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How much electricity does a heat pump use?

In the UK, many homeowners are now switching their attention towards greener heating solutions that reduce their carbon footprint. Increasingly, the most popular alternative to gas boilers is the heat pump, which could easily overtake their fuel-guzzling counterparts in the future as the country’s main source of energy at home.

Heat pumps rely on electricity to run, which is a lot more environmentally friendly than other heating solutions and has the potential to be 100% renewable. With growing pressure on energy consumers to lower their CO2 emissions, heat pumps are an excellent solution for homeowners who are conscious about preserving the natural world.

However, unfortunately, there is still some confusion about how much electricity a heat pump uses and whether it could prove too expensive for many consumers. In this article, we outline the electricity demands a heat pump requires, so you can determine whether it’s an affordable option for your home.


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How much electricity does a heat pump use per month?

By using a heat pump, you’ve already got an immediate advantage in terms of energy efficiency. While gas boilers tend to operate at approximately 90% efficiency, a heat pump could be more than three times that amount at 300%. This means it produces 3kW of heat from only 1kW of electricity.

In the UK, the average home needs roughly 12,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of heat per year. Therefore, a heat pump is likely to use around 4,000 kWh of electricity in this timeframe. Monthly usage will depend on the time of year and outside temperature, but the above figure equates to about 333 kWh of electricity per month.

Other than weather, other factors that will impact how much electricity a heat pump uses are:

  • The type of heat pump – air source or ground source
  • The size of your heat pump
  • How big your property is
  • How energy-efficient your home is
  • Your hot water usage

How much does an air source heat pump cost to run?

Going by current electricity costs in the UK, according to the Energy Saving Trust, the average price per pence/kWh of electricity is £0.34 (this is capped thanks to the Energy Price Guarantee). However, your exact unit cost will depend on your supplier, meter type, where you live, what tariff you're on, and how you pay. It’s also worth noting that electricity prices are currently inflated and will likely stabilise again in the near future.

Using this figure, your air source heat pump’s running costs could be around £1,360 annually, equating to £113 per month.

How much does a ground source heat pump cost to run?

The cost of running a ground source heat pump differs slightly, as they’re not as affected by lower winter temperatures to the same extent as air source heat pumps. This is because they benefit from the Earth’s thermal energy, ensuring temperatures stay fairly consistent all year. Therefore, they’re likely to be a bit cheaper.

On average, you can expect your ground source heat pump to cost between £1,050 and £1,650 per year, as they usually need less kWh of electricity.

Feeling warmed up and ready for more information now you know how much electricity a heat pump uses? For additional details about heat pumps, their costs, and any other important information, make sure you read our how much does a heat pump cost article. 

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