How much does it cost to run a heat pump?

12 April 2024 | OVO

There’s some great news if you’re thinking of getting a heat pump. On average, a heat pump is nearly 3 times more efficient than a traditional gas boiler1 – or 4 times if it’s installed by our partners at Heat Geek.2 And it uses a third of the energy of a gas boiler.3

A guide to heat pump running costs

If your home’s well insulated, a properly installed heat pump can also be less expensive to run than a gas boiler. That’s if it’s paired with the right energy tariff. With an add-on like ours - called Heat Pump Plus, you could save up to £210 a year on heating compared to a gas boiler.4

Find out more about getting a heat pump installed by OVO.

What are the average running costs for a heat pump?

The average heat pump efficiency rating is 2.8. This means that for every unit of energy that’s used, the heat pump produces 2.8 units of heat.

Here’s a quick comparison of annual heat pump running costs on different tariffs, using average efficiency ratings. Costs are correct as of April 2024, and are likely to change.

On Simpler Energy, OVO’s variable tariff:With OVO’s Heat Pump Plus free add-on:
Amount of electricity needed to run a heat pump*3,644kWh3,644kWh
Cost of electricity23.33p per kWh15p/kWh
Annual running cost£616.85£546.64

*Based on average annual heat consumption and the UK's average seasonal coefficient of performance (SCOP) of 2.8

Find out about powering your heat pump for less with Heat Pump Plus.

OVO customer with heat pump in garden

What factors affect heat pump running costs?


The quality of your heat pump installation will make a big difference when it comes to your system's efficiency. And in turn, on the cost of heating your home. A poor-quality install will result in a less efficient system, with higher running costs. Check out our guide to heat pump installation.

Your installer will talk you through other things you can do to make sure your home is heat pump ready. This could include extra insulation to keep the heat in. You might be able to get support insulating your home with cavity wall or loft insulation through the Great British Insulation Scheme.

The importance of quality installation is why OVO is working with Heat Geek. Their nationwide network of award-winning installers have all been expertly trained. And the heat pumps they’ve fitted are around 50% more efficient than the UK average.5 The more efficient the heat pump, the lower the running costs – so this will mean an extra saving on your heating bill.

How you run it

When you heat your home with a boiler, you usually have the boiler on only at the times you need your house to be warm. Like first thing in the morning, and during the evening.

With a heat pump, it can be cheaper to keep your heating on all the time. That’s if you're on an energy plan that charges the same rates whatever time of day it is. Like our variable tariff Simpler Energy, or our free add-on Heat Pump Plus.

It means using “setback temperatures”, so that your heat pump doesn’t turn off when the heating isn’t “on”. Instead the temperature drops a few degrees to 18 or 19°C, or whatever setback temperature you choose. The heat pump maintains that temperature, meaning less energy is needed to raise it again when you want your heating “on”.

This “low and slow” way of heating your home means the heat pump runs much more efficiently, while using less energy.

Your energy tariff

Most UK homes are on what’s called a Standard Variable Tariff (SVT). This means that prices change every 3 months depending on the energy market. On Simpler Energy, OVO’s variable tariff, as of April 2024, a unit of electricity (called a kilowatt hour or kWh) costs 23.33p on average.

Heat pump customers qualify for energy plans that are much better value than the SVT. OVO’s Heat Pump Plus add-on offers Vaillant customers a unit rate of 15p per kWh as of April 2024. And we’re working to extend this offer to other heat pump manufacturers.

Interested in saying goodbye to gas?

Get your heat pump through OVO. To find out more, register your interest and we’ll let you know when we're installing in your area.

Find out more and register your interest

And if you have any more queries about air source heat pumps, why not head to the OVO Forum? The Forum is where our community comes together to share their firsthand experiences of living with tech. There are tonnes of discussions about every aspect of heat pumps, so why not get involved and join the conversation? 

Sources and references:

1 Heat pumps shown to be three times more efficient than gas boilers - Energy Systems Catapult.

2 Based on Heat Geek’s average SCOP of 4.2.

3 Based on a heat pump with the UK average SCOP of 2.8 producing the same amount of heat as a gas boiler.

4 Savings of £210 are based on the following comparison: a gas boiler running at 90% efficiency (as per the national average for A-rated boilers) with an annual consumption of 11,500 kWh at 5.75p/kWh, and 77% of consumption used for heating and hot water, versus an air source heat pump with a Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (or efficiency rating) of 4 and an annual consumption of 1,992 kWh at 15p/kWh with the Heat Pump Plus add-on. Rates correct as of April 2024.

5 Based on Heat Geek’s average SCOP of 4.2 versus the UK average SCOP of 2.8.