Are you warming up to the idea of installing a heat pump at home?
Our energy experts think there has never been a better time to invest in this tried and tested low carbon heating system.
We asked them to answer these top five questions to help explain why now’s the right time to get a heat pump.
1. Can a heat pump save you money on your energy bills?
- If you’re replacing an older, G-rated gas boiler for a well-designed heat pump, you could save around £295 a year on your energy bills under current energy prices (A).
- Topping up your home’s wall, floor and loft insulation before installing a heat pump will help reduce its running costs.
- If you already have solar panels, you can save more by using the free energy they generate to power your heat pump.
- A solar battery can increase your savings even further by storing the sun’s energy to power your heat pump later in the day.
- The UK Government is currently considering “re-balancing” electricity and gas prices, with the specific aim of making heat pumps cheaper to operate than gas boilers in the future.
- Do remember that not everyone who installs a heat pump will see savings straight away. Electricity is more expensive than gas right now so if you’re replacing a much newer, more efficient gas boiler for a heat pump your energy bills aren’t likely to reduce in this scenario just yet.
2. Can I get money towards a heat pump?
- There’s more financial support for heat pumps than ever before. Right now, if you live in England and Wales you can get a £7,500 grant towards installing a heat pump with the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. If you live in Scotland, grants of between £7,500 and £9,000 are also available.
- Energy companies have also started doing more to make heat pumps more affordable. For example, some suppliers are also offering specific electricity tariffs designed to minimise heat pump running costs.
- We recommend researching all these deals if you’re considering installing a heat pump.
3. Is there proof that heat pumps work well in cold weather?
- It’s a myth that heat pumps don’t work well in cold weather and they’ve been around long enough now to prove this.
- Our European neighbours have got the message. In fact, the countries with the highest number of heat pump installations per 1,000 households in 2022 are Finland, Norway and Sweden. They all have colder winters than the UK.
- According to the International Energy Agency, 60% of Norway’s buildings are fitted with a heat pump, followed closely by Sweden at 43% and Finland at 41%.
- A ground source heat pump can be used all year round, even during the colder winter months.
- Air source heat pumps still work efficiently at temperatures as low as -15°C.
4. Will a heat pump really lower my carbon footprint?
- According to the most recent Climate Change Committee report, buildings account for around 17% of the UK’s emissions, and most of this comes from using fossil fuel heating systems in our homes.
- Most UK residential buildings (23 million) are currently connected to the gas grid, using a traditional boiler.
- The great news is that heat pumps can change that. In all cases, replacing an existing fossil fuel heating system with a heat pump will save carbon emissions. How much you will save will depend on the size of your home and the type of heating system you’re replacing.
- As an example, a semi-detached home with an old, G-rated gas boiler would save around 2,900kg of carbon dioxide emissions a year by switching to an air source heat pump – the same as flying from Cardiff to Vancouver and back.
5. How do I know which heat pump is right for me?
- We’ve got lots of independent, expert information on heat pumps to help you switch to low carbon heating.
- Read our heat pumps advice to discover which heat pump is right for you, how much they cost and how much money or carbon you might save.
- And find out what it’s like to have a heat pump by reading stories from homeowners who’ve already made the move.
A. Savings correct as of October 2023 based on a typical three-bedroom semi-detached house in England, Wales or Scotland. Energy costs based on gas and electricity prices set by Ofgem’s price cap running from 1 October to the end of December 2023 (an electricity price of 27.4p/kWh and a gas price of 6.9p/kWh).
Air source heat pumps
Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air to heat your home and hot water. They can extract heat from air…
Hybrid heat pumps
The term ‘hybrid heat pump’ refers to a system that uses a heat pump alongside another heat source.
Boiler Upgrade Scheme
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a UK Government initiative to encourage more people to install low carbon heating systems, such as heat…