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Eastleigh College championing renewable energy with new Air Source Heat Pump course

In line with the UK’s net zero carbon target, Eastleigh College is providing valuable training in emerging technology for more sustainable heating in both industrial and domestic settings.

Recent years have seen increased public awareness of the damaging consequences of traditional gas and oil boilers - analysis by UK charity Nesta reveals that the average domestic gas boiler creates greater annual C02 emissions than taking seven transatlantic flights. Despite this, statistics have shown that approximately only one million homes are installed with low carbon heat sources, highlighting the need for systemic change. As such the government has implemented a new nationwide strategy to target 600,000 new heat pump installations a year, with gas boiler installations to be phased out of new builds completely by 2025. This is in conjunction with the presiding Climate Change Act 2008, which commits the UK to reducing carbon emissions by at least 100% of 1990 levels (net zero).

Air source heat pumps work by collecting heat energy from outside air temperature and resourcing it as a gas as it warms up. This gas is then compressed back into a liquid - further increasing its temperature - before entering a heat exchanger and circulating around the home to provide heating and hot water, in a cycle which is continually repeated. Estimates suggest their efficiency can go as far as 400%, producing up to 4kW of heat for every 1kW of energy consumed.

Greg Jackson, Chief Executive of Octopus Energy, said: “Electric air source heat pumps are more efficient, safer and cleaner than gas boilers. They can help make homes more comfortable while producing less energy.”

With currently under 20% of heating engineers being qualified to install heat pumps, the demand for training in this sector is high and the Gas Assessment Centre at Eastleigh College have made concentrated efforts to retrain staff in the use of air source heat pumps. This has reinforced their advantages for a sustainable future and helped allay any industry reservations surrounding costs, design and retrofit use in older housing.

Richard Bell, Lecturer in Gas and Engineering, said: “With the UK taking steps towards decarbonisation of heating systems, heat pumps are seen as the natural progression. This is a new world of technology for me as a gas engineer and I know that there are challenges. However, these are both interesting and exciting times as the industry focuses on replacement technologies that will provide the greatest carbon savings.”

As a qualified gas engineer or plumber, you can retrain in the installation and maintenance of monobloc air source heat pumps by attending a three-day BPEC course at Eastleigh College.

For more information on our Air Source Heat Pump BPEC Level 3 course, please visit the website page here. In addition to the air source heat pump training the College has developed a number of sustainability specific training opportunities, including the online course in Environmental Sustainability delivered through Eastleigh College Online.

Any question or query can also be emailed to