Octopus Energy Heat Pumps Explained
Gas boilers have served us well, but the next generation of heating is here.
Heat from the air, produced using green power. 400% more efficient. 75% less carbon emissions.
From £3,000 for a standard installation
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump extracts heat from the air outside and brings it into the home using electricity. This means you get a bigger quantity of heat with less electrical power usage.
Air-source heat pumps give you comfortable, consistent heating and hot water. But with…
- Less energy: Heat pumps use 4x less energy than even the most efficient boilers to generate the same amount of heat.
- Less carbon: That efficiency means you’ll instantly slash your heat carbon footprint by 75%. Plus, they run on electricity, which gets greener every year.
- Less maintenance: A heat pump can last 20 years – about twice as long as a boiler – and needs less pricey maintenance.
Heat pump installation cost
Sign up now to see if your home is a good fit for a heat pump and generate an estimate cost.
We're your heat pump one-stop-shop
We'll handle every bit of your move to a heat pump. From your survey, quote and installation all the way through to aftercare service.
That means a quicker, smoother experience for you, help from the same expert team, and better value for money.
Proven tech for the home of the future
Heat pump technology is 160 years old, and can work well in most homes already – making it the ideal replacement for your old boiler.
- Combines heating and hot water
- Connects to most existing piping systems and high temperature radiators
- Loaded with smart capabilities, and works with home tech from solar panels to batteries.
Smart heating at your fingertips
Control your heat via our simple app. It's just as easy, if not easier, than using your boiler.
After your installation, our friendly engineers will get you set up and show you the ropes. We'll always be on hand to help with any questions.
What can I expect?
In the news
An introduction to heat pumps
Gareth talks heat pumps
How does a heat pump work?
Heat pumps harness energy from the environment. They then use that energy - alongside a smidge of electricity - to heat the water in your pipes, and so your home. If you want to dive a little deeper, our lead heat pump boffin Peter explains more in this dedicated blog post.
What’s the process to get a heat pump with Octopus Energy?
Once you’ve registered your interest, we’ll do some initial checks to check if a heat pump is a good fit and see if we have an installer in your area. When we’re good to go, we’ll send a Low Carbon Heating Surveyors round to do a detailed assessment of your home (which normally takes around 3 hours). We’ll give you a quote for your new system, which will include any available grants. If you accept we'll book you in and complete your installation (which usually takes 3 - 5 days).
Do I need to be an Octopus Energy customer to get a heat pump installed with you?
Nope! We’re on a mission to decarbonise heating - anyone can get a survey and installation with us even if you’re not an Octopus Energy customer.
Which homes are you installing in at the moment?
Heat pumps can work in nearly all homes, but as we continue to scale our offering, we’re focussing on installations in the types of homes that are best set up to get a heat pump immediately. By targeting these homes first, it means we can ramp up installations more quickly, and get the process down to a fine science, then we’ll start in homes with slightly more specialised needs. It's not an exact science but generally we're focussing on homes below 200 square meters from the 1930's onwards, which is most UK homes. If you don't meet this criteria we may not be able to help you right now, but we will get around to you as soon as possible and if you really can’t wait, we can suggest other installers you can speak to.
Why aren’t Octopus Energy installing heat pumps in my area yet?
We’re really proud of the progress we’ve already made on our journey to make low carbon heating available for more people in England and Wales. By the end of 2022 we will have hired and trained 100's of heat pump engineers to roll out installations. However, we’re still growing as a team and this means that we have had to start in the areas where we have engineers available. By the end of 2022 we’re hoping to have engineers available in even more areas, which will help us get to as many homes as possible.
How much does a heat pump cost?
The average price of all heat pumps installed in the UK on the Boiler Upgrade scheme is around £7,000- £8,000 (including the government grant), which BEIS publish monthly on their website. However we’ve been working hard to optimise our processes and supply chain to bring heat pumps to you at the lowest price possible. Our standard installation cost is around £3,000 - £4,000 total cost (similar to a gas boiler system) but it can cost more if you have a larger home or non standard installation. We'll be able to let you know exactly what you need and how much it costs after your no obligation home survey.
