How green products changed Aaron's home and bills
Over the next few years, heat pumps are going to become the dominant way of getting heating in most people’s homes. Paired with solar, batteries and the right sprinkling of tech magic, they can even help give some customers Zero Bills.
One of our lovely customers Aaron, used Octopus to install the green energy trifecta in his home; a heat pump, solar and battery. With this avengers-like line-up of green energy super products, I wanted to have a chat with him to discuss how they’ve transformed his home.
Our heat pump heats our home better than our gas boiler ever did.Aaron, Octopus customer
Join Aaron in getting a heat pump and solar from Octopus
Samsam: So Aaron, tell me a bit about your home energy set-up and what made you take the plunge?
Aaron: We currently have a heat pump, solar and a battery installed to take care of all our energy needs.
I really wanted to get rid of our gas boiler considering the rise in gas prices. Getting a heat pump installed seemed like the perfect option as we now have zero gas appliances in the house and Octopus helped us get rid of our gas meter, which has been a massive cost-saver! The amount of data that Octopus gives you through the website in terms of what you're using and when is great.
I’ve learnt a lot on this green energy journey. It really allows you to become a student of your own energy.
Aaron: We bought a house recently and I was also really keen to get solar installed. Our ultimate aim is to be totally green, and live off the grid with our heat pump and battery so installing solar was an obvious next step.
We also have two electric vehicles so we use a lot of energy at home, and these green energy products really help us reduce the load and minimise our bills.
The biggest benefit for me is knowing that I'm getting cheap heating from a green source and that I’m no longer relying on fossil fuels in my home.
Samsam: What was the installation process like?
Aaron: It was super easy.
First, we got in touch with Octopus once they started installing heat pumps and they sent an engineer round to do a survey on the property and confirm the best place to put the heat pump. Then we had to fill out some forms to get planning permission to install the pump in our home. Once all the paperwork was done, I got a text message to confirm the engineers would be coming over to install the pipework.
The funky Octopus van created by our incredible in-house designer Meg
They came over in their super cool vans and got to work replacing my entire heating system. The entire process took 3 to 4 days, as my radiators had to be replaced but it hardly impacted us as we had power almost the entire time.
The process doesn’t feel intrusive, and the engineers made a big effort not to inconvenience us as they went about a super intricate and well-done job.
The engineers were brilliant - they talked me through the whole process so I felt involved every step of the way. It was really simple and nothing to be concerned or worried about
The heat pump in question, tucked away in Aaron's garden
Samsam: How do you use your heat pump?
Aaron: It comes with a thermostat which allows you to control the temperature. We tend to keep it on all the time. When we had our gas boiler we used to adjust our heating manually, but with the heat pump we find there is no need to make adjustments.
I set it at 18 or 19 degrees on a set schedule using the Daikin app and we find our home is always comfortable and warm. Typically, the heat pump schedule is set from 8am-7pm, and then we set it to start it again during the night for hot water. This allows us to benefit from our cheap overnight tariff, as the tank holds the overnight heat all day long for our showers and any washing we’re doing.
Samsam: How has the heat pump changed the way you use energy?
Thanks to the products and apps I have so much more data and control than ever before which has been amazing
Aaron: I have total control over my heating; I can change my thermostat based on the temperature outside. And over the past few weeks, I've been slowly dropping down the flow temperature on the heat pump to make it more efficient, and ensure it always stays at the perfect temperature.
Samsam: Have you been able to make big savings?
Currently, since it’s summer and we have solar panels alongside our heat pump and batteries I’m basically paying nothing for my heating
Aaron: Well, we immediately benefited from being able to remove our gas meter and no longer having to pay the daily standing charge. We’re also on the amazing Intelligent Octopus tariff so we get the cheap rate overnight then additional little slots of cheap energy throughout the day. All of our products work together to minimise our bills. For instance, when the tank gets a little bit low on heat during the day we pull energy from the battery rather than the grid ensuring we’re not using any additional energy.
The heat pump and solar have already massively paid off as my average monthly cost is now around £128 per month for electricity, mostly because of our 2 EV's (and 0 for gas). And with the battery, we often find ourselves exporting double what we're using.
Here’s two different days, one prior to Aaron’s solar and battery installation and one after. The second photo shows he’s now barely using any energy all day.
It’s a massive savings compared to before, especially considering we have 2 electric cars and the increase in the price of energy
Our GivEnergy hybrid solar/battery inverter which allows Aaron to maximise his solar usage and battery storage
Samsam: What’s one thing you wish people knew about heat pumps?
Aaron: I have heard some myths about heat pumps being too big, too loud, too expensive or your house isn’t going to get warm. I just think it's a load of rubbish, it's a great product. The engineering is also super interesting as you're often not generating heat, you're just moving it from outside to inside the house.
Our heat pump heats our home better than our gas boiler ever did
Samsam: What was the solar installation process like?
The installation process was simple and seamless, and the engineers' work was impeccable
Aaron: The process was straight-forward and seamless, everything arrived in one delivery on the install morning direct from the Octopus Warehouse. During the first couple of days the inverter, battery and all the associated cabling were neatly installed. The panels took roughly half a day to place on the railing kit on the roof and hay-presto, the sun power was flowing.
The last task was talking us through using the system and the GivEnergy app. Shortly after the install we were emailed a handover pack with all the paperwork.
Octopus provides us with all the data we could possibly need to have full visibility and ownership over our usage
Samsam: What would you say to someone that's considering getting either a heat pump or solar or getting involved with these technologies?
Aaron: It’s a no-brainer so my advice is don't be worried or concerned about it. If Octopus says your home is ready for it, go for it. And combined with the solar and battery, it's pure magic. We get to save money, control what we’re using and we’re not relying on fossil fuels or the grid.
My only regret is that I wish I’d done it sooner
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