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Green Home SC367 - Toby Ross replaced his storage heaters with an air to water heat pump for more affordable, effective heating in Kippen, Stirling

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Toby Ross lives in a timber frame semi-detached house, built in the late 1990s, near Stirling.

Toby wasn’t happy with his home’s ageing electric storage heaters; he felt restricted about when he could set his electric storage heaters to heat his home. He also thought the periods when he could affordably heat his home were being dictated by his electricity supplier and did not match his needs.

Getting specialist advice from Home Energy Scotland

Toby got in touch with Home Energy Scotland, a free and impartial advice service funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Energy Saving Trust, for advice about his heating options.

After a specialist renewables advisor visited his home and gave him advice about renewable heating systems, Toby decided to install an air source heat pump. The air source heat pump that would compress residual heat from the outside air into usable heat through a wet central heating system. This would maintain a more consistent and comfortable level of heat and give him a greater sense of control over his heating.

Tony says, “The heat pump’s projected costs were much lower than the bills we were receiving for our existing electric storage heaters. I also found the opportunity to generate our own electricity very appealing.”

Getting an interest-free Home Energy Scotland Loan

Through his conversation with the renewables advisor, Toby found out about Scottish Government finance available to help spread the cost of installing the heat pump. He applied for an interest-free loan to cover the installation costs.

Toby says that “the installation couldn’t and wouldn’t have happened without the Home Energy Scotland Loan. The assistance available from the Scottish Government was a real no-brainer.”

Finding an installer

Toby made sure to get his application for a Home Energy Scotland Loan underway before searching for suitable installers.

Luckily for Toby, a friend recommended an installer. He also used the Renewables Installer Finder to select a second firm to quote so that he could compare quotes and ensure he was getting a good deal.

The Renewables Installer Finder lists companies listed on the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Using an MCS registered installer is an important requirement for getting the loan approved; this is because the MCS scheme lists installers that use the highest standard of industry products and who provide a similarly high standard of service.

Installing an air source heat pump

The heat pump’s installation was smooth sailing for Toby, coming in on budget and on time.

It took around four full days to complete the work and Toby is now the proud owner of a 8.5kW Mitsubishi Ecodan air source heat pump, an accompanying 210 litre immersion tank, and seven Stelrad K2 X7 radiators. To top it all off, he opted for an X1 heated towel rail too.

Toby hopes to extend his property in the future. He discussed this with the installer because such work would require the heat pump to be relocated. Toby says, “he explained that this would be a relatively simple task, which was reassuring. We saw this as another benefit of a heat pump over more cumbersome systems that can’t so easily be repositioned or moved.”

Feeling the benefits

Toby is delighted with his new heat pump. “Our home’s comfort level and general ambience has unquestionably improved. We have revelled in having the option to set the heating for certain times and taking advantage of the thermostat!

“We have also been able to switch to a cheaper energy supplier; with electric storage heaters only a small number of specialist tariffs are available, whereas we can now choose from any regular tariff.”

Toby is keeping an eye on his energy bills and has estimated that he will save around £600 - 700 each year. This amount excludes the Renewable Heat Incentive payments he has applied for, which should give him an additional £1,200 each year. Not only this, but Toby thinks that if and when he decides to sell up, the house will be more attractive to prospective buyers.

Toby’s advice to other householders considering a heat pump

When asked what wisdom he could pass on to other householders considering making a similar switch, Toby said “I recommend that anyone with inefficient electric heating seriously considers installing an air source heat pump; the improvements in our home have been immediate and the system will pay for itself in only a few years.”

Toby says that while the process of replacing your heating system can be daunting because of the upheaval involved, his advice to others is that “the benefits are completely worth it from both a financial and comfort point of view. Do your research, take advice and consider the possibilities.”

“The investment has unquestionably been worthwhile.”

If, like Toby, you’re thinking about installing renewable technologies, our Home Renewables Selector will help you discover your options and calculate your savings. You can also use the Renewables Installer Finder to find professionals in your area.


Updated June 2021.

1983 - 2002
Air source heat pump (air to water)
Mechanical heat recovery ventilation

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