Air source heat pumps are a renewable heating source that are becoming more accessible and popular. Air source heat pumps run on electricity taking heat from the outside air, increasing the temperature through a compressor, and powering heating and hot water. Luckily for Scotland, warm weather is not needed as the system still works when air temperatures are as low as -15°C. They are energy efficient, and require no fossil fuels.

Changeworks is helping lead the charge with the Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project, which aims to install 250 free heat pumps in homes across the South East Scotland. We’re also supporting locals in our West Linton and District heat pump initiative, and in the Scottish Borders via Energy Efficient Scotland – Area Based Schemes.

Why a heat pump?

For people without mains gas and on expensive solid fuels, a more sustainable system is in demand. The heat pump is a good solution for those in rural areas to heat their homes consistently and not worry about sourcing and storing solid fuels. The system is more likely to pay for itself if it is replacing an expensive system like electric storage heating. The home does need to be well insulated to suit the system and maximise the benefits, it doesn’t work in isolation.

How to make the most of your heat pump

The journey does not end after the heat pump is installed. Here’s thing you need to consider. If you have recently started the process of installing, you’ll know that insulation is key. Your energy billing setup is also crucial.

Do you have the right meter and the best tariff?

The meter needs to allow for the heat pump being on for most of the day. The incorrect meter type can mean your bills are much more expensive than they need to be. A single-rate meter will offer you the cheapest supply. Contact your supplier to investigate changing your meter if you do not have a single rate one and they will advise you.

Once you have a single rate meter you can then choose a more appropriate tariff for your changed energy usage. Do your research on different suppliers and tariffs to find the best one for you and your new heating system.

Are you using the heating effectively?

Heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods, so it might take some time to adjust to the new heating system. Make sure you get advice and read up on how to make the most of it and use it efficiently.

Support is available

For general information on renewable technologies, and information and grants and loan funding that could help you make the leap, call the expert Home Energy Scotland advisors free on 0808 808 2282.

For support in communicating with your supplier or with resolving any fuel billing issues, get in touch with our Affordable Warmth Service advisors. Our Affordable Warmth Service is here to support people with their fuel costs, billing and advocating with suppliers. Call 0800 870 8800 (free) or email

Make sure you check out our Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Schemes applications page too, to see if there are any local schemes running in your area to help you make your home warmer or more energy efficient.