What does a ‘standard installation’ mean?
A standard installation includes everything you'd need for a typical 3 bedroom home:
- Expert no obligation consultation & home survey
- A heat pump (up to 7kW) from a leading brand, on a ground level external wall
- A hot water cylinder (Up to 200L) in the place of your existing one
- Copper pipe (Up to 12m) and electrical cabling (up to 15m) connected to your existing plumbing and fusebox
- Up to 9 days of engineer time to install your system
- System flush, chemicals and magnetic filter to keep your system running smoothly
- 5 year warranty on parts and labour
Every home is unique though so that is why a survey is essential to assess yours.
How does the Boiler Upgrade Scheme work?
The government launched a new scheme called the Boiler Upgrade Scheme from April, which means you can get a £5,000 grant towards the cost of installation. To qualify, you need to have an Energy Performance certificate from the past 10 years that demonstrates you meet their insulation criteria (which most homes do). We’ll be able to check this for you and if you qualify, process the grant and deduct this from the cost of your installation.
How much does a heat pump cost to run?
The cost to run a heat pump depends on a number of things like how big your home is, how well insulated it is and how much heating and hot water you need. On average, we found that a well installed heat pump costs £187 less a year to run than a gas boiler, and they can be much cheaper if you use a smart tariff to make the most of cheaper "off peak" power. We’ll give you a personal cost breakdown, so you can see how much your new heat pump is likely to cost (and compare that to your current boiler) before you decide to get one installed. We'll also recommend the best tariff for your new heat pump installation.
What about maintenance costs?
Another benefit of heat pumps is they are generally cheaper to maintain, as they operate at much lower temperatures and have fewer moving parts than a gas boiler. They also have a longer life expectancy of 20 years + (vs 10 - 15 years for a gas boiler). Most heat pumps will come with a labour and parts warranty as standard, but just like a car requires an annual MOT for its insurance, you'll need to make sure they're checked annually for your warranty to be valid. Our heat pump service plans start from £9 per month and we can help you set that up for you post installation
Do heat pumps work in all homes?
Most homes are already suitable for heat pumps as they are - you only need an outside space big enough to park a moped. We're gearing up to install on a large scale but we're initially focusing on really common types of UK homes first (see, 'which homes are you installing in' question).
Heat pump solutions for flats aren't quite there right now but we're working on a solution so watch this space.
Do I need insulation for a heat pump?
Insulating your home is always a good idea, as it means whatever boiler you have will work more efficiently. Generally homes with an Energy Performance Certificate Rating of D and above, with at least a couple of types of insulation (wall, loft or double glazing) should be well insulated enough already, which includes most homes in the UK. If not you may have to insulate first, which is usually quite straightforward (cavity wall insulations costs around £500 and takes 4 hours on average) and we can help arrange this for you.
Do I need extra radiators for my heat pump?
Heat pumps work in a different way to gas boilers - they still keep you as warm, but they don’t burn gas for a quick burst of heat, and instead suck the heat from air so they heat and build warmth over time. In an average sized room (usually about 3 meters by 4 meters) a standard twin wall radiator setup should be more than enough. Occasionally, you might need to replace a smaller radiator with a slightly larger one, or if you have any really big rooms, you might need a few extra. Again it’s quite straightforward (it typically costs around £200 and an hour or so to fit) and we can do this at the same time as a heat pump installation. It’s worth mentioning that heat pumps also work with underfloor heating.
Do heat pumps work in Winter?
Yes heat pumps work incredibly efficiently in winter! Heat pumps are really popular in Scandinavia (where it’s pretty cold), which shows they work well even when it’s below 0.
They can work in extremely cold temperatures, as low as -20 °C. When it is very cold outside, the heat pump can’t extract quite as much energy from the atmosphere as usual – which means it has to use a bit more electricity, or in other words it will be a bit less efficient - but your home will still be able to get to a warm, cosy temperature.
Fortunately, we only see temperatures below -10°C a few days per year, and even at these temperatures, heat pumps still function more efficiently than gas boilers do.
Want to learn more about heat pumps?
Explore more FAQs and videos over on our Heat Pump info hub.
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