Could a heat pump be the key to saving money on your bills?
All heating systems incur costs, from when you purchase them to the end of their lifespans. Heat pumps are one of the most efficient options on the market. However, this is reliant on a few factors.
It’s a simple fact that heat pumps are pricy to install. As a good rule of thumb, a ground source heat pump will cost you around £10000 to install, while an air source heat pump will be around £6000.
There are various grants available to the UK homeowner that can offset these costs, but it’s still a big ask! Your heat pump will need to last for around 3-5 years before you start to recoup that cost.
Luckily, our heat pumps are covered by a 3-year warranty plan, so you can rely on them to start paying for themselves eventually! Most heat pumps are expected to last for at least 15 years, and can last even longer if properly looked after, adding further long-term value for money.
Once you’ve installed your new heat pump, how much should it cost you to run on a day-to-day basis? Can it save you money?
The answer: It depends!
There are four main factors that impact the running costs of a heat pump.
- The cost of electricity
- The amount of heat required
- The heat pump’s efficiency (also known as the Coefficient Of Performance, or COP)
- The temperature outside!
Let’s take a look at each of these in order.
If you’re upgrading from an electric boiler, or use an alternative method of heating due to not being on the gas main (such as solid fuel, LPG boilers and similar methods), then a heat pump uses far less energy, making for a marked increase in savings.
If you’re upgrading from a gas boiler, you won’t save a huge amount of money on energy costs. That’s because, at time of writing, electricity is roughly 3 ½ times more expensive than gas. However, there are ways to offset this that simply aren’t possible with a gas boiler.
For example, as the UK pivots towards renewable energy, electricity prices will become a lot less variable, unlike natural gas, prices of which will only increase as this resource dwindles. Swapping to electric heating may not save you money in the short term, but it can futureproof your home in the long term!
Heat pumps are also very compatible with domestic sources of renewable energy, such as solar panel arrays.
The Amount Of Heat Required
Generally speaking, UK homes aren’t very efficient, which is why improving your home’s insulation should be a priority. Better insulated homes need less heat to stay warm, reducing demand and costs!
Good insulation makes any method of heating much more effective, so it’s worth taking the time to see what areas of your home could be improved upon before making any big decisions about what heater to use.
If you need your heat pump to also provide you with hot water, then this will naturally increase your costs- typically around £132 a year.
The Coefficient of Performance (COP) measures the efficiency of a heat pump! It does this by measuring the amount of power input compared to the amount of power output.
In short, the higher this number, the more efficient a specific pump. Typically, a heat pump will vary between 2.5 to 5. A more efficient heat pump will save you more money, as it needs less power to produce great results.
All our air source heat pumps have an average COP of about 4.5. They’re on the higher end of efficiency!
The Outside Temperatures
While our air source heat pumps will continue functioning in temperatures as low as -25°C, all heat pumps become less efficient as temperatures drop, simply because they need to use more power to turn the thermal energy around them into heat.
To minimise the impact of the outside temperature on your air source heat pump, make sure it’s installed in an area with lots of natural sunlight and minimal clutter. This will keep things flowing nicely and give it an extra kick when the air is cooler.
One Last Thing!
One often overlooked area where a heat pump could save you money over a gas boiler is how little maintenance they require. Most maintenance tasks can be done by you for free, and then an annual service will be around £150-200.
So How Much Can I Save?
The following numbers all assume you’re upgrading to an air source heat pump.
If you’re using an oil boiler you could save up to £315 a year.
If you’re using an electric storage heater you could save up to £820 a year.
If you’re using an LPG boiler, that number climbs to £1000 per year!
These numbers make several assumptions about the average UK home, and they don’t account for savings from renewable heat incentives, so it’s best to get your home surveyed to truly understand how much you can save!