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Energy from water: a guide to the new alchemy

A new Code of Practice offering guidance on harnessing energy from water in the ground for heating and cooling has just been published.  Groundwater source heat pumps (GWSHPs) have huge potential to provide low carbon heating and/or cooling to buildings and are an underused technology in the UK. 

CP3 Open-loop groundwater source heat pumps: Code of Practice for the UK aims to encourage adoption of the technology and raise standards across the supply chain, ensuring GWSHPs are designed, built, operated and maintained to a high standard, providing greater confidence for specifiers, developers and property purchasers.

Phil Jones, (Chair of CP3 steering committee) says: “the rapid decarbonisation of the electricity grid means that heat pumps are THE low carbon solution for providing heating and cooling in buildings.  Ground water provides a relatively constant temperature source, making GWSHPs an efficient technology throughout the year.  This new Code of Practice sets out minimum standards to give the building sector confidence in applying GWSHPs correctly.”
The Code has been produced as a joint project between the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) with the backing of the Heat Pump Association (HPA), and had been supported by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
CIBSE, GSHPA and HPA are also working to develop training to ensure the skills necessary to implement the Code of Practice are available across the sector.
Ground Source Heat Pump Association Chairman, Bean Beanland, points out that ground and water source heat pump technology is extremely well suited to the UK climate and is the technology of NOW.
The recent Committee on Climate Change report on Net Zero emissions for the UK by 2050 requires immediate action with technologies that are tried, tested and available now.
The Association is very keen to work with CIBSE to promote both the technology and the Codes, as specifiers increasingly turn to ground and water source heat pumps to satisfy Building Regulations, planning conditions and the growing demand to deliver the low carbon buildings of the future.
CP3 Open-loop groundwater source heat pumps: Code of Practice for the UK is available on the CIBSE Knowledge Portal at
The draft of this Code of Practice was prepared by a consortium led by Themba Technology Ltd under contract to CIBSE and in association with HPA and GSHPA.