Heat pump switch could shave £260 off household energy bills as gas prices spike

Energy bills are set to soar by 54% from the beginning of April, driven by rising gas prices

16 February 2022

Households that have switched from a gas boiler to a heat pump could be saving more than £260 per year on their energy bills when prices from the beginning of April.

New research from a group of academics showed that the future 84% spike in the price of household gas will push the price of running a gas boiler up to £934 a year.

Meanwhile, an efficient heat pump will be able to heat a home for £723 per year, despite a big jump in electricity prices.

The research comes from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), a Brussels-based non-profit which specialises in the environmental impact of natural gas and power.

“Our analysis shows that statements that heat pumps are more expensive to run than gas boilers are misleading,” said Jan Rosenow, an associate at Oxford University and RAP’s Europe director.

“Heat pumps can save consumers money if designed and installed well. This is now much more achievable with the recent change in domestic gas and electricity prices.”

Heat pumps work like reverse air conditioners. They use refrigerants to soak up heat from outside a building, and then release it into the building.

They can suck heat from the outside air even in sub-zero temperatures, and are popular in Scandinavian countries.

Heat pumps can be very effective, and many supply three kilowatt hours of heat using just one kilowatt hour of electricity.

The calculations by RAP found that if the heat pumps are that efficient – known as having a coefficient of performance (COP) measure of 3 – they would be cheaper than gas boilers.

Energy bills are set to surge by more than half for around 22 million households around Great Britain from the beginning of April.

The rise is almost entirely driven by the price of gas, which has surged as much as fivefold on global markets in recent months.

There are several reasons for soaring gas prices, including throttled supplies from Russia and increased demand from Asia.

The Government hopes that heat pumps will help slash emissions in the UK.

Currently around 15% of all the country’s carbon emissions come from heating homes across the country, and nearly nine in 10 homes use gas boilers for heating.

Under Government plans, 600,000 heat pumps will be installed in British homes every year by 2028.

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