ASHP cost reductions for gas boiler owners


Homeowners could slash their annual energy bill by almost £500 for an average home by switching from a gas boiler to a heat pump and solar panels, analysis reveals.

The average household energy bill is set to jump by £693 from April, in response to soaring wholesale gas prices.

But the price of gas has risen faster than the price of electricity, making heat pumps – which run on electricity – more economic in recent months.

A heat pump running reasonably efficiently is likely to be at least as cheap as a gas boiler to run under April energy prices, analysts report.

“With an efficient air source heat pump you can easily beat a gas boiler on running costs now,” said analyst Jan Rosenow, European Programme Director at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP).

Meanwhile a well-designed system in a home with good insulation levels should be able to save £100 or more a year on heating bills compared to using a gas boiler, according to Richard Lowes, energy expert at RAP.

That saving is with the assistance of a smart tariff, which allows the heat pump to draw electricity from the grid at its cheapest.

The figures are based on comparing the gas heating demand of an “average” home of around three bedrooms and two to three inhabitants, which energy regulator Ofgem uses as a basis for calculating average energy bills.

Homes with rooftop solar can save even more by powering their heat pump with home-grown electricity.

The UK uses gas to generate around 40 per cent of electricity, so rising gas prices have pushed the cost of electricity up, to around 28p per kWh from April.

An average three bedrooom household with a 2.4kW rooftop array – which would typically cost around £3,500 to install – can save around £300 on its annual electricity by running a heat pump on solar power rather than expensive grid power, Lowes calculated. A further £55 could be accrued by selling unused power into the grid.

“If you’ve got gas heating and you’ve got solar, it will make bills sense to get rid of the gas boiler,” Lowes told i. “Because you can self-supply a lot of your electricity”.

This month has seen new record gas prices set, and analysts fear bills will rise even further when the price cap is reviewed again in October. Some predicting the price of a unit of electricity could jump by 60 per cent on April levels, while the price of gas could double.