Ground source heat pumps are a form of renewable energy that are becoming increasingly popular as homeowners look to cut their household bills. They work by transferring heat from the ground into a building to provide heat to its rooms. The process does involve some use of electricity but this is outweighed by the heat which is produced. Air source heat pumps operate on a similar basis.
The pumps themselves comprise lengths of pipe buried into the ground which is filled with water and pumped around the pipe absorbing the natural heat from the ground. A heat pump then transfers the heat to a hot water tank which feeds your heating system.
Ground source heat pumps will not usually require planning permission as they will fall within permitted development rights.