Heat pumps a hit with users

According to thinktank Nesta, heat pumps are proving popular with consumers. It commissioned Eunomia to conduct a large-scale survey of 2,549 domestic heat pump owners and 1,025 domestic gas boiler owners in England, Scotland and Wales.

The survey found that homeowners that use a heat pump are satisfied that they are safe, reliable, quiet heat sources that are effective for space heating and for producing hot water.

Satisfaction with heat pumps is high and, overall, satisfaction levels between heat pump and gas boiler users are very similar. In both cases, at least 70% of people said they were ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ satisfied with all aspects of their heat source, except running costs. Two-thirds (67%) of heat pump owners and 59% of gas boiler owners said they were satisfied with running costs.

One notable difference in satisfaction between heat pumps and gas boilers was with ‘ease of use and control’, where heat pump users reported lower satisfaction (74% ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ satisfied) than gas boiler users (88% similarly satisfied). This is reflected in the finding that heat pump users feel less confident (22% ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ confident) in using and controlling their heating than gas boiler users (6% similarly unconfident).

Katy King, the deputy director of sustainable future at Nesta, told The Guardian that the thinktank’s research shows that heat pumps have largely been popular with homeowners. She said: “Heat pumps are a hit with people who have them installed. Three in four people are as, or more, happy with their heat pump compared with their previous heating system. Our research also found that high satisfaction with heat pumps was the same whether the house was a new-build or an older property.”

King added that people who registered lower satisfaction tend to be those who have moved into a property with a heat pump already installed and she suggests that they would benefit from more information on how to best use their heat pump.

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