How much does an air source heat pump cost?

Unlike gas boilers, air source heat pumps run on electricity, helping to make them a greener, cleaner way to heat your home. But are they as kind to your bank balance as they are to the planet? Let’s look at how much it costs to make the switch to low-carbon heating.

The main costs of getting a heat pump can be broken down into three areas:

  • Installation costs – how much will you pay for getting a heat pump in your home, after your £7,500 government grant has been claimed?
  • Servicing costs – how expensive will it be to maintain your new heat pump?
  • Running costs – what difference can you expect to see in your energy bills?

Heat pump installation costs

A heat pump quote will include the cost of the heat pump, the labour and any additional work you might need in your home. We’ll also deduct any government grants you’re eligible for.

Here are the main variables that will affect your heat pump installation costs:

The size of your heat pump

If you have a home that’s harder to heat (usually because of poor insulation), you’ll need a more powerful heat pump to keep things cosy. And a bigger heat pump will increase your installation costs by a little bit.

Your government grant

Heat pump grants are currently worth £7,500 in England, Scotland and Wales. If you’re eligible for a grant, we’ll include it in your quote.

The complexity of the installation

Every home’s a bit different. As part of your free home survey, we’ll see what’s needed to install your heat pump, plus any extra work that’s required to get the best efficiency from it. For example, you might need:

  • Bigger radiators – heat pumps work at a lower temperature than gas boilers, so you might need radiators with a larger surface area.
  • New pipework – heat pumps need higher flow rates and higher volumes of water than boilers. If some of your existing pipes are too narrow, we’ll upgrade them as part of the installation.
  • Better insulation – heat pumps work most efficiently in well-insulated homes, so we might recommend cavity wall and loft insulation if you don’t already have it.

During your free survey, we’ll look at all these factors and then give you a quote that includes everything you need. Read our guide to discover everything you need to know about heat pump installation.

What’s a typical price for heat pump installation?

The starting price for heat pump installation with British Gas is £7,999 – or £499 after the £7,500 government grant is added.

However, many homes do need extra work to get the best performance from a heat pump. After the £7,500 government grant, the average price for our customers in 2023 was £5,690.

Heat pump servicing costs

Just like a boiler, a heat pump needs regular maintenance by a qualified professional to keep it working efficiently and help avoid breakdowns.

But luckily, heat pumps use a pretty reliable technology. A heat pump service usually costs around £200 – and if you get this done once a year, your heat pump should last for 20 years or more (compared to 10-15 years for a gas boiler).

British Gas offers a 5-year warranty on all heat pumps, plus a free service in your first year. This service includes:

 

  • Cleaning the evaporator to maintain airflow and efficiency
  • Checking the fan for signs of wear and the system filter for water quality
  • Ensuring the settings are correct and the heat pump is generally in good condition

Heat pump running costs

So, what will happen to your energy bills after installing a heat pump? Will they go up dramatically? Go down by a lot? Or stay broadly the same?

The good news is, the running costs of a heat pump are usually slightly less than for a gas boiler – especially in a well-insulated home.

We’ve explained how and why your energy costs are likely to change below. But for a quick answer, try our simple heat pump running costs calculator.

Heat pump running costs, explained

Although heat pumps are over 3x more efficient than gas boilers, the unit cost of electricity is also currently about 4x higher than gas.

Even so, there are still savings to be had for most people. And you can boost these savings even further by:

  • Choosing the British Gas Heat Pump Tariff – this will launch in spring 2024 and will help you save on your electricity bill.
  • Removing your gas meter – if you no longer use gas at home, you can get your gas meter removed and won’t need to pay the daily standing charge, which works out at around £105 a year. However, you’ll need to speak to your energy supplier about this – they might charge for the service.

The exact amount of total savings depends on the age and efficiency of your gas boiler, as well as the size of your home. The chart below gives you an idea of what you might be able to expect.

1-2 bedrooms 3-4 bedrooms 5+ bedrooms
A (90%) £5 £7 £10
B (86%) £29 £45 £66
C (82%) £54 £82 £122
D (78%) £78 £120 £177
E (74%) £103 £157 £233
F (70%) £103 £157 £233
G (66%) £152 £233 £344

Frequently asked questions

Can you finance a heat pump?

Yes, if you don’t want to pay for your heat pump in a single payment, British Gas offers a whole range of options for spreading the cost into manageable monthly amounts. You can find the full range of payment options we currently offer here.

Are heat pumps expensive to run?

An air source heat pump in a well-insulated home should be slightly cheaper to run than a gas boiler. You can reduce the costs even further by signing up to the British Gas Heat Pump tariff. And if removing your gas boiler means you no longer need gas, you can remove your gas meter and save money by not paying the daily standing charge for a gas connection. To see how your home’s energy bills would change with an air source heat pump, use our handy calculator.

Do heat pumps save money?

Customers who switch from gas boilers to heat pumps can expect to pay slightly lower energy bills. For example, upgrading from a 10-15 year old boiler in a house with 3-4 bedrooms could save you up to £343 a year, if you sign up to the British Gas Heat Pump tariff and also get your gas meter removed. Use our calculator to see how your home’s energy bills are likely to change.

Is planning permission needed to install an air source heat pump?

No. Unless you live in a listed building or in a conservation area, you won’t need planning permission for a heat pump. They’re classified as a permitted development.