It's hip, it's sustainable: a heat pump. Do you already have one?

Where the pellet stove is on the decline and the burning Netherlands has to get rid of natural gas addiction, there is an alternative: a pump that extracts heat and cold from the air or from the ground.

I am also hip and sustainable now: I have had an air heat pump running for a few weeks now. A large machine with a hot water tank is located in the house and the outdoor unit is rustling in the bushes next to the house.

When I looked into this a bit, I thought I knew: it's just one of those air-conditioning units we have at the office… I told my installer and ooh… then I actually did it. Fie! I really got that wrong. I received extensive technical explanations: 'You have the cream of the crop here'; 'this heat pump from a very reputable brand (yes, best known for its air conditioners)'; 'the machine is connected to the underfloor heating and can both heat and cool'; 'the heat pump is very powerful and can heat separately from the outdoor unit with only electricity'; 'everything can be set via an app.' A technician spoke who had been completely preserved on the inside.

However true it all may be, it matters to me that the invoice has been paid to the installation company today and that we are warm. A technician from the factory comes to arrange some details; but that will be fine. I did understand that you should never make this sustainability investment without a large package of solar panels, otherwise you will pay very heavily to your energy supplier.

The installation of solar panels is therefore in preparation: the heavy cable has already been pulled: now to order the panels… sustainable work… a road without end. But that's the beauty of it: it's good for the environment and good for the wallet. And what will be our next step after the air heat pump and the solar panels? The house is already insulated with very high R-values, and is fully double glazed.

It is true that the energy netting scheme will turn out badly for the return of energy at 'solar moments'. Installing a battery pack from depreciated car batteries will probably be the next sustainability step. I have already reserved space for it at the heat pump…