2019: Heat Pump Technology is the Way Forward

Three Reasons To Switch To A Heat Pump In The New Year

There has never been a better time to make the decision to heat your home using a heat pump - a renewable energy technology becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

Reason 1: Oil Keeps Going Up

save around 46% on your heating bills compared to oil

Most people will have noticed how much the price at the pump has gone up in the last few months. Certainly as a business with vans on the road, we’ve noticed our weekly diesel costs go up by nearly 50% in the last year. The underlying factors driving the price of oil are very complex, however the end result is clear - oil is getting more expensive!


Chart showing the cost of heating a typical 4-bed property with total heat requirement of 20,000 kWh. Based on a heating oil price of 53p/ltr and a boiler efficiency of 80%, and an electricity price of 12.5p/kWh with a heat pump CoP of 3.5

At the time of writing, the average price of oil in the UK is 53p/ltr. At this price, an 80% efficient boiler will cost 6.6p/kWh of delivered heat. For your typical 4-bedroom house with an annual heating and hot water requirement of 20,000 kWh, this will cost £1,325 per annum on heating.

A heat pump will completely replace your existing boiler, and operates using electricity. A heat pump works by moving heat from one place to another - rather than creating heat by burning fuel - and as such they are very efficient. Typically, a ground or air source heat pump will generate around 3.5 units of heat for each unit of electricity consumed. At the time of writing, the average British Gas unit price of electricity is 12.5p/kWh. This means for the same property described above, the total cost will be £714 per annum.


Reason 2: The Renewable Heat Incentive

earn over £20k for installing a heat pump

Renewable energy technologies, such as heat pumps, create significant carbon dioxide emission savings, and as such homeowners who switch to heat pumps are rewarded by the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (“RHI”).


The current tariffs are at the highest level they've ever been, with more paid for each unit of renewable heat created by the heat pump than ever before:

You get paid for each unit of renewable heat generated by your heat pump over a 7 year period, with payouts made quarterly. Once you join the scheme, you are protected from any future reductions in tariff, and in fact the tariffs will increase periodically in line with the Consumer Price Index.

Technology Annual RHI Payment 7-Year Total RHI
Ground Source Heat Pump £2,923 £20,461
Air Source Heat Pump £1,499 £10,493

Table showing RHI payments based on current tariffs (Dec-2018)

Government funding for the RHI is guaranteed until 2021 for new entrants. Once on the scheme, your funding is guaranteed for the full 7-year period, even if the RHI is subsequently withdrawn.

So act now to make sure that you don’t miss out of this very generous incentive.

Reason 3: Do Your Bit For The Environment

Heat pumps are powered exclusively by electricity, so straight away you lose the requirement for regular fuel deliveries or a gas connection. Also, this means that there are no on-site emissions, since all the emissions from electricity generation are produced at source.

Using electrically-powered, efficient heat pumps creates huge savings in carbon emissions, and this saving will only increase in the future due to the further decarbonisation of the electricity grid.


Chart showing the carbon dioxide emissions from a typical 4-bed property with total heat requirement of 20,000 kWh. Based on a heating oil carbon intensity of 298 grams per kWh and a boiler efficiency of 80%, and an electricity carbon intensity of 292 grams per kWh with a heat pump CoP of 3.5

The carbon intensity of heating oil is 298 grams per kWh burned. For the example house we’ve used in this blog, that means an annual carbon dioxide production 7.45 tonnes!

Electricity has seen a huge drop in carbon intensity in recent years due to the large-scale uptake of wind and solar technology. In 2017, the average UK grid intensity was 292 grams per kWh, and this will only get lower every year as more and more renewable electricity sources come online. Due to the efficiency of the heat pump - remember it produces 3.5 units of heat for each unit of electricity consumer - the annual carbon dioxide production for the example above is 1.67 tonnes!



Get in touch today and make the switch.