Remote monitoring means we can spot and solve issues from afar, and shows that our heat pump performance outstrips those analysed in a government study.
Heat pumps in general are very efficient, but Good Energy heat pumps are especially so. They outperform heat pumps tested in a recent government funded study, and have four times the efficiency of a typical gas boiler.
That means that despite electricity being considerably more expensive per unit than gas, largely due to the way that policy costs are charged on energy bills, you can still save money with a heat pump versus a gas boiler. About £150 a year for a typical home on the current energy price cap*, or more if you’re on the Good Energy SVT.
These are bold claims, so how do we know they are true?
For every heat pump installation we complete we offer a remote monitoring service to customers so that we can spot any issues quickly, and often solve them without ever having to visit the property.
The system records the energy going in and out each minute, as well as system temperatures. For some consenting customers participating in a research project we are conducting with the University of Southampton, we also monitor the temperature inside their home.
Seasons and system levels
Remote monitoring means we were able to analyse the performance of 82 Midea heat pumps that we have installed. This includes 15 with a full 12 months of data covering all seasons, which is important as air source heat pump performance varies depending on outside air temperature.
These heat pumps are all in real homes, including detached, semi-detached and terraced houses which range from 10 up to 100 years in age, being used day to day as a sole source of heating — not as part of a hybrid system.
We are also able to look at this data at different system levels. It is important to look at more than just the heat pump performance in isolation, as it doesn’t matter much if your heat pump is super-efficient but all the energy is lost between the heat pump and hot water tank. The standard system levels are –
- Level 1 – Just the refrigeration cycle within the heat pump
- Level 2 – The whole heat pump unit but nothing else in the system
- Level 3 – The heat pump and the immersion heater (which is inside the hot water cylinder)
- Level 4 – All of the above, plus the energy consumption of the circulation pump which sends hot water around the home
The most comparable system level to a typical gas combi-boiler is level 3, including the heat pump and the immersion heater. At this level the average performance of our heat pumps with over 12 months of data was 340% — meaning the energy output was 3.4 times the amount going in.
This is known as a ‘Seasonal Coefficient of Performance’ or ‘SCOP’, meaning an average performance across all seasons. A typical gas combi boiler’s efficiency is 82% according to an in-situ monitoring analysis by the government in 2009. This is how we have calculated our heat pump installations are more than four times as efficient than a typical gas boiler.
|System level||Average performance across seasons (or SCOP)|
The reason our boiler comparison is from 2009 is that despite their ubiquitous usage in the UK, there is scant research on real world boiler efficiency. Boiler manufacturers tend to market their A-rated models as able to achieve efficiencies of up to 92% — but this is not generally how they perform in real homes. And even if a gas boiler did reach 92% efficiency, a Good Energy heat pump still performs 3.7 times better.
There is much more up to date research on real-world heat pump efficiency.
The highly authoritative Energy Systems Catapult published the interim findings of their government funded study of 291 heat pumps in real homes in March 2023. The average performance at system level three they found was 290%. Still three times better than a gas boiler, but our heat pumps are performing 17% better. In addition, in the government’s Heat and Building Strategy requires a minimum efficiency of 280%, which our heat pumps are outperforming by 21%.
Why do Good Energy heat pumps perform better?
Heat pumps are not gas boilers. They are much more efficient, but in order to take advantage of that efficiency they have to be treated differently — generally speaking you cannot just replace your boiler with a heat pump and expect it to work four times as well.
Our heat pump experts know this, and the simple reason our heat pumps perform better than industry benchmarks is that we take a ‘whole home’ approach to installation.
This means we conduct a full survey of your home, our heating designers create a bespoke proposal including any changes to your hot water cylinder and radiators, then a team of expert Good Energy installers do the job from start to finish. And afterwards our remote monitoring service makes sure things keep ticking over and helps us to continuously review and improve.
If you are interested in cutting your carbon footprint and your energy bills, get a quote for a heat pump installation now.
*The typical annual consumption of gas is 11,500kWh, calculated as heat via a heat pump at 340x efficiency at the current price cap unit price of 30.11p equates to a £1,012.68 annual bill. This is compared to £1,159.47 for an annual gas bill at 82% efficiency on the current price cap unit price of 7.51p and daily standing charge of 29.11p.