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Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project
Case study

Colin and his family’s air source heat pump

“We never run out of hot water and the water pressure is fantastic.”

The project

Funded by the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project was designed to understand the technical and practical feasibility of a large-scale rollout of heat pumps. Find out more about the project.

Colin and his family were part of the project.

The challenge

Colin and his family had a 15-year-old gas boiler for their heating and hot water. However, Colin had noticed that the boiler was becoming less energy efficient and he knew that they would have to replace it in the near future. The family started looking into modern heating solutions that require less energy to heat their home and provide them with hot water.

Colin was familiar with heat pumps due to his job in the energy sector. Along with his family, he decided to participate in the UK Government funded Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project, which is trialling heat pumps. Colin and his family replaced their gas boiler with a heat pump – it not only uses less energy to heat their house but also contributes to reducing the family’s carbon impact.

Solution and benefits

An air source heat pump was installed at Colin’s house. Both he and his family are very pleased with how warm their house is with the heat pump and they have noticed a definite improvement to their hot water.

Apart from having their house consistently warm, Colin highlighted the environmental benefits of their decision.

Doing the right thing for the environment was important for him as a professional in the energy sector, as well as to set a good example for his children.

“The hot water is enough for the whole family to take a shower in the morning and the water pressure is much better than before,” says Colin.

Colin is interested to take a step further in reducing their carbon footprint by possibly installing a solar PV system in the future. This would generate renewable electricity, some of which could be used to operate the heat pump.

Installing the heat pump

How long did it take?

The heat pump was installed in two and a half days by a team of accredited installers involving plumbers and electricians.  

What did it involve?

The outdoor unit of the heat pump was placed in the garden and the indoor unit was placed in a kitchen cupboard that was previously used as a pantry. Colin was pleased to see all their radiators being replaced as the old ones were very old and rusty. The new heat pump required no pipework to be replaced.

“Couldn’t be happier with the new radiators,” he says.

Were they happy with the result?

The family is more than happy with the new heating system and how warm it keeps their house. Colin felt that with the help of the installer he got used to the new heating system quickly.

“I can’t speak highly enough of them,” Colin says.

Common concerns about heat pumps

Disruption in the home

Thanks to his job in the energy sector, Colin was prepared that the process of installing the heat pump could potentially cause some disturbance to his family’s everyday life. However, he was pleased to comment that the installation was smooth, as the installers ensured minimal disruption during the process.

Even though both Colin and his wife were working from home while the conversion took place, Colin highlighted that due to the installers’ careful work, the installation process was completed with minimal interruption to their routines.

Warmth and comfort

Colin and his family are happy with how warm their house is after installing the heat pump. They are particularly happy with the hot water system.

“We never run out of hot water and the water pressure is fantastic,” he says.

Energy costs

At the time this case study was written, Colin and his family had just received their first electricity bill after the heat pump installation. Based on this, the family think the heat pump costs about the same to run as their old gas boiler.

The heat pump was installed over spring so they do not yet know the costs of running it over winter. Colin is interested to check his electricity bills after a few more months, as he will then be in a better position to compare the energy costs of his previous gas boiler with the new heat pump.

Aesthetics and ‘look’ of the heating unit

The outdoor unit of the heat pump was placed in the garden. Having it in their garden is not an issue for Colin as he was so keen to get a heat pump due to a strong desire to do the right thing for the environment. “It is part of the modern landscape,” he says.


The operation of the heat pump is a bit louder than the family initially anticipated: “If you have an open window you can hear it working”. After a few weeks though, the family have got used to it. Colin adds: “The heat pump has become part of the natural noise of the house.”

This case study is part of a series produced as part of a UK Government funded project through its Energy Innovation Programme, the Electrification of Heat Demonstration project. The project is trialling different types of heat pumps in up to 750 homes across the UK.

Last updated: 20 July 2022