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Last updated: 3 June 2024

Air Source Heat Pumps in Scotland: Costs & Grants (2024)

Air Source Heat Pumps in Scotland: Costs & Grants
  • Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) are a valuable investment in Scotland due to their remarkable efficiency. With ratings of up to 400%, they produce 4 units of heat for every 1 unit of electricity consumed.
  • The cost of air source heat pumps ranges from £2,400 to £14,050. Replacing your old G-rated gas boiler with an ASHP could save you up to £260 annually on your energy bills.
  • Scottish homeowners can benefit from heat pump grants such as Warmer Homes Scotland offering up to £10,000 and Home Energy Scotland providing up to £7,500 (£9,000 for rural homes) in interest-free loans for installing air source heat pumps.

Scottish homeowners can embrace energy efficiency and upgrade their existing heating system 2024 with air source heat pumps. These heat pumps leverage electricity instead of burning fossil fuels directly.

There are two main air source heat pump types - air to air heat pumps and air to water heat pumps. Air to water heat pumps transfer heat to water, which is then distributed via a central heating system, while air to air heat pumps use a warm air circulation system. Ideally paired with renewable sources like solar panels, air source heat pumps can create a complete low-carbon heating solution powered by 100% renewable energy.

A key benefit for Scottish homeowners is the exceptional efficiency of air source heat pumps, even during winter, reaching efficiency ratings of up to 400%. They provide both heating and cooling on demand, ensuring year-round comfort. Additionally, the Scottish government actively promotes these low-carbon solutions to achieve carbon neutrality goals through schemes such as Warmer Homes Scotland.

Intrigued by air source heat pumps in Scotland? Our comprehensive guide delves into everything you need to know: costs, potential savings, available grants, and efficiency in Scottish weather, along with a balanced evaluation of pros and cons. We'll address any lingering questions about their suitability for Scotland.

While our guide equips you with valuable knowledge, you’re probably still wondering how you can find trustworthy Scottish heat pump installers without taking up hours of your free time.

Thankfully, GreenMatch offers a convenient solution – a free, no-obligation service connecting you with up to 4 qualified air source heat pump installers in Scotland. This service ensures you receive tailored advice and save valuable time and money by comparing different options. Click below to get started.

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Air source heat pump cost in Scotland

When considering air source heat pump installation in Scotland, the high upfront costs are a key factor. To give you a clear picture, we've compiled a table detailing the costs and running expenses for each type of ASHP per household size.

Air source heat pump costs in Scotland (supply only)
Household sizeAir to air heat pump costAir to water heat pump cost
1 bedroom£2,400 – £6,200£8,400 – £11,150
2-3 bedrooms£6,200 – £8,400£10,000 – £12,000
4-5 bedrooms£8,000+£12,000+

In light of their initial high costs, it’s worth noting that air source heat pumps have lower running costs than traditional heating systems, helping you save on energy bills long-term. To estimate running costs, we calculated yearly expenses based on factors like Coefficient of Performance (COP), average household heating needs, and UK energy prices.

ASHP running costs overview
Air source heat pump typeHousehold sizeEstimated annual running costs
Air to AirSmall (1-2 bedrooms)£1,115
Air to AirMedium (2-3 bedrooms)£1,592
Air to AirLarge (4-5 bedrooms)£2,250
Air to WaterSmall (1-2 bedrooms)£816
Air to WaterMedium (2-3 bedrooms)£1,132
Air to WaterLarge (4-5 bedrooms)£1,793

These costs are estimates. Get a local installer QUOTE now!

Air source heat pump savings in Scotland

For an average Scottish household, switching from an old G-rated gas boiler to a new, efficient ASHP can save up to £260 annually. 

Therefore, despite the high upfront costs, air source heat pumps in Scotland offer generous annual savings, allowing you to quickly offset the initial investment by replacing your old heating system.

To provide a better understanding, we've compiled a table showcasing the potential annual savings you can expect based on the energy system being replaced. These substantial savings contribute to reducing your heating costs over time and promote a more sustainable living environment by reducing reliance on traditional fossil fuel-based heating systems.

Air source heat pump savings in Scotland
Energy system being replacedEstimated savings
Old (G-rated) gas boiler£260
Old electric storage heaters£940
New electric storage heaters£680
Old (G-rated) oil boiler£335
Old (G-rated) LPG boiler£580
New (A-rated) LPG boiler£195
Coal£660

The savings showcased in the table above are a mere guide to help you decide whether an ASHP is a good option for you. However, getting in touch with a heat pump expert for tailored advice is highly recommended.

Air source heat pump grants in Scotland

One of the main concerns Scottish homeowners usually have in the event of choosing an air source heat pump for their home is their cost. Air source heat pumps in the UK are quite expensive, with prices going up to £14,050.

Luckily, government incentives can help with the purchase of an air source heat pump. In Scotland, Home Energy Scotland (HES) offers a grant of £7,500 (up to £9,000 for rural homes) and an interest-free loan of up to £7,500. Warmer Homes Scotland is also available, offering funding of up to £10,000 for eligible households.

For a better understanding of all the air source heat pump grants available in Scotland, we’ve summarised the main schemes and grants that are currently ongoing below:

  • Home Energy Scotland Scheme: With this scheme, people in Scotland can receive an interest-free loan of up to £7,500 and £9,000 for rural homes for ASHP installation.
  • Warmer Homes Scotland: This interest-free loan allows homeowners in Scotland to receive up to £10,000 to install energy-efficient energy systems.
  • 0% VAT Scheme: Installation of energy-saving materials, including air source heat pumps, is subject to 0% VAT and will be available in the UK until 2027. What this means when it comes to heat pumps is that you can save up to £750 on installation costs. 
  • ECO4 Scheme: This scheme is worth £4 billion and provides financial assistance to low-income households in England, Scotland, and Wales for installing energy-efficient systems that reduce a home's carbon footprint.

