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Ground Source Heat Pumps: Prices and Running Costs

Ground source heat pump cost

How much does a ground source heat pump cost? A question that may seem straightforward but to get the full picture you need to consider the price of the heat pump itself, installation and the long term running costs.

We take a look at all the costs involved with a ground source heat pump installed to help you find out if it’s right for your home.

How much does a ground source heat pump cost?

Ground source heat pump costs typically range from £8,000 to £12,000. Factor in the installation and the Energy Saving Trust estimate that the investment could total £10,000 to £18,000.

The ground source heat pump cost will vary depending on the manufacturer, model and its size. In addition to the ground source heat pump itself, you may also need a new heat distribution system (larger radiators or underfloor heating), a hot water cylinder and the necessary pipes. The need for larger radiators or underfloor heating comes as a result of heat pumps heating to a lower temperature than boilers. So, heating a larger surface area still allows them to heat the room efficiently.

Part of the Heating System

Potential Cost
Ground source heat pump £8,000 – £12,000
Underfloor heating £75 – £100 per metre
New radiators £65 – £300 per radiator
Hot water cylinder £450 – £1,000

Turning to renewable heating systems is going to be important if the UK is to achieve its carbon targets. To help homeowners with the initial costs, the government has launched the Green Homes Grant scheme.

With a Green Homes Grant, you can receive up to £5,000 (£10,000 for low income households) towards the installation of a ground source heat pump. The scheme is available to homeowners and landlords until March 2021.

Comparing ground source heat pump prices

Ground source heat pump costs can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and model. Typically, the most affordable are manufactured by Worcester Bosch with prices from £4,500.

Manufacturer

Model

Potential Cost
Kensa Evo £8,000 – £12,000
Nibe Nibe F1145 £9,000 – £10,000
Vaillant geoTHERM £8,000 – £12,000
Viessman Vitocal 222-G £6,000 – £7,500
Worcester Bosch Greenstore 6 System £4,500 – £8,000

Find out which heat pump you should install in Which are the Best Ground Source Heat Pumps?

These costs are only for the heat pump itself and don’t include the installation. It’s important to include the installation costs as part of any considerations you make.

How much does ground source heat pump installation cost?

The installation of a ground source heat pump will vary greatly depending on the complexity of the installation. Typically, however, you’re looking at installation costs in the region of £10,000 to £18,000. For the most complex of installations, costs can even stretch out as far as £30,000.

Ground source heat pump installation costs are largely impacted by how the underground pipe network will be installed. They can either be installed horizontally, which requires more space but don’t go down as deep. Alternatively, they can be buried in a vertical borehole which requires less space but are buried much deeper.

Type of Installation Installation Costs
Horizontal Borehole £3,000 – £12,000
Vertical Borehole £6,000 – £30,000

As a ground source heat pump is a significant investment, you’ll want to know that you’re getting the most competitive price possible. And to do that, we highly recommend comparing multiple quotes.

By comparing ground source heat pump installation quotes from at least 3 installers, you can be confident that you’re not being overcharged. Getting multiple quotes is easier than you might think too.

Simply complete our online form today, letting us know a few details about the work you’d like completing – and we’ll match you with installers in your area who are qualified to install ground source heat pumps. Up to 3 installers will be in touch to prove free no-obligation quotes which you can then compare and decide how to proceed.

What are the running costs of ground source heat pumps?

Depending on the heating system being replaced, it’s highly likely that ground source heat pump running costs will be lower. A ground source heat pump heats your home using a free renewable source of energy – underground heat. To extract that heat the heat pump needs to be powered by electricity.

Electricity is one of the more expensive fuels. Particularly in comparison to gas and oil – popular fuels for boilers. However, the highly efficient performance of heat pumps means they’re able to convert this electricity into 2-4 times as much heat.

So, if you’re paying 14.4p/kWh of electricity, each thermal kWh of heat produced by a heat pump with a SCoP of 4 will cost 3.6p/kWh. And because gas boilers aren’t 100% efficient this is potentially cheaper than gas. This is because average gas prices stand at 4.17p/kWh so for a gas boiler with an efficiency of 93% to deliver a full thermal kWh it would cost 4.46p/kWh – more than a heat pump.

