Rated People has revealed that demand for heat pumps has risen by 28% in 2021.[1] This follows on from research within this year’s Home Improvement Trends Report which found that 57% of homeowners want to be more eco-friendly.[2]

A heat pump is a device that gathers heat from a source, commonly natural heat in the air or soil, and moves it into your house. Heat pumps are often touted as the heating system of the future as they are more eco-friendly, efficient and offer long term savings on maintenance – everybody wins!

But, for consumers, the big draw of heat pumps will be the savings they can offer on our monthly heating bills. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that an air source heat pump could save the average detached home with four bedrooms up to £1,300 per year, depending on the heating system you are replacing.[3]

As well as saving on monthly bills, the government’s Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive offers homeowners money to balance the upfront cost of renewable heating. An air source pump, the most common style of heat pump, can net homeowners a further £970 annually for the first 7 years.[4] Combined with a leaner energy bill, this could mean homeowners can pocket up to £2,270 annually by installing an air source heat pump.

Rated People’s Trends Report found that only 3% of UK homes currently have heat pumps, but this number looks set to rise as demand increases. One of the key barriers for heat pumps is that the upfront installation costs are generally much larger than conventional gas fired boilers. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the cost for installing an air source heat pump can be in the region of £9,000 – £11,000.[5] Plus, installation of ground source heat pumps can be even more expensive. But, when the reduction in energy bills and, for the moment, government grants are taken into account, heat pumps can offer huge savings over their lifetime.

Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People commented:

“Growing awareness about climate change has meant that homeowners are keen to go green where possible. For a number of years, those wanting to make sustainable home renovations have been limited in choice, with solar panels and insulation often being the go-to options. However, the fuel we use to actually heat our homes can make a big difference to a property’s carbon footprint. This is where heat pumps can play a huge role. 

Like many sustainable home improvements, the upfront costs can be large as the technology is still developing. However, the lifetime savings of switching to heat pumps for those able to bear the cost can be significant.”

How an air source heat pump (ASHP) works

  1. Heat is absorbed from the air outside at a low temperature – as low as -15°C[6]
  2. The heat is transferred into a fluid.
  3. The fluid goes through a compressor at a higher temperature.
  4. The heat is moved into the heating and hot water systems in your home.

Data from Google Trends also supports Rated People’s findings of a rising consumer interest in heat pumps. In November 2020, searches for heat pumps hit a peak as the Prime Minister announced a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.[7] Similarly, searches for questions such as ‘how do heat pumps work?’ have increased by 350% since the beginning of 2020.[8]


[1] Rated People’s internal organic data comparing Oct-Dec 2020 to Jan-Mar 2021

[2] Rated People’s Trends Report

[3] Energy Saving Trust

[4] Based on a 4 bedroom detached home upgrading from a modern gas boiler

[5] Energy Saving Trust

[6] Energy Saving Trust

[7] https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/nov/18/uk-green-industrial-revolution-cars-homes-boris-johnson-boilers

[8] Google Trends search for “heat pumps” with a time frame from 01/01/2020 to 27/04/21