Fully installed air source heat pumps can cost anywhere from €3,500 to €12,500 after grants in Ireland. Meanwhile, running costs are typically €400 – €1200 per year. Note, this article will focus on air to water heat pumps, as these are by far the most popular kind in Ireland. But I’ve also written a section about ground source heat pumps in case that’s your preferred technology. So read on for a full breakdown of heat pump costs in Ireland:
Heat Pump Hardware Cost
A heat pump unit itself typically costs €3,000 – €9,000. This depends on the brand, features, and power rating. You’ll probably also need a special hot water cylinder to go along with the heat pump, costing €1500 – €2,000. Finally, allowing €1,000 for miscellaneous items (pipes, connectors, etc.) brings the total hardware cost to €5500 – €12,000.
Heat Pump Fully Installed Cost (Ex Grant)
Heat pump installers need to allow around €4,500 – €7,000 for their tradespeople, insurance, vehicles, administration etc. This brings the installed cost of a heat pump to €10,000 – €19,000, Ex Grants.
As you can see, installation costs make up a big chunk of heat pump prices. So well worth shopping around. That doesn’t mean cutting corners though. My advice is to shop for quality first, and price second.
Heat Pump Cost After Grant
There’s a €6,500 grant for installing a heat pump in Ireland. So the cost to the homeowner after grants is typically €3,500 – €12,500.
Alternatively, you can get a heat pump as part of a Deep Retrofit package. Deep Retrofits qualify for a grant rate of 50%. So the after-grant cost of a heat pump is €5,000 – €9,000 in this case.
Extra Costs Related to Installing A Heat Pump
Heat pumps work best in well-insulated houses. In fact, you need to achieve a minimum level of insulation to even qualify for the heat pump grant. There’s a huge range of possible prices for insulation, depending on the specific upgrades. But here are some examples (Ex Grant):
- €800 – €3000 for attic insulation
- €10,000 – €30,000 for external wall insulation
- €7,000 – €50,000 for upgraded windows and doors
Fortunately, you can get a grant towards all the above upgrades. Besides, all of those upgrades are well worth doing in their own right. Even if you’re not planning to get a heat pump.
You might also need more powerful radiators for your heat pump. Radiator upgrades will typically cost €1,500 – €3,500, depending on the size of your home.
Heat Pump Running Costs in Ireland
It’s generally cheaper to heat your home using a heat pump than oil or gas. This is because a heat pump can give you several units of heat output for one unit of electricity input. Meanwhile, oil or gas boilers fail to give you even one unit of heat output for one unit of energy input.
On the other hand, electricity is generally more expensive than oil or gas. But not expensive enough to cancel the benefits of heat pump efficiency. See the table for a breakdown based on Irish energy prices at the time of writing:
|Price per kWh input||Efficiency||Price per kWh output||Annual Heating Cost|
|Gas||€0.063||90%||€0.700||€700 (+ €200 standing charge)|
|Air Source Heat Pump||€0.20||400%||€0.05||€500|
|Ground Source Heat Pump||€0.20||500%||€0.04||€400|
Energy prices are constantly changing, so these numbers will vary over time. It’s hard to predict exactly how. But one thing that’s almost guaranteed is higher carbon tax. This will increase the price for every form of energy, but especially oil.
Also note that heat pumps only work well in well-insulated houses. In poorly-insulated houses, heat pumps are much less efficient, making them expensive to run.
Heat Pump Maintenance Costs in Ireland
Similar to oil and gas boilers, most heat pumps should be serviced annually. Servicing cost is marginally lower for heat pumps (~€70) than oil (€~80) or gas (~€90) boilers.
Another factor that impacts maintenance cost is warranty length. This varies widely from brand to brand. So keep the length of warranty in mind when choosing a heat pump. Moreover, it’s vital that your warranty is back by a strong brand. Because a warranty is useless unless the manufacturer is there to back it.
Just as with servicing costs, heat pumps are comparable to oil and gas boilers when it comes to warranties. Specifically, you can get anything from 2-10 years of warranty for an oil or gas boiler, and the same goes for heat pumps.
Ground Source Heat Pump Costs In Ireland
Ground source heat pumps are more expensive to install than air source heat pumps. This is mainly due to the cost of drilling or digging pipes into the ground. There’s also a slightly higher hardware cost. The result is a €4,000 – €8,000 installation premium for ground source compared to air source. Among ground-source heat pumps, horizontal loop systems tend to be a little cheaper than vertical loop systems.
But ground source heat pumps do have their advantages when it comes to running cost. You see, the ground has a more stable temperature than the air. This makes ground source heat pumps even more efficient than an air source heat pumps. Meaning running costs are around 20% lower for ground source heat pumps than air source heat pumps in Ireland.
Heat Pump Costs Ireland: Overall Verdict
Heat pumps have a higher upfront cost than oil or gas boilers. But their ongoing costs are lower, especially compared to oil.