HEAT pump pilot projects are to spring up across the Wee County in the coming years.

Last week's Clackmannanshire Council budget has earmarked £150,000 for projects, ahead of the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH2) standard coming into force.

The money will be used to "pursue pilot projects of heat pumps, replacement radiators and suitably sized pipework and buffer tanks (utilising industry standard heat loss methodology), in Muckhart, Forrestmill and Lower Mains in Dollar."

Council documents tabled for the Housing Revenue Account budget and capital programme explained the move comes as both the UK and Scottish governments are "keen to decarbonise the heating systems in use in homes across the country, either through the use of heat pumps or piloting of hydrogen boilers which produce zero emissions at the point of use."

This will likely feature as part of responsibilities laid out in the EESSH2 standard.

Documents also explained that this may mean that the local authority will be unable to replace gas boilers in existing homes from a certain point.

This is expected by the mid-2030s while the standard has already been agreed for new build homes from 2024-25.

Responding to Cllr Donald Balsillie at last Wednesday's, March 24, special council meeting, a council officer told the virtual Kilncraigs chamber: "The last remaining area where the Scottish and UK governments are still to move on is carbon reductions within households because that's one of the biggest contributors to the climate change agenda."

On the long-run, ground- and air-source heat pumps, district heating systems and hydrogen-based systems are expected to be heating Clacks homes provided by social landlords, as well as in new builds.

The council officer added: "Fundamentally, in terms of the move to renewable heating, these systems work differently in terms of their application in the home.

"They work at a lower temperature than current gas systems, where gas systems currently run at 80 or 70 degrees [Celsius] in terms of hot water going around the radiator system, these [renewable] systems work at a lower temperature.

"It requires the end user to be fully trained in terms of its application and use.

"It can be a bit counter-intuitive to the actual end user in terms of leaving the heating system on all day will be more efficient than actually switching it on and off.

"We've got a huge piece of work in terms of some of that training of end users and that again is really why we are looking to put in this trial in Lower Mills in Dollar, Muckhart and potentially looking to replace some of the systems that we installed 10 years ago at Forestmill."

Ground-source heat pumps extract energy from the soil or groundwater that remain at a relatively constant temperature all year round below 30feet and transfer it into a building.

The process can also be reversed so the pump extracts heat from the building and transfers it to the ground.