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49% of British homeowners are considering making the switch to a heat pump.

Half of homeowners considering heat pumps as they look to save cash and carbon

By EDF | Posted July 25, 2023
  • Money-saving potential is the main driver behind people hoping to switch away from gas boilers (25%)
  • 76% are unaware that heating may be the greatest contributor to their household carbon footprint
  • Lack of knowledge is the biggest barrier holding back heat pumps, with a quarter (23%) saying they do not know what they are or how they work
  • EDF offers £500 off energy tariffs for households choosing a heat pump and will price match quotes from any other MSC-accredited providers

British homeowners1 are exploring new energy-efficiency heating methods, with 49% of average earners2 saying they are considering making the switch to a heat pump. The younger generations are most likely to be on the journey to lower carbon heating, with a third (30%) under the age of 35 installing a heat pump, compared to just 1% of those over 55.

With the mean average salary £39,966 for full-time employees2, EDF surveyed 2,000 homeowners across the UK with a total household income of £40,000 or more1, finding that almost half (49%) are likely to make the switch in the future. Whilst 54% said they would be likely to switch to a heat pump within the next two years if possible and more than three-quarters (79%) would consider it within the next five years.

Saving Money Top of Mind

The study found the most influential factor in people deciding to switch is the potential to save money on energy bills (25%). This was followed by reducing their carbon footprint (17%) and a recognition that heat pumps are more efficient than gas boilers (16%).

People living in the West Midlands (52%) and Scotland (45%) are amongst the most likely to install a heat pump. However, those in London are the most eager in Britain, with over three-quarters (76%) saying they are likely to switch in the future. A third (30%) say they are planning to install one within the next year.

While many people say they are hoping to install a heat pump, just under half (45%) say the initial cost of installing a heat pump is the main deterrent. This rises to 63% amongst those over 55.

Nevertheless, almost nine-in-10 (88%) acknowledge the monetary savings that can be made from switching to a heat pump and admit this would be the most important factor in their decision to make the transition from a traditional gas boiler. This is followed by ensuring professional installation (86%) and safety (84%).

For a 3-bedroom home, a new heat pump could save up to £385 annually in running costs compared to an old boiler, £1100 compared to an old electric storage heater, or £830 for a new one. For those upgrading to a heat pump from a new (A-rated) gas boiler, current savings are £8 a year, but if gas costs increase again, so would customer savings3.

Need for Education

Despite all the interest and debate around low carbon lifestyles as we progress on the journey towards net zero, the EDF research found that 76% are unaware that heating is the greatest contributor to their household’s carbon footprint.

A quarter (23%) said they do not know what heat pumps are or how they work, with the media (31%) and word-of-mouth (25%) from family or friends being the main sources that inform their opinions. Social media (23%) comes ahead of heating experts (17%) as a source of information on heat pumps.

Only half (52%) have knowledge of Government grants available to help with the cost of heat pump installation.

Most Common Misconceptions

The EDF research found the most popular misconception was around noise, with nearly a third (28%) believing heat pumps generate excessive noise. With outdoor units ranging in sound pressure levels between 40dBA and 62dBA, heat pumps are comparable to the sounds of birds chirping and people having a conversation4. Following this, 23% believed they can only be installed in new homes. In reality, heat pumps can be retrofitted into existing homes with good insulation, providing an opportunity for homeowners to enhance their energy efficiency5.

The research also highlights a fifth (20%) of people think heat pumps are ineffective during winter. This is despite air-source heat pumps operating effectively in sub-zero temperatures and being 300% more efficient than gas boilers6. 73% of those with traditional heating systems are unaware that heat pumps can work alongside a traditional gas boiler.Such misconceptions and lack of knowledge surrounding heat pumps are slowing the transition to lower carbon heating solutions and potentially costing households money.

Philippe Commaret, Managing Director for Customers at EDF, said: “We’re on a mission to help everyone save cash and carbon so it’s great to see more people considering heat pumps and a move away from inefficient, fossil fuel heating. However, we recognise many barriers remain.

“While many people remain worried about the climate crisis, people are struggling to find the headspace, time and money to make it a priority.  We want all our offers to be good for the planet and the pocket, so are taking action to make choosing a quality heat pump install easy and more affordable.”

EDF is aiming to tackle misconceptions and support more homeowners in realising the advantages of heat pumps. With more than 20 years’ experience, EDF offers a comprehensive end-to-end service for customers with its experienced partner CB Heating. This includes organising the Government's £5,000 boiler upgrade grant.

EDF is also determined to make heat pumps accessible to as many of its customers as possible and is offering its customers, for a limited time, £500 off energy bills when they install an air source heat pump through EDF and CB Heating. It is also offering to price match quotes from any other MSC-accredited provider. T&Cs apply. For more information, visit: https://www.edfenergy.com/air-source-heat-pump-energy-credit

-ENDS-

For more information contact:
EDF Press Office: edf@goodrelations.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

  1. Research conducted by Opinium between 8th and 21st June 2023, of 2,000 homeowners with a household income of £40,000 or more
  2. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/datasets/allemployeesashetable1 - According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average salary across the whole of the UK in 2022 was £39,966 for full-time employees.
  3. Based on an average sized, three-bedroom detached house in Great Britain, with radiator upgrades. Figures are based on fuel prices as of July 2023. Source: Energy Savings Trust air source heat pump advice.
  4. Inspiration | Daikin, ‘What do the sound levels on heat pumps mean?’
  5. Sealed: What temperature does a heat pump stop working?
  6. Catapult Energy Systems: Heat pumps shown to be three times more efficient than gas boilers

About EDF

EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission, electric future and tackling climate change. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity(1) and supplies millions of customers with electricity and gas.

It generates low carbon electricity from five nuclear power stations and more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms.

EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and there are advanced plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes.

EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with more than 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 5GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland.

EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity, selling energy back to the grid or installing a heat pump. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Imtech, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 11,000 people at locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. 

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