Are Heat Pumps Cheaper To Run? Don’t Believe Octopus!

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By Paul Homewood

Don’t believe the lies from Octopus Energy:

Let’s see how they have tricked you.

Their electricity consumption for a heat pump is based on an efficiency rating of 333%. In other words, you will get 333 KWh of heat from 100 KWh of electricity.

But this is a wildly optimistic figure, unless you have ultra high levels of insulation and live in the mildest part of the country.

According to The Eco-Experts website, who themselves are devoted to pushing heat pump technology, the best you can expect is 300% efficiency, and many people will get much worse. And as they say, this means you will actually end up paying more in running costs for a heat pump, not less.

Using Octopus’ prices, with 300% efficiency, we get:

  • 17097 KWh of heat = 5699 KWh of electricity
  • At 34.19p per KWh, the cost = £1948, compared with a gas boiler cost of £1788

They also claim a saving of £109 from a smart meter, but you would have shift half of your heat demand to night time, which I suspect would be unacceptable to most people and leave homes cold during the day. And nothing comes for free, as the smart tariff charges an extortionate rate of 51.78p between 16.00 and 19.00. So you might save a bit on heating, but you would pay more for all of the other electricity you use during that period:

They also claim a saving from eliminating the gas standing charge, but this would mean you would have to give up your gas cooker, gas fires and any other gas appliances.

And there is no evidence that heat pumps are cheaper to maintain. Our gas boiler is 14 years old, and has literally only needed a few hundred spending on services.

Finally, there is one issue that Octopus have failed to mention – hot water. Heat pumps are not sufficient on their own for supplying the hot water we need everyday.

One solution would be to instal a much more powerful heat pump, but the running costs would be much greater, as well as the capital cost.

There is also the possibility of hybrid heat pumps, which can use electricity/gas/hydrogen to top up the heat of the water. Again capital and running costs increase.

But I suspect most people would simply choose to buy a separate electric water heater, also adding to the installation cost. But more significant would be the higher running costs:

The average energy demand for hot water is about 4000 KWh pa. At a gas price of 10.46p, this would cost £418. But at an electricity price of 34.19p, this rises to £1367.

As far as Octopus is concerned, heat pumps and the Net Zero agenda is a religion. And they will lie and cheat to get their way.