The majority of Spanish households (more than 30%), according to INE data, use a gas boiler and radiators to heat the house. The IDAE indicates that the average consumption of natural gas in a Spanish house with heating is 7,921 kWh per year, which translates into about 1,500 euros per year, although it depends on the price at which we pay the kWh. This high cost makes more and more people opt for other more efficient and less polluting heating, cooling and hot water systems. Aerothermal energy is a clear example of this and also allows savings in the long term. The initial investment is somewhat expensive, but there is government aid to subsidize the installation.
The first thing we should know is that aerothermal energy encompasses all the systems that allow energy to be extracted from the air and the only one for heating, cooling or hot water. Only consume electrical energy to run the compressor motor: for every kWh you spend, you generate between 3 and 4 kWh of heat energy. That’s why it’s so efficient. Among the systems, these two stand out:
Underfloor heating: it is the heating system that comes closest to the ideal temperature distribution. Through some ducts installed under the floor, it allows the room to be air conditioned by letting the water pass through. With it you get a more pleasant and homogeneous heat that are the radiators. Installation requires more work and involves a more expensive initial investment Low-temperature radiators: they work like a conventional radiator. But they are more efficient because they work at a lower temperature. Installation is easy, fast and low cost. The initial investment is easily recoverable.
The price of aerothermal installation varies depending on the square meters of the house, because the necessary power of the heat pump, the length of the hydraulic installation and the meters of underfloor heating or radiators necessary depend on this. Bearing in mind that it is not recommended in houses of less than 90m2 (because it would take a long time to recover the investment by saving on gas), the cost would range from 8,000 to 24,000 euros for homes that exceed 200 m2.
Up to 6,500 euros of aid plus 5% in rural areas
Subsidies for aerothermal installations are promoted with the funds of the Recovery Plan for Europe Next Generation EU and are managed through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of Spain. The objective is to move towards “decarbonisation, investing in green infrastructures”. All are regulated in Royal Decree 477/2021, of June 29
The subsidies to install aerothermal energy for air conditioning and/or sanitary hot water are the following:
1. Basic help: to install the air-water heat pump.
Residential sector: 500 euros/kW up to a maximum of 3,000 euros per home.
2. Additional help: to adapt the air conditioning and hydraulic circuits for the incorporation of systems that work 100% with renewable energy.
If it is underfloor heating: 600 euros/kW, with a limit of 3,600 euros per home.
Both aids can be combined, so the maximum subsidy would be up to 6,500 euros in the case of installing a heat pump and underfloor heating in public or third-sector housing.
In addition, it points out that “with the objective of facing the Demographic Challenge, all these concepts are increased by 5% in those municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants.”
How and until when aid can be applied for
This incentive program has an initial budget of 100 million euros, expandable and distributed among the different autonomous communities. The deadline to obtain these subsidies ends on December 31, 2023, also for solar thermal, biomass, geothermal, hydrothermal technology installations for air conditioning and/or domestic hot water. “Aids vary between 40% to 70%, depending on the technology used,” according to estimates by the IDAE.
To apply for aid, you must access the IDAE website, where there are links to access the portals from which the aid for each Autonomous Community is managed. Andalusia, Catalonia, Madrid, Valencia and the Basque Country are the five with the largest budget, exceeding 60 million between them.