Electrification of Heat - Case studies

The Electrification of Heat (EoH) demonstration project, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is seeking to better understand the technical and practical feasibility of a large-scale rollout of heat pumps into existing British homes.

Energy Systems Catapult was appointed to lead the management contractor consortium, with three delivery contractors led by Warmworks in South East of Scotland, E.On in Newcastle and Ovo Energy in South East of England.

Hundreds of UK households took part in the trial. From 50s terraces to new builds, no property type proved unsuitable for a heat pump. See below for case studies on some of the trial’s heat pump pioneers.

The Challenge

The recruitment and installation phase of the EoH project ran from July 2020 through to October 2021, and despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, 742 heat pumps were installed into a broad spectrum of housing types and socio-economic groups, that reflects a representative sample of households across Great Britain.

Householders were asked to reflect on their first hand experiences of taking part in the programme, including disruption during the installation work, thoughts on the noise and aesthetics of the technology and the outcomes for warmth and comfort.

The Solutions

The range of different heat pumps installed, included:

  • Low-temperature and high-temperature air-source heat pumps
  • Ground-source heat pumps
  • Hybrid heat pumps incorporated with a gas boiler
  • Some additional technologies, such as heat batteries were incorporated.

The Outcomes

The installation phase of the EoH project demonstrate there is no property type or architectural era that is unsuitable for a heat pump – the Government-funded Electrification of Heat project has demonstrated.

From Victorian mid-terraces to pre-WWII semis and a 1960s block of flats – the project has proven that heat pumps can be successfully installed in homes from every style and era.

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VIDEO: Should I replace my gas boiler with a heat pump? Electrification of Heat demonstration

Latest Case Studies

Find out more about the different housing types, heat pumps, places, people and their experiences

Case Study

Electrification of Heat – Newcastle City Council and Your Homes Newcastle, 19 properties

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Case Study

Electrification of Heat – pre-1919 mid-terrace flat heat pump installation

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Case Study

Electrification of Heat – pre-1919 mid-terrace house hybrid heat pump installation

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Case Study

Electrification of Heat – 1940s apartment block ground source heat pump installation

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Case Study

Electrification of Heat – 1960s semi-detached house heat pump installation

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Case Studies by Region

Find out more about the installing heat pumps into homes in three different regions of the UK

Electrification of Heat case studies - South East England


Brighton, pre-1919 mid-terrace flat - ASHP installation

Judith and Peter were using an old combi gas boiler for their heating and hot water that was almost
twenty years old and would soon need to be replaced as it was inefficient and unreliable.

An air source heat pump was installed over four days with a new hot water tank placed inside a cupboard
in the kitchen where the gas boiler used to be located, plus all existing pipework and radiators were replaced with larger and deeper ones.

Judith and Peter had an ultra quiet heat pump model installed in their backyard therefore they have no issue
with noise, however due to the relatively small size of their backyard: “The heat pump is very present in our backyard” says Peter.


Surrey, 1920s detached house - ASHP installation

Robert and Maria live in a 1920s four bedroom detached house in suburban Surrey, England.

Their 10-year-old standard gas boiler with hot water tank was inefficient, and they wanted a more environmentally responsible solution.

The heat pump installation did involve a lot of  upheaval, as much of their pipework and radiators had to be replaced – taking four days – and they were not completely aware of this prior to the installation.

Robert believes using the heat pump may result in higher bills, but he is very pleased with how warm their house is after the installation and would definitely recommend heat pumps to other households.


East Sussex, 1930s detached house - ASHP installation

Joanne and her daughters live in a 1930s four-bedroom detached house in suburban East Sussex, England.

Joanne, Holly and Phoebe’s house previously had an oil boiler providing heat and hot water – which was inefficient. So they decided to replace it with a heat pump to reduce their carbon footprint.

The new air source heat pump warms their home well, with significant improvement in the hot water pressure and temperature compared to the old oil boiler.

No radiators or pipework needed to be replaced in the house. Joanne has not found the heat pump to be noisy. In fact, she commented that it is actually a lot quieter than her previous oil boiler.

Case study socials-04

Surrey, 1950s semi-detached house - ASHP & hot water tank installation

Raj and family live in a 1950s five-bedroom detached house in suburban Surrey, England.

Raj and his family have been on a journey to reduce their carbon emissions over the past 10 years. They have bought an electric car, installed rooftop solar PV, done insulation upgrades and installed smart heating controls.

Along with an air source heat pump in the garden, a new hot water tank was installed in place of the old gas boiler in a kitchen cupboard. Only three of the homes 15 radiators needed upgrading with larger ones.

The total process took seven days due to a tricky install on the hot water tank. They are particularly pleased with the increase in hot water pressure as they can now have two showers at the same time. “This has been really convenient for us”, Raj said.

Electrification of Heat case studies - North East England


Tyneside, pre-1919 mid-terrace house hybrid heat pump installation

Michael’s house had a combi gas boiler for the provision of heat and hot water. However, for Michael and his family it was very important to reduce their reliance on natural gas and their carbon footprint.

Michael’s three bed, pre-1919 mid-terrace home did not have enough external space for a regular air source heat pump. As such, a hybrid heating system was installed. This combines a gas boiler and an air source heat pump in one integrated unit. The system does not need an outdoor heat pump unit and was installed in the family’s garage in five days.

Michael and his family are very happy with their new heating system.

