The financial reality of installing any heat pump system is an expectation that running costs will be reduced as you take advantage of the provision of free energy from the air, ground or water. By installing a suitably sized system, many owners have been able to remove themselves altogether from the need to have oil or gas to heat their home. The corresponding increase in electricity bills means that we are often asked why these bills are so high, and what can be done about it. There are several steps that can be taken to ensure that your electricity bill is reduced.
Firstly, always be aware of the potential to swap to a lower tariff with either your current or another supplier. Don’t be scared to negotiate, especially if you know that your demand will be high. It is possible to get deals where you will pay around 10p/kWh for electricity as a standard rate and we know some owners who are getting even better rates than this. Watch out for the standing charge as this can bite back a little, but once you know what your usage is likely to be, comparisons can be straight forward.
Once your tariff is set, the amount you pay per kWh depends entirely on the efficiency of your system. Some heat pump units will tell you what their overall efficiency is, whilst some owners have electricity and heat meters installed which allow them to work out the system efficiency. If you have neither of these though, there are still ways to understand how your heat pump is performing.
Keeping track of your electricity usage is key to understanding how your heat pump performs throughout the year. If separately metered, we would suggest keeping a monthly track of electricity used. Over time, you will then build up a picture of how it is performing and can see if any major discrepancies come into play over time.
If your electricity usage suddenly rises unexpectedly, it could be that your immersion heater is being used for long periods of time – which is the most expensive way to heat your home and hot water. If this is the case, then give us a call and we can come and inspect your system to see if that is the case and what steps could be taken to get your compressor back into play.
MCS standards allow for quite a low installed efficiency for heat pumps, around 2.5:1. We know that most installs are capable of performing better than this, as long as they are installed and maintained properly. We can offer impartial advice on how to improve the efficiency of your system. This may require some remedial work, but should leave you with a better performing, more efficient system and therefore save costs in the long term.