Gas costs mean heat pumps 'less expensive to run than boilers'


28 April 2022
An outdoor unit from LG's Therma V AWHP range

Efficient heat pumps in the UK are now cheaper to run than gas boilers, according to new analysis from the independent Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP).

With gas prices increasing by more than electricity costs, the analysis found that with a coefficient of performance (COP) of 3, a heat pump starts to become cheaper to run than a gas boiler. In the past, a COP of around 3.7 was required to achieve the same running costs as a gas boiler.

Heating with a gas boiler will cost households an average of £934 per year, up from £579. A very efficient heat pump will only cost £723 per year, up from £536 per year. For an average household this is a 27% saving of £261 per year.

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“A COP of 3 can be relatively easily achieved by an AWHP and 4 or above is possible for very well-designed systems and at LG we believe it’s possible to achieve a COP of around 4.5 if the system installed is designed properly,” says LG’s Peter Spurway. “We know that when heat pumps under-perform below these levels, it is often the result of poor design, installation and maintenance.

“Whilst higher prices for gas and electricity help no one, the prices reflect the global issues that confront the costs surrounding fossil fuels. Whilst electricity is needed to run heat pumps, their ability to deliver up to four and half times as much energy in the form of heat and hot water as they consume clearly makes them a very serious option to the traditional gas and oil fired boilers that run the heating and hot water of so many homes in the UK.

"The impending arrival of the ban on using traditional boilers in new build properties from 2025 looks ever more likely to be rolled out to replacement heating systems in existing homes as well and heat pumps are clearly becoming the best option – with heat pump technology proven and growing in importance across Europe and being seen as a sensible and energy efficient solution here in the UK.”

The data for this information has been taken from a press release by the Regulatory Assistance Project, available here.