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Last updated: 29 May 2024

Hybrid Heat Pumps in the UK: Costs, Pros and Cons & Advice

Hybrid heat pumps
  • A hybrid heat pump is a heating system that combines a heat pump with a gas boiler, ensuring efficient and consistent heating and hot water year-round.
  • Replacing a G-rated gas boiler with a hybrid heat pump system can save you nearly £300 a year.
  • You can save £7,500 now on an air source or ground source installation with the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

A hybrid heat pump uses both a heat pump and a traditional boiler to provide consistent levels of heating comfort all year long, even during very cold winters.

These systems are most suitable in large properties with especially high heating demands and more space to heat. What's more, hybrid heat pumps can be set to automatically switch between the heat pump and the boiler, depending on which is more energy efficient at that time. 

In this guide, we'll explore how these hybrid heat pump systems work, the associated costs, and take a closer look at the benefits to certain households. But first, do you know the best way to save on a new hybrid heat pump installation?

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What is a hybrid heat pump system and how does it work?

A hybrid heat pump is a type of heating system that uses a heat pump alongside another heat source, like a gas or oil boiler. Typically, the boiler will kick in if the heat pump is struggling to meet the heating demands of a property, or to provide enough heat during cold winter weather. 

Hybrid Heat Pump Warm and Cold

Integrating both a heat pump and a boiler into your home's central heating system may be necessary for a few reasons. Firstly, most air source heat pump systems produce a maximum heat output of 40-45 degrees C. This is certainly adequate in providing enough heat and hot water to homes in the UK throughout most of the year, that is, until the cold weather hits. 

During cold weather, this output may not be sufficient enough to heat an entire property. This is especially likely in larger homes with more space to heat, or in homes that are poorly insulated. While some heat pumps are powerful enough to produce this extra heat, they might become more costly to run since they will require considerably more energy to meet demands. 

A traditional fossil fuel boiler can operate at much higher temperatures 65-75 degrees C. By combining it with a heat pump in the winter, you can enjoy comfortable levels of heating and hot water during the winter without fear of your heating system failing to meet your demands or having to pay much more in energy bills. 

Hybrid systems are also smartly designed to control when the heat pump or boiler operates based on your efficiency or energy cost goals. They can automatically switch between the heat pump and boiler, choosing the most energy-efficient option at any given time.

How much does a hybrid heat pump cost in the UK?

The cost of a hybrid heat pump system varies based on factors such as property size, the chosen model and manufacturer, and the complexity of the installation. If your existing boiler is in good condition, you might only need to invest in a new heat pump installation.

Here is an overview of new hybrid heat pump costs, including supply and installation.

Hybrid heat pump costs (supply + installation)
Air source heat pump (air to water)£8,750 - £14,050
Ground source heat pump£23,200 - £49,000
Gas boiler£1,500 – £4,500

These heat pump cost estimates are taken from the UK Government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

Heat pump costs in the UK can be significantly reduced through the UK Government's heat pump grant, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. This scheme offers a fixed grant of £7,500 towards new heat pump installations in England and Wales. 

On average, this brings the cost of a new air to water heat pump down to £3,900 and a new ground source heat pump to £8,600. 

Additionally, additional insulation costs might affect the total new heating system costs. The cost of additional insulation typically ranges from £9,000 to £30,000, depending on the scale of insulation needed. 

However, with a hybrid system, the gas boiler can complement the heat pump's output, potentially reducing the necessity for extensive insulation measures. We recommend that you consult with a professional installer to determine the most suitable approach for your property.

Hybrid heat pump system running costs in 2024

The running costs of a hybrid heat pump system will vary depending on the usage balance between the heat pump and the gas boiler. 

Some homeowners rely on their gas boiler only during the winter months, while others might have their hot water supplied by the boiler and their space heating supplied by the heat pump. 

Assuming that you use a hybrid heat pump, where the gas boiler is employed during the winter months (3 months out of the year), then the table below shows the potential running costs of a hybrid heat pump for the average sized home, according to the type of heat pump you install. 

Hybrid heat pump running costs 
Heat pump typePotential running costs
Air source heat pump (air to water)£1,201.37
Ground source heat pump£1,000.82

These costs are estimates based on the average gas consumption in the UK (excluding cooking gas), current price of energy, and daily standing charges. 

The difference between running costs of an air source heat pump and ground source heat pump mainly comes from their average coefficient of performance. 

Air source heat pumps usually have a COP of 3, meaning they produce three times the heat for each unit of electricity. Meanwhile, ground source heat pumps often have a COP of 4, providing four times the heat for the same amount of electricity. 

The table below shows the potential annual running costs you could accumulate using these heating systems individually. 

Heating system running costs 
Heating systemPotential running costs 
Air source heat pump (air to water) £1264.35
Ground source heat pump£996.95
A-rated gas boiler£1012.43
G-rated gas boiler£1296.61

If we compare these estimates, then it seems that installing a hybrid ground source heat pump, in the place of a G-rated gas boiler, could help the average home make savings of £296 a year, based on the current price of energy.

GreenMatch can help you eliminate the hours of searching for the right installer. We'll match you with up to 4 quotes from the top heat pump installers in your area, by selecting the most suitable installers for the job from within our wide network of vetted experts.

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Hybrid heat pump pros and cons in the UK

This section explores the key advantages and potential drawbacks associated with these hybrid heat pumps. 

