residential heating sector can be decarbonised, by putting the customer at the centre of each scenario. Delta-ee then breaks down the housing stock into 35 different segments to model the performance of different heating appliances decade by decade to reach conclusions on how heating technologies could be effectively deployed in the UK. 

Jon Slowe, Director, Delta-EE and lead author of the Report said:

“The UK is about to embark on hugely challenging low carbon journey with lots of uncertainties. The biggest challenge we face is dealing with the 22 million homes that currently use gas boilers. Reductions in thermal demand and biomethane alone won’t be sufficient to reach DECC’s target to fully decarbonise residential heat by 2050. Our analysis shows that customers won’t voluntarily make the switch to lower carbon heating choices.

Full decarbonisation can be achieved by relying almost completely on electric heat pumps and zero carbon heat networks.  However, this imposes significant costs on customers and brings retrofit challenges. It also requires heat networks to reach beyond the dense urban areas which will be difficult, and will have a huge impact on the electricity distribution network and peak electricity demand on the coldest days of the year.”

Jennifer Arran, Analyst, Delta-EE and co-author said:

“A more balanced approach can reduce carbon emissions by 90% from 2010-20 levels, while avoiding the challenges of moving an additional 12 million suburban homes off the gas network. While this does require 75 TWh of biomethane, it imposes less additional cost on customers, has a lower impact on the energy system and allows heat networks to focus on the denser urban areas.

“Heat networks and electric heating play massive roles in both of our low carbon scenarios. But keeping low carbon gas appliances in the toolkit to decarbonise heat could significantly reduce the scale of the challenge.”

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Delta-EE has completed a new study for COGEN Europe, showing that Micro-CHP technologies can cut household energy bills by 25-34%, reduce household CO₂ emissions by up to two tonnes per year in 2015 and deliver primary energy savings of up to 25%.

However, the report also shows that the right EU policy framework must be put in place if their contribution to achieving the EU’s energy, climate and competitiveness objectives is to be fully realised. This groundbreaking study highlights how micro-CHP technologies empower consumers to produce their own low-carbon heat and electricity in an efficient manner, offering significant benefits for society in terms of electricity grid stability and integration of intermittent renewables. Delta-EE’s calculations indicate that installing a micro-CHP in an average German family home can cut the household’s energy bills by more than 25% and reduce its carbon footprint by up to two tonnes of CO₂ per year.

Speaking at the launch event, Scott Dwyer, Principal Analyst at Delta-EE, said: “Micro-CHP is a promising technology for the European residential and commercial heating markets. Between 62-71% of respondents to our survey (carried out in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands) find micro-CHP products appealing. Policymakers will need to design smart policy frameworks that reward the energy efficiency, carbon reductions and flexibility delivered by micro-CHP technologies.”

Micro-CHP technology is uniquely placed to help improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which are currently a major concern for policymakers at EU and national level. Micro-CHP today reduces CO₂ emissions by up to 36% compared to alternative efficient solutions, and modelling shows that a similar reduction should be expected in 2020. It also reduces energy bills by 26-34% now and in 2020. 

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Delta-EE, working with the University of Ulster, is carrying out on-going research for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to understand how heat pump flexibility can be captured for peak shifting. Answering this question will be of critical importance in the UK in the near term, as the need to avoid distribution grid congestion increases. The work for BEIS forms part of the UK’s contribution to the IEA Heat Pump Programme Annex 42 on Heat Pumps in Smart Grids.

Research into the performance and market potential of commercial-scale gas heat pumps in the UK
Policy measures for heat pump market growth

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Research for the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (formerly the Department of Energy & Climate Change) carried out in partnership with David Strong Consulting Ltd.

Report for Danish Energy Agency, published December 2013

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Delta-EE, working with David Strong Consulting Ltd, has carried out research for DECC to understand how well gas heat pumps perform in real installations, and what the market potential in the UK is. Answering this question will support DECC’s decision regarding the possible inclusion of gas heat pumps in the commercial Renewable Heat Incentive. Gas heat pumps are the only one of the suite of “new” technologies investigated by DECC to be taken forward to the next stage of consideration for the RHI.

The main issues addressed in Delta-EE’s report are as follows:

Current market:

  • Understanding gas heat pump technologies, products and sales channels – How do engine and sorption systems compare? Who are the main players in the global and European market? What are the sales channels through which gas heat pumps can be accessed in the UK?
  • Collecting and analysing real performance data of gas heat pumps from across the UK and Europe
  • Sizing the UK market and understanding where gas heat pumps are currently installed in the UK building stock

Future market:

  • Understanding the addressable market – segmenting the UK commercial building stock and understanding demand patterns
  • Understanding the potential application of gas heat pumps? i.e. heating, cooling or hot water?; which end-use sectors?; new build or retrofit?; on-gas or on-gas? Drawing on experience outside the UK, where could gas heat pumps be installed?
  • Analysing the market drivers and barriers in the UK to adoption of gas heat pumps
  • Modelling the economic proposition for different types of gas heat pumps against the incumbent technologies today and in the future.
  • Forecasting market uptake for gas heat pumps under three scenarios

The main report from our research is now published on DECC’s website – below you can download DECC’s summary document, Delta-EE’s summary slides, or download the full report.