March 18, 2024

How to price a heat pump installation

air source heat pump with price tags on it

So you’re looking to jump on the heat pump train.

Well, you’ve timed it right. Heat pump popularity is booming, with recent government figures showing a 39% increase since 2023.

This makes it a great time to start diversifying your heating business and begin catering to this burgeoning new