System Design [Drastically] Affects Heat Pump Running Costs

Heat pump running costs vary dramatically. The main reason for this is hit-and-miss system deign. Consider the example of a typical Irish home consuming 13,500 units of heat per year:

Cost of heating with a heat pump

How good is the design?EfficiencykWh of electricity per yearCost per year
Calculations assume an electricity price of €0.30 per kWh (February 2024)

Comparison: Cost of heating with a boiler

Heating SystemEfficiencyLitres per yearUnits per yearCost per year
Condensing Oil Boiler90%1426€1497
Non-Condensing Oil Boiler62.5%2053€2156
Condensing Gas Boiler90%15000€1500
Non-Condensing Gas Boiler62.5%21600€2160
Calculations assume a price of €1.05 per litre for oil; kerosene HHV of 10.52 kWh per litre; €0.10 per unit of gas (February 2024)

As you can see, an excellent heat pump installation can easily be €900 cheaper to run per year than a poor one!

Unfortunately, most Irish heat pump systems underperform. There are plenty of technical reasons for this. A few common examples:

  • Flow temperatures too high
  • Radiator sizing not carefully considered
  • Oversizing of the heat pump
  • Too many valves that can restrict flow

Deeper problems

But why are heat pump technical problems are so widespread in Ireland?

  • Rigorous deign costs more. Installers can’t justify that cost
  • Installers care about cheap installation, not cheap operation
  • The technology is still not deeply understood by the heating industry

He who pays the piper picks the tune

To get the best heat pump performance, hire an independent heat pump system designer. That way:

  • The advice you receive is impartial
  • They are highly qualified and specialised in system design
  • The designer will prioritise efficiency and low running cost
  • If a heat pump is not right for your home, the independent advisor will tell you so

Why EcoPlus Surveyors Limited?

  • Room-by-room heat loss calculation
  • You get a design that prioritises your interests
  • Cost-benefit analysis of the proposed energy upgrades
  • Evaluation of alternative and additional energy upgrade options

A thorough assessment and rigorous design can save you tens of thousands on your energy bills over the coming decades.