Air source heat pump iconAIR SOURCE HEAT PUMP (ASHP) TRIAL 

Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) operate by extracting heat energy from the surrounding air and compressing it to provide hot water and heating which can be used in a domestic central heating system.  A small amount of electrical energy is required to operate an ASHP with the majority of the heating coming from energy extracted from the surroundings. 

It is anticipated that ASHPs will provide heating for a significant proportion of the island’s properties in the future, as the island reduces its dependence on fossil fuel energy sources.  ASHPs are not currently common on the Isle of Man although the technology is widespread in refrigeration and air conditioning.

We have been working with suppliers and customers to support the adoption of ASHPs in the Isle of Man.  This has enabled current customer demand for ASHPs to be met and provided a foundation to build from. 

  • We have facilitated training opportunities for suppliers to gain knowledge and skills required to install and support ASHP heating system.
  • We have also worked with the Department of Infrastructure to install ASHPs in public housing in Bride.
  • We have worked with the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture to allow ASHPs to be installed as a permitted development (providing conditions are met).
  • In order to increase experience of ASHPs in the Isle of Man, we committed to undertake an initial trial installation of 40 ASHPs which has since been expanded to a further 100 plus units with installations already progressing. The results of the trial will inform a wider customer product to encourage greater adoption of electric heating and allow us to understand the opportunities and challenges of installations in a variety of different building-types across the Isle of Man.

The current ‘Comfy Heat’ tariff remains under review to ensure it provides a tariff suited to ASHP operation. https://www.manxutilities.im/media/2025/ch1t002.pdf

We continue to work with the Department of the Environment, Food & Agriculture, the Department of Infrastructure and housing authorities to encourage the trialling and large scale adoption of ASHPs as a preferred form of public sector heating.

We are working with developers to encourage adoption of ASHP in new builds and to understand concerns their customers may have.  Initially it is proposed that customers be given the option to upgrade and install an ASHP in order to reduce their carbon footprint and heating bills.  Ultimately simpler and cheaper infrastructure can be delivered as electric heating becomes the preferred form of home heating, with properties being designed for ASHPs from the outset (eg. better thermal performance to reduce heating costs).

The domestic ASHP trial provides advice and technical support for customers trialling an ASHP.  Customers reimburse Manx Utilities for the cost of their installation through leasing charges collected through their monthly electricity bills.  So far the trial has indicated:

  • Newer properties are more likely to be suitable for AHSPs, however thermal upgrades can allow them to be installed in older properties
  • Properties without a hot water tank (such as properties with a ‘combi’ boiler) need to identify a space for a hot water tank to be installed.
  • Customers consider the temperature of their property to be more comfortable as ASHPs are most efficient when a constant, low-level of heating is provided throughout the day

For information on the trial, please contact ASHP@manxutilities.im.

 

George Clarke introduces the Mitsubishi Electric Ecodan Air Source Heat Pumps

 

Mitsubishi Electric Heating UK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chbdKP0Dwoo

 

Smart Heat and Heat Pumps: https://www.manxutilities.im/smarter-living/heat-pumps/