Special Report

Heat pumps hit four times gas boiler efficiency delivering savings despite electricity costs

Clean energy company Good Energy has revealed that its air source heat pumps are outstripping industry standards, showing that clean heating can perform even better than thought when part of a ‘whole home’ installation.

Good Energy data shows heat pumps are delivering reduced annual energy bills compared with gas boilers.

The company’s heat pump installations are more than four times as efficient as a typical gas combi-boiler system, meaning customers can save money on their energy bills by getting off gas, despite the higher costs of electricity.

The average efficiency achieved by Good Energy domestic heat pump installations that have seen a full year of operation is 340% giving a SCOP of 3.4. This figure includes all heating and hot water at a system level that is comparable to a combi boiler and reflects real world seasonal changes in use and weather.

This level of performance is 4.1 times as efficient as typical gas boilers which average just 82%, and 3.7 times the 92% figure that the most efficient modern A-rated boilers are advertised as being able to achieve.

On the current price cap this makes a heat pump nearly £150 cheaper to run per year for a typical home requiring 11,500kWh of heat*.

Gas will have no chance

The findings, from a wide variety of real homes including detached, semi-detached and terraced houses, ranging from 10 to 100 years in age, improve on a recent government funded study conducted by Energy Systems Catapult which found an equivalent efficiency of 290% or 2.9 SCOP.

Nigel Pocklington, CEO, Good Energy, said: “This data shows that when you take a ‘whole home’ approach to clean heating you can beat a gas boiler’s efficiency hands down, in all kinds of property.

“Thanks to this efficiency, despite the unfavourable pricing of electricity compared to gas, largely due to policy costs rather than real world prices, customers can still cut their running costs as well as their carbon with a heat pump.

“Imagine the savings customers will make when cheap renewable power becomes abundant and electricity prices fall, or if energy bills are rebalanced so electricity is not unfairly burdened with policy costs. Gas will no longer stand a chance.”

A world of difference

Good Energy offers heat pump system monitoring as a service to customers as part of its installation package in order to rapidly identify and address issues remotely. It has analysed in-depth data from over 80 of its consenting heat pump installation customers, including minute by minute power-in and power-out recordings as well as customers’ indoor temperatures.

It is this remote monitoring that has enabled Good Energy to analyse the performance of 82 Midea heat pumps that the company has installed which included 15 with a full 12 months of data covering all seasons.

Paul Cullen from Oxfordfordshire, who had a heat pump installed by Good Energy in 2021, said: “It is permanently comfortable. Heat pumps work continuously, and that just maintains that level of heat. It’s a world of difference.”

*11,500kWh of heat at 340x efficiency at the current price cap unit price of 30.11p equates to a £1,012.68 annual bill, compared to £1,159.47 for an annual gas bill at 82% efficiency on the current price cap unit price of 7.51p and daily standing charge of 29.11p.