The new hybrid heat pump heating system should be at least 150% more efficient than their old gas boiler and will reduce their heating CO2 emissions by about 50% – the equivalent of taking two cars off the road every year.

“The heat pump warms up the water as quickly as the gas boiler did, and if you want hot water, it is always there”, said Michael.


Newcastle, 1930s semi-detached house - Hybrid-heat pump installation

Carole and Kelvin live in a 1930s three-bedroom semi-detached house in urban Newcastle, England, with their aging combi-gas boiler frequently breaking down.

After a full survey of the property, the installers suggested a hybrid heat pump system that uses an air source heat pump, which runs on electricity, paired with a gas boiler for the provision of hot water and as a back up heating source.

The installation took over 5 days, longer than the 1–2 days for a typical heat pump installation, because they connecting both a low temperature heat pump and moved the new gas boiler from a bedroom to the bathroom.

During the first few months, the heat pump showed can meet all their heating requirements even on the coldest days. This was due to the installers’ careful examination of each individual room during the pre-installation process and new individually controlled radiators in each room.


Newcastle 1940s flat - GSHP installation for 16 social housing apartments

Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) manages a block of 16 supported accommodation flats for young people on behalf of Newcastle City Council.

The flats were originally heated by old electric night storage heaters, which caused many issues for residents.

The outdoor space around the block of flats was suitable for boreholes, so the decision was taken to install ground source heat pumps in the flats. Old electric storage heaters were replaced with radiators and hot water cylinders were also upgraded to larger and more efficient ones.

The ground source heat pumps should also be around 40% cheaper to run than the old electric storage
heaters, depending on which electricity tariff the residents are on.

Case study socials-02

Newcastle, 1980s mid-terrace house - ASHP installation

Colin and his family live in a 1980s three-bedroom mid-terrace house in suburban Newcastle, England.

With a 15-year-old gas boiler that was becoming less energy efficient, Colin knew that they would have to replace it with a modern system for heating and hot water.

The operation of the heat pump is a bit louder than the family initially anticipated: “If you have an open window you can hear it working”. After a few weeks though, the family have got used to it.

Colin and his family are happy with how warm their house is after installing the heat pump. They are particularly happy with a definite improvement to their hot water.

Electrification of Heat case studies - Scotland

Case study socials-01

Fife, 1950s mid-terrace house - ASHP installation

Vanessa and Patryk live in a 1950s three-bedroom mid-terrace house in an urban area of Fife in Scotland.

With their combi-gas boiler not working very well, replacing it with a heat pump felt like the right next step towards more sustainable living. As part of switching to a heat pump system, most of the radiators in Vanessa and Patryk’s house were changed for larger radiators.

They have found the indoor unit to be noisier than expected but the installers are helping them to find a solution, such as insulating the cupboard where the unit is placed. The indoor unit of a heat pump typically makes the same level of noise as a gas boiler when running.

The heat pump’s performance exceeded the couple’s expectations and heats the house fast and efficiently.


Scottish Borders, 1960s semi-detached house - ASHP installation

Craig’s semi-detached in the Scottish Borders had a direct electric heating system. But due to variable shift work, the timing controller was inconvenient. In addition, an immersion hot water tank frequently ran and took a long time to reach the desired temperature.

Before the heat pump could be installed, energy efficiency upgrades were made to the property, including installing double glazed windows and a new front door to help reduce heat losses from the home.

Craig’s house is now much warmer and he always has enough hot water and better water pressure. The biggest benefit though for Craig is that he no longer has to programme his heating using a timer, since the heat pump has a thermostat that automatically turns the heating on and off based on his desired  temperature.


Edinburgh, 2000s flat - ASHP and heat battery installation

Michael and Joan live in a 2000s three-bedroom flat in urban Edinburgh, Scotland. They replaced their 10-uear-old combi-gas boiler with an air source heat pump. And due to space constraints a heat battery was installed – which stores energy using a phase change material – instead of a hot water cylinder.

Using a time-of-use electricity tariff – the couple programme the heat pump and heat battery to use electricity when it is cheapest – avoiding the 4–7pm peak when the tariff price is higher. And even though it uses fewer units of energy than their old gas boiler, because the price per unit of  electricity is higher than for gas, the heat pump is costing more to run.

Over two and a half days the heat pump was installed outside the couple’s ground floor flat and the heat battery in the utility room. The property did not require any insulation upgrades although extensive upgrades to existing radiators and pipework were needed.

Michael and Joan feel the heat pump does a better job than the gas boiler in warming their flat: “we are thrilled with it”.

Case study socials-03

Edinburgh, 2010s detached house - ASHP installation

Stephen, Dina and Layla live in a 2010s four-bedroom detached house in suburban Edinburgh, Scotland.

Stephen and Dina’s fully insulated property was built in the last decade, equipped with a modern gas boiler. But they had real concerns about whether or not a heat pump would heat their house sufficiently.

Stephen feels glad that they have done something positive for the environment and that young daughter, Layla will grow up with a heat pump as the norm. The couple also believe that having a renewable heating technology installed in their house will increase the value of the property when they would like to sell it.

Despite initial concerns Stephen is very happy with the performance of the heat pump, as the house is as warm as it was before and the hot water pressure is now better.

Electrification of Heat demonstration project

Reports, statistics and case studies helping to overcome barriers to deployment and demonstrating the feasibility of a large-scale roll-out of heat pumps.

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