Ground source heat pumps explained Ground source heat pump costs and savings

Green piggy bank with caption

A ground source heat pump can cost around £11,000 to £15,000

Thinking of installing a ground source heat pump in your home? We reveal how much you should expect to pay for a ground source heat pump, and how much it could save you on your heating bills.

Read on to find out if a ground source heat pump is right for your home.

Ground source heat pump costs

Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) differ in size and complexity, so pinpointing a typical cost is tricky. The Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates it can cost between £11,000 and £15,000 to install one in your home. 

The payback period (the time it takes for the initial cost of the system to be recouped in energy savings) is also difficult to predict. 

This is because it depends on how efficiently your system works, the type of system you're replacing, whether you qualify for Renewable Heat Incentive payments and how you'll be using the heat generated from the pump. 

The EST estimates that an average performing ground source heat pump could save you:

  • between £475 and £725 a year to replace oil-fired heating
  • between £830 and £1,465 a year to replace electric heating 
  • between £1,315 and £1,975 a year to replace LPG.

Financial help is also available, courtesy of the government scheme the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The EST estimates the RHI scheme could provide an additional £2,610 to £3,940 a year. To find out more, go to Renewable Heat Incentive.

What you need to know about ground source heat pumps 

Heating bill calculation

A ground source heat pump can save you from £475 to £2,000 a year

Ground source heat pumps are generally better suited to new-build properties than retrofitting to an existing home. 

This is because costs could be reduced if the heat pump is included as part of the building's specification, rather than having to fit underfloor heating later on. But the RHI could now significantly help with replacing an old or expensive heating system with a heat pump.

Heat pumps can save you more on your heating bills if you're replacing an electric, oil, LPG or oil system - but might not lead to great savings if you are on the gas network.

A well-insulated house is essential to best optimise the heat generated by your ground source heat pump, otherwise the heat the pump generates escapes more easily.

The heat produced by a ground source heat pump comes at a lower temperature than other forms of heating. This makes it best suited to underfloor heating, which requires lower temperatures, rather than radiators (or, if radiators are used, they should be properly sized). Click to read our expert guide to underfloor heating.

Running costs can be higher if you're also using the system for your hot water supply, and you may require a supplementary electric immersion heater to keep up with your heating needs. Find out more in our dedicated guide to electric immersion heaters.

Once in place, the ground loop element should need little maintenance.

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