New study claims heat pump efficiency is 4x gas boilers

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Heat pump efficiency is up to four times that of the average gas boiler, according to a new study from Good Energy.

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The energy provider claims that the average efficiency of the heat pumps it installs in homes is 340 per cent, meaning that 3.4 units of heat are produced for every unit of electricity used. By contrast, the average gas boiler efficiency in the UK is claimed to be just 82 per cent, making Good Energy’s heat pumps 4.1 times more efficient.

According to the company, the figure has been achieved by heat pumps which have seen a full year of operation providing 12 months of data, averaging across all seasons in what is known as Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP). It 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.

Good Energy claims that a typical home requiring 11,500kWh of heat per year would save £150 on bills with a heat pump under the current price cap. Data was based on a wide selection of real homes including detached, semi-detached and terraced houses from 10 to 100 years in age.

“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,” said Nigel Pocklington, CEO, Good Energy. “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.”

Good Energy’s ‘whole home’ approach to heat pump installation includes an initial survey and bespoke proposal from a heating engineer, including changes such as radiator resizing as well as a recommended hot water cylinder. The company’s installers then complete the full system installation and provide customers with advice to ensure their system remains operating at optimum levels.