Heat Pumps are three times more efficient than gas boilers
Performance data released as part of the Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project (EoH), has shown that Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) operate with high efficiency even in cold weather conditions, making the technology “a viable domestic retrofit solution three times more efficient than gas boilers.”
Funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), the Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project is working to understand the technical and practical feasibility and constraints of a mass rollout of heat pumps into British homes.
A total of 742 heat pumps were installed in a broad spectrum of housing types and ages. These heat pumps are being monitored throughout the trial to assess their performance.
Seasonal Performance Factor Improvements
The data collected from monitoring these homes between November 2022 and August 2022, showed that the median Seasonal Performance Factors (SPFs) for ASHP systems was 2.80 (280%). This data illustrates a significant increase from the Renewable Heat Premiums Payment Scheme (RHPP) which ran from 2011 to 2014 and recorded an SPF of roughly 0.3-0.4 (30-40%). Innovation in the industry and in the heat pump systems themselves is likely a leading factor in this performance improvement.
The SPF of a heat pump is the ratio of annual heat generated to the annual electricity consumed for the operation of the heat pump so in this instance, an ASHP generates 2.8 times the amount of electricity consumed.
The project also discovered that heat pump performance was only marginally affected by cold weather which is a common question we get asked. The median efficiency for an ASHP on the coldest days of last year (falling as low as -6°C) was 2.44 (244%), representing a less than 15% drop.
Marc Brown, the studies research leader said: “The interim findings of the Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project highlight just how far the industry has come in innovating to improve the performance and efficiency of heat pumps.
“With the release of this data, we can finally put to bed the notion that heat pumps do not work in cold weather conditions and that they are inefficient to run. We’ve observed the exact opposite. They are three times more efficient than gas boilers and work in cold weather conditions. Innovation is changing the game in the heating sector.