How much does a heat pump cost to run?

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Heat pumps are the most carbon friendly solution out there when it comes to home heating - but how do running costs compare? For an average UK home, a heat pump should cost around the same as a gas boiler to run, but you could unlock deeper savings by choosing a smart, green heat pump tariff.


How much does the average heat pump cost to run?

Heat pump costs have tumbled over the last few years and will almost certainly continue to drop. Right now, it costs a just couple of quid more a month to ditch dirty gas heating, and run a heat pump off our standard variable tariff (based on the price cap, July 2023) but that's not the end of the story...

Annual heat demand Efficiency Annual energy use Avg energy price Annual bill
Gas boiler 9,653 kWh 82.5% 11,700 kWh 8p/kWh £936
Heat pump 9,653 kWh 300% 3,218 kWh 30p/kWh £965.25
Total: -£29.25

Extra heat pump savings: Based on our data, if you choose to pair your heat pump with our specially-designed smart tariff Cosy Octopus instead of a standard variable tariff, rather than paying £29.25 more, your heat pump could save you £96 quid a year.

Cosy Octopus works by allowing you to make the most of the cheap, green ‘Cosy’ periods. That means shifting around half of your peak heat usage to the two cheaper (off-peak) periods each day. This might mean pre-heating your home a little earlier than usual, and then once the daily peak in energy demand has passed, turning your green-heating back on to remain as cosy as ever.

What's more, if you use your heat pump to help rid your home of gas once and for all, you'll no longer have to pay gas standing charge, which would save the average home an additional £105.85 a year, so £201.85 in total!

Smart tariff savings (Cosy Octopus, July 2023) Annual gas standing charge saving 2023 Total savings
Gas boiler £0 £0 £0
Heat pump £96 a year £105.85 a year £201.85

Frequently Asked Questions

How we calculated the average gas bill


Ofgem estimates that a typical household gas consumption is 12,000kWh a year. Gas used for cooking makes up around 2.5% of the total (300kWh), so that leaves 11,700kWh a year as the typical quantity of gas used for heating and hot water in your home.

From July 2023, the average price cap for gas is £0.08 per kWh, so the annual cost of gas consumption is 11,700 x £0.08 = £936. Sourced here.

How we calculated the heat demand of a gas boiler


To calculate the cost of running a heat pump, you need to work out your household heat demand using your current annual gas consumption and boiler efficiency.

Potential heating and hot water costs using a gas boiler

A new A-rated gas boiler must be a minimum of 92% efficient; however, studies have shown that the actual in-use performance is generally lower. Older boilers are also less efficient

The UK government energy department (DESNZ) did a live study and found the average gas boiler to be around 82.5% efficient, so that's what we've used

Current gas consumption is 11,700kWh (see FAQ above) but as only 82.5% of that is being turned into heat, we calculate actual heat demand at 11,700 x 0.825 = 9,653kWh.

Calculating the heating and hot water cost of using a heat pump


Following on from the above, a typical air source heat pump should generate three or more units of heat for each unit of electricity it uses.

The UK government energy department (DESNZ) did a live study and found that the average heat pump to be around 300% efficient, so that's what we've used

To deliver the heat demand of 9,635kWh, the amount of electricity required will be 9,635 ÷ 3 = 3,218kWh.

From July 2023, the price cap for electricity is £0.30 per kWh, so the annual cost of electricity for heating and hot water is 3,218 x £0.30 = £965.25

We've assumed that all households already pay the standing charge for electricity, so there's no need to add this.


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Published on 19th June 2023 by:

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Aimee Clark

Green heating expert

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!