Calibrate Energy Rise to the Challenge of Under-Performing Heat Pumps

Published 18/07/2022
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Heat Pump specialists put support package together for local businesses let down by current suppliers
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A North East Company that specialises in the design, installation and maintenance of large-scale ground source heat pumps has recalibrated their business plan, in response to a critical need in the market following the pandemic and a change in legislation.

Following a trying time in the industry over the last few years, many commercial heat pump users have been left with frustrating challenges including no support and maintenance for their systems, the performance of aging equipment depleting, and due to the RHI Tariff beginning to be removed, a loss of significant income as well as an increase of running costs.

Gary Matthews, managing director of Calibrate Energy Engineering based near Bamburgh, said:

“We had a number of companies approaching us who weren’t current customers asking for help and support, because their heat systems were no longer working, were no longer efficient, were under performing or causing business disruption, and becoming a drain on finances.

“In response, we revisited our own business plan, and decided that we had both the skills and capacity to help these businesses. We re-imagined our services so we could help even more people and create a bigger positive impact on reducing carbon emissions.”

One such company to recently receive the help of the Calibrate team had a 5MW heat pump system installed by another supplier, who had folded.  The system was no longer performing as it should and despite receiving £600,000 a year from Ofgem’s RHI tariff, it was still costing the farmer £300,000 a year to run.

The heat pump was therefore fast becoming a financial drain rather than the asset it should have been, and to make things worse its poor performance gave it a rating below Ofgem requirements, which put the six-figure income generated by it in jeopardy too.

Jack Smales, who is in charge of technical sales at Calibrate, explained:

“Having fully assessed the system, we identified a plan of works and re-calibrations to address several problems which were stopping its optimal performance. The customer has now received ROI in the first year following our intervention and at a time of ever-increasing energy prices that is a huge relief for them. Of course, now the system is under our care the business can relax and know that they will enjoy a positive impact for the heat pump for many years to come.”

Having recently won awards at the ACR Awards and Royal Highland Show Technical Awards for an innovative three-way installation in the Borders, Calibrate continues to demonstrate ground breaking solutions.  Being hugely experienced in enormous megawatt heating, chilling and electricity generating solutions ideal for high energy-use industries, the team are very well placed to support a wider heat pump customer base, with slightly smaller needs, in improving their current systems too.

With over 20 years’ experience in both the UK and New Zealand, the market leader is keen to use the team’s experience to ensure that there is reduction of carbon emissions and that there are viable, working solutions to change commercial energy consumption and utilisation. Susie McDonald, co-founder of Calibrate said:

“Our original purpose was to be a small business packing a huge punch by installing some of the largest heat pump systems in the world, aimed at seriously high energy users. To put that into perspective, our latest installation was 8.2MW, enough to provide heating and hot water to a small town. However, over the last year we have realised that if we don’t help maintain and support smaller commercial systems, fitted by companies who no longer exist, that our ethical aims and the industry as a whole will be set back.

“We have transitioned to support those smaller projects as well, reducing our original benchmark above 1MW to 200kW upwards, creating targeted support packages to look after and service existing systems. We make sure these systems are performing well, maintain them regularly to make sure efficiency ratings are achieved, ensure carbon is reduced, more energy is created and that there is a financially viable way to achieve the goals we are all ultimately striving for: spend less and protect the planet.”

Calibrate is focussed on helping commercial businesses meet the government’s Net Zero targets by 2050 and is dedicated to creating a more sustainable future for all.  More information on the company and its range of service is available at

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