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Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project
Case study

Stephen, Dina and Layla’s air source heat pump

“I am proud that my two-year-old daughter knows what a heat pump is.”

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.

Stephen, Dina and Layla were part of the project.

The challenge

Stephen and Dina’s detached house was built in the last decade; the property is fully insulated and it was originally equipped with a modern gas boiler. However, as both of them are passionate about doing the right thing for the environment, it was important to them to reduce their carbon footprint.

When they came across the UK Government funded Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project, which is trialling heat pumps, they agreed that this was an excellent opportunity for them to get their gas boiler replaced and have a heat pump installed instead. Stephen viewed the project as an opportunity to test how heat pumps operate in real life.

He admitted that the possibility of installing a heat pump that would not heat their house sufficiently was a real concern for them before the installation. Now, after living with a heat pump for a number of months, the family are pleased with its operation and how warm it keeps the house.

Solution and benefits

Stephen feels glad that they have done something positive for the environment and is very excited to tell people about their new heat pump. But the greatest benefit for him is that living with a heat pump will be the norm for his young daughter, Layla.

“It is an unplanned benefit that Layla points to the outdoor unit when I talk to her about the heat pump. It gives me a nice and warm feeling,” said Stephen.

Prior to the installation, Stephen and Dina had their gas boiler in the garage and the hot water tank inside a cupboard on the first floor of the house. Now, they have their new air source heat pump in their garden and a new hot water tank in the garage, where the gas boiler was previously located.

The couple also believe that having a renewable heating technology installed in their house will increase the value of the property when they would like to sell it.

“I wanted to participate in the Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project to prove that heat pumps work,” Stephen added.

Installing the heat pump

How long did it take?

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

What did it involve?

The air source heat pump was placed in the garden. It is a monobloc system that combines all components in one unit and did not require an indoor unit installed. All the microbore pipework was replaced as the heat pump installation required larger diameter pipes to operate effectively. The radiators also needed to be replaced with larger ones. The hot water tank needed to be changed as well, and the tank is now in their garage, whereas previously it was located in a cupboard upstairs.

According to Stephen, it was easier for the installers to fit the hot water tank in the garage downstairs rather than trying to fit all its new pipework inside the cupboard upstairs.

It was a nice surprise for Stephen to see the new hot water tank placed in the garage, as they can now use the cupboard as a storage space.

Were they happy with the result?

The couple are very happy with the installation. Stephen feels that the installers did a fantastic job and he was impressed by how knowledgeable they were, something that was very reassuring for him and his family.

Common concerns about heat pumps

Disruption in the home

Disruption was not a big concern for Stephen, but it was for Dina. The family therefore chose to work from the office rather than from home during the days of the installation and, although it wasn’t necessary, they opted to moved out for a couple of nights.

“Even though the house was covered in dust when we came back, the installers had done their best to minimise disruption and the amount of pipework that needed to be replaced”, Stephen commented.

Energy costs

At the time this case study was written, Stephen and Dina had not received any bills yet; however, they expect their heating bills to increase slightly as electricity is more expensive than natural gas and their old gas boiler was highly efficient. Stephen advises other households who want to install a heat pump to do some research before the installation to find the cheapest and most favourable electricity tariff.

Warmth and comfort

Since Stephen and Dina work mostly from home and spend a lot of their free time at home with their daughter, having a consistently warm house was an absolute priority for them. Stephen is very happy with the performance of the heat pump, as the house is as warm as it was before and the hot water pressure is now better.

Aesthetics and ‘look’ of the heating system

Stephen was concerned about what the visual impact would be inside the house, after hearing from the installers that all the internal piping, previously placed inside the walls, would need to be replaced. He was pleased to see the majority of the new pipework installed inside the walls as well; a couple of pipes are now located outside the walls, but they are encased so nobody can see them.

The family feel that the outdoor unit of the heat pump is noticeable in their garden, but Stephen believes that it is more attractive than he initially thought it would be: “It is beautiful, stylish and it looks really good.”


The family have had zero issue with the noise. “You can barely hear the outdoor unit in the garden”, said Stephen.

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: 11 March 2024