Case study: Louise, South London Written by Beth Howell Updated on 26 January 2023 ✔ Louise has a 12-kilowatt (kW) air source heat pump✔ Together, her heat pump and water storage system cost about £17,000✔ Overall, Louise and her partner are happy with the installationWe spoke with Louise from South London about her heat pump.Just one month before talking to us, Louise had an air source heat pump installed into her property, in a bid to move away from fossil fuels and reduce her carbon footprint.Here’s what she told us about her experience.Louise's air source heat pump in South London1. What kind of heat pump do you have? A. A Nibe 12-kilowatt (kW) air source heat pump.2. How long have you had your heat pump?A. Just one month.3. Why did you decide to get a heat pump?A. To remove my home from reliance on fossil gas because we simply cannot continue to burn fossil fuels.4. When it comes to the buying process, what was it like getting a new heat pump? A. I live in South London, where there seems to be a shortage of installers. So I took to social media for a recommendation and was put in touch with West Hampstead plumbing and heating, who were prepared to travel to South London from North London!The overall process was surprisingly straightforward, despite some delays due to installer shortages. There was very little disruption inside the house.5. Did you use the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to get your heat pump?A. Yes, my installer applied for the rebate. I haven’t had any contact with the scheme, as the installer applies on your behalf.I must admit, this isn’t an ideal design, as a homeowner has to trust that the installer will successfully do the application. The installer also needs to either charge you for the whole cost and refund you when the grant comes, or they can take the risk of the scheme paying in good time (which was a problem with the previous Green Homes Grant).6. How much roughly did it cost upfront to install your heat pump?A. Our total cost was just under £17,000 (before the subtraction of the £5,000 from the Boiler Upgrade Scheme) – but that included installing water storage, a new heat pump, and a ‘brain’ (thermostat) for the underfloor heating. We didn’t need to upgrade any radiator or pipework.To compare, the last gas boiler and water tank I had installed 10 years ago cost £5,000. So after the Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant, the heat pump system cost me just over double what I paid for the boiler system.7. Did you feel that this was good value, or were you surprised by any additional costs?A. Of course, this is a lot of money – and it was slightly more than I was expecting. But having been through the process, I do think it was good value.The service I have received has been exemplary, including the heat pump installation, setting it up, and balancing the heating in the different zones of the house so that we have even heat everywhere.8. How much has your heat pump helped you with saving money on energy bills – if at all?A. Not possible to make this comparison yet, as we haven’t been heating with it long enough or in cold enough temperatures to tell what an average heating season use will be.9. How does your heat pump compare to your previous heating system? A. We are so much more comfortable than we were with the gas boiler. We are warm at an even temperature throughout the house – without fluctuations – and it’s a comfortable kind of heat. My partner described it as ‘like summer all the time’.10. Is there anything you wish you’d known before you bought your heat pump?A. Not really, but my main recommendation to other people is to find a heating engineer who has experience in installing heat pumps and will perform a good survey of your property (particularly if you have an older home). This will give you an idea of the potential heat loss, or how warm each of your rooms will be with a heat pump.It also helps you plan for any extra insulation or larger radiators that you might want to consider.11. Out of five, how satisfied are you with your heat pump system – and why?A. So far, I’d rate it a five because of the comfort, with the added feeling of knowing we’re not using fossil fuels directly in the house.12. Would you recommend a heat pump to other homeowners in the UK?A. Yes, if installed by a good installer. Written by: Beth Howell Content Manager Beth has been writing about green tech, the environment, and climate change for over three years now – with her work being featured in publications such as The BBC, Forbes, The Express, Greenpeace, and in multiple academic journals. Whether you're after a new set of solar panels, energy-saving tips, or advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint, she's got you covered.