Pros of hybrid heat pumps

Reliable all-year-round:

  • Intelligent system adjusts to weather conditions automatically.
  • Provides heating, hot water, and air conditioning in one energy-efficient solution.

Improved energy efficiency:

  • Heat pumps can achieve energy efficiency levels of 300-400%, surpassing even the most efficient boilers.
  • Hybrid heating can also automatically switch between a heat pump and a boiler for optimal efficiency.

Environmental benefits:

  • Heat pumps help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, helping reduce your carbon footprint as well as air pollution in your local area.

Longer lasting system:

  • Longer lifespan for both heat pump and boiler, requiring less overall maintenance.

Adds value to your home:

  • Unique feature and energy savings appeal can increase the resale value of a property to potential buyers.
Cons of Hybrid Air Source Heat Pumps

Not completely renewable:

  • Relies on a boiler running on fossil fuels, limiting complete renewable energy use.


  • Higher upfront cost compared to a standard boiler replacement. Financial benefits may take time to offset the initial investment.

Should you choose a hybrid air source heat pump or hybrid ground source heat pump system?

When evaluating the choice between air source or ground source heat pumps as part of a hybrid heating system, you should consider the overall costs, efficiency, and performance of both. 

Supply and installation costs 

Here's a closer look at the costs you can expect, depending on your household size. This includes the total costs for air source heat pump installation, and ground source heat pump installation costs, excluding groundwork costs. 

Air source heat pump cost: Fully installed, excluding heat distribution system (new build)
Type of heat pump8kW12.5kW16kW
Air source heat pump (air to water) £8,750£11,500£14,050
Ground source heat pump cost: Supply only (excluding ground works, controls + heat distribution system)
Type of heat pump8kW12.5kW16kW
Ground source heat pump £13,200£14,850£19,000

When it comes to ground source heat pump costs, groundwork incurs even higher upfront costs, which tends to range from £3,000 to £30,000. This depends on the installation's scale and type, whether horizontal or vertical. 

Ground source heat pump groundwork costs
Installation process8kW12.5kW16kW
Horizontal groundwork£3,000£7,500£12,000
Vertical groundwork£10,000£20,000£30,000

These are cost estimates taken from the UK Government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

Therefore, it's clear that ground source heat pumps can end up costing significantly more that air source heat pumps. Not only that, but the installation work can be time-consuming and may disrupt day-to-day life for some weeks.

Efficiency rates

As mentioned earlier, ground source heat pumps tend to operate at a COP of 4, while air source heat pumps typically achieve a COP of 3. This means that ground source heat pumps can produce more heat with every unit of electricity consumed, making them more energy-efficient.

Cold weather performance

Air source heat pumps can operate normally in temperatures as low as -10°C, with some models functioning at -20°C. However, they may experience reduced efficiency in extremely cold weather due to frost on the heat pump evaporator. 

On the other hand, ground source heat pumps are typically set not to work below -8°C, relying on the ground's more consistent levels of warmth. This also makes them less prone to freezing issues. 

As a more robust year-round solution, ground source heat pumps perhaps even eliminate the need for hybrid heating, that is, if you're concerned about maintaining steady heating levels during the winter months without overpaying. Therefore, hybrid heating is more necessary when relying on an air source heat pump.

Best hybrid heat pumps in the UK

The heat pump brand you choose can significantly impact your system's performance and longevity. The table below provides a snapshot of reputable air source heat brands, with some of the key factors to consider.

Best hybrid heat pumps in the UK
BrandPrice rangeOutput rangeEfficiencyMax CoPWarrantyMinimum temp.
Panasonic£675 – £8,0002kW – 16kWA+/A++/A+++5.283 – 7 years-28°C
Viessmann£3,700 – £17,0002.3kW – 18.5kWA+++/A++52 years-10°C
Vaillant£3,100 – £8,7003.5kW – 19kWA+++/A++5.22 years-25°C
Daikin£3,100 – £9,2004kW – 16kWA+++/A++5.435 years-28°C
Hitachi£3,000 – £8,2004.3kW – 24kWA+++5.255 years-25°C
Bosch£3,700 – £8,9005kW – 17kWA+++/A++5.312 years-25°C
NIBE£3,800 – £10,0008kW – 20kWA+++/ A++57 years-25°C
Samsung£3,400 – £7,4009kW – 16kWA+++/A++/A+4.817 years-25°C

Is a hybrid heat pump worth it?

A hybrid heat pump may be particularly beneficial in cold climates, large homes, and poorly insulated properties.

In regions where winter temperatures plummet, a standard air source heat pump may struggle to meet your heating demands. A hybrid system addresses this challenge since your boiler can kick in when temperatures drop below the air source heat pump's optimal range to ensure consistent and efficient heating.

On a final note, it is also worth noting the existence of multiple heat pump grants across the UK for homeowners choosing heat pumps for their homes. However, many of these grants can be regionally dependent so it's best to understand your area. Our grants page can give a good overview but we also have resources dedicated to heat pumps in Wales and heat pumps in Scotland.

Wondering how to save big on your new hybrid heat pump installation? Look no further! GreenMatch is here to make your life easier. Skip the stress of searching for the perfect installer – just spend 30 seconds on our form, and we'll take care of the rest. Get up to 4 quotes from top-rated heat pump installers in your local area.

Why choose local? Local installers can offer a speedier and more personalised service. We've vetted every installer in our network, and we'll only match you with those most suited to your situation.

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