These incentives can significantly reduce the upfront air source heat pump costs, making this energy-efficient heating solution more accessible to Scottish homeowners. By taking advantage of these financial support programs, homeowners can enjoy the long-term benefits of an ASHP while minimising the initial investment required.

For a better understanding of the mentioned ASHP grants and schemes available in Scotland, we highly recommend seeking advice from a professional in the field. But how can you find qualified ASHP installers quickly and stress-free?

Using our service, we can connect you with up to 4 heat pump installers near you without spending hours of your time comparing and calling them one by one. Get started by simply clicking on the button below. Our service is free and non-binding!

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How efficient is an air source heat pump in Scotland?

But “Do heat pumps work in Scotland?” The short answer is yes, they do. In Scotland, despite the region’s reputation for cloudy, rainy, and windy weather, air source heat pumps can still perform exceptionally well.

These systems can achieve efficiencies of up to 400% in some cases, meaning they can produce 4 units of energy for every unit of electricity consumed. This translates into £260 annual savings on your energy bills when replacing your old G-rated gas boiler with an ASHP.

The key advantage of heat pumps lies in their ability to transfer existing heat using electricity instead of generating new heat by burning fuel. This fundamental principle makes heat pumps far more efficient than conventional heating technologies such as boilers or electric heaters, resulting in lower operating costs for homeowners.

How efficient is an air source heat pump in Scotland?

Although electricity is currently more costly than gas, ASHPs can be an excellent choice when combined with renewable energy sources like solar panel systems. This combination provides 100% renewable and low-carbon heating and cooling solutions.

Furthermore, as the UK aims to transition towards its goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, investing in heat pumps becomes an attractive option for the future. As the energy grid becomes increasingly reliant on renewable sources, the high efficiency of heat pumps will translate into substantial cost savings, making them an economically viable and environmentally friendly choice for homeowners.

Advantages & disadvantages of an air source heat pump in Scotland

Advantages & disadvantages of an air source heat pump in Scotland

It's important to carefully consider both the pros and cons of ASHPs in the Scottish context and seek professional advice to determine if they are the right choice for your specific home and requirements.

Advantages of ASHPs in Scotland

  • Highly efficient: ASHPs transfer heat using electricity instead of generating it reaching efficiency ratings of up to 400%, making them more efficient than conventional heating technologies like boilers or electric heaters.
  • Lower running costs: Despite the initial installation costs, ASHPs can provide significant savings of up to £940 annually on energy bills due to their high efficiency.
  • Wide availability of heat pump grants: Schemes such as Warmer Homes Scotland offer up to £10,000 in interest-free loans to eligible homeowners, while Home Energy Scotland offers up to £7,500 (£9,000 for rural homes) in interest-free loans.
  • Easy installation: ASHP installation requires limited plumbing, unlike their GSHP counterparts since drilling boreholes isn’t necessary.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: ASHPs produce lower carbon emissions compared to traditional heating systems such as G-rated gas boilers, translating in up to 1900kg of CO2 savings.
  • Versatile heating and cooling: ASHPs can provide both heating and cooling, making them a versatile solution for Scottish homes.
  • Compatibility with renewable energy sources: ASHPs can be paired with solar panels or other renewable energy sources, further reducing their carbon footprint and operating costs.

Disadvantages of ASHPs in Scotland

  • High upfront costs: The initial installation costs of ASHPs can be substantial, which may be a barrier for some homeowners. However, heat pump grants available in Scotland can help with this.
  • Potential noise pollution: ASHPs can produce some noise from the outdoor unit, which may be a concern in densely populated areas.
  • Efficiency affected by extreme cold: While ASHPs can operate in Scotland's climate, their efficiency may be slightly reduced during periods of extreme cold temperatures.
  • Limited compatibility with existing heating systems: Retrofits may require modifications or upgrades to their heating systems to accommodate an ASHP, which can add to the overall installation costs.
  • Space requirements: ASHPs require outdoor space to install the external unit, which may not be suitable for apartments, for example.

Is it worth getting an air source heat pump in Scotland?

All in all, ASHPs offer Scottish homeowners a highly efficient and low-carbon heating and cooling solution, with an outstanding efficiency rating and numerous government-backed heat pump grants available in Scotland to promote them.

When paired with solar panels, for example, the result is 100% renewable heating and cooling for your home. Even without solar panels, you can still expect annual savings of up to £260 by replacing an old gas boiler with an air source heat pump.

This is possible despite Scotland's cold and rainy climate. In fact, the widespread adoption of ASHPs in European countries with climates similar to Scotland, such as Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, underscores their suitability for Scottish weather.

Scandinavian countries are significant leaders in ASHP adoption, with Sweden experiencing a 60% increase in sales in 2022, Finland 52%, and Denmark 20%. Their successful integration of heat pumps in colder climates demonstrates the technology's effectiveness and highlights the viability of ASHPs in similar or harsher climates for Scottish homeowners.

In the UK, plans to replace millions of gas boilers with heat pumps have sparked debates, but the potential environmental impact is significant. Overall, air source heat pumps position themselves as an attractive option for Scottish homeowners seeking a highly efficient, low-carbon, and potentially renewable heating and cooling system, supported by government incentives and proven success in other European countries.

Interested in getting the best air source heat pumps in Scotland but you don’t know where to start? Let GreenMatch do the hard work for you and avoid spending countless hours of your time looking for local installers.

By completing our short 30-second online form, we’ll connect you with up to 4 heat pump installers in Scotland. Click on the button below to get started, our service is free and with no obligation!

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