Heat pump running costs can increase if they’re working to heat a property that isn’t well insulated. Heat pumps produce heat to a lower temperature than boilers which makes sufficient insulation vitally important.

Working out the potential running costs of a ground source heat pump depends on a number of factors:

  • Efficiency rating of the heat pump
  • Temperature of the underground heat source
  • Level of demand for central heating
  • Whether the heat pump will be providing domestic hot water
  • How well insulated your property is
  • The heat distribution (underfloor heating can be more efficient than conventionally-sized radiators)

In addition to the above, it’s important that the heat pump is used efficiently too. Like boilers, heat pumps have heating controls and setting the temperature lower will inevitably save you money. Your installer should take you through how to best use the heating controls on at the time of installation.

To lower the running costs, you could generate your own renewable energy using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Solar PV panels convert solar energy into electricity which can be used to power the electrical appliances around the home for free. And that includes a ground source heat pump.

Interested in generating your own renewable solar energy? Visit our sister website Solar Guide.

How efficient are ground source heat pumps?

Ground source heat pumps receive two different efficiency ratings: a Coefficient of Performance (COP) and Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF).

The COP, otherwise known as the Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP), is a measurement of how much heat the heat pump delivers for each unit of electricity used to power it. Typically, a ground source heat pump will convert each kilowatt (kW) of electricity into 3-4 kW of heat.

This equates to an efficiency of 300% to 400% – far higher than 93% achieved by modern condensing boilers, which perform at efficiencies in the region of 94%.

SPF is a measurement of the heat pump’s efficiency over the course of a year. It’s worked out by dividing the total heat output per annum by the annual electricity consumption.

To be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), your ground source heat pump must have an SPF value of at least 2.5.

Earning money with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

As a reward for heating your home for a heat pump, you could receive payments through the Renewable Heat Incentive. RHI payments are made quarterly over a 7 year period. The amount you’ll receive will depend on how much energy your heat pump produces.

Tariffs are evaluated by Ofgem each quarter. With the table below showing the rate for applications submitted between 1 July 2020 and 30 September 2020.

Renewable Heating System Tariff (p/kWh)
Ground Source Heat Pump 21.16
Air source heat pump 10.85
Biomass boiler 6.97
Solar thermal 21.36

The amount of heat produced by your heat pump will be estimated based on the demand for central heating, using an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and the efficiency of the unit.

The table below shows the potential quarterly, annual and 7 year earnings through the RHI for properties with a low, average and high demand for heating.

Annual Demand for Space Heating (kWh) SCOP of Ground Source Heat Pump Quarterly RHI Payments (Estimated) Annual RHI Payments (Estimated) RHI Payments over 7 Years (Estimated)
5,000 2.5 £105.80 £423,20 £2,962.40
5,000 4 £145.47 £581.90 £4,073.30
12,000 2.5 £380.88 £1,523.52 £10,664.64
12,000 4 £476.10 £1,904.40 £13,330.80
30,000 2.5 £952.20 £3,808.80 £26,661.60
30,000 4 £1,190.25 £4,761 £33,327

Calculated using an RHI tariff of 21.16 p/kWh

Depending on your property’s demand for central heating and the efficiency of the heat pump, you could potentially earn upwards of £30,000 in RHI payments over 7 years.

So, without even factoring in the savings being made on heating bills, RHI payments alone could cover the cost of a ground source heat pump.

Note: RHI payments are capped at 30,000 kWh so you won’t receive additional payments if your system is generating more than this.

Get quotes for a ground source heat pump

To keep ground source heat pump installation costs to a minimum, we highly recommend comparing quotes from at least 3 different installers. Rather than you going in search of 3 installers yourself we connect you with heat pump installers based near you.

All you have to do is complete our online form and you’ll soon be contacted by up to 3 heat pump installers. Each will provide a free no-obligation quote which you can then compare and move ahead with the installation confident that you’re getting the most competitive price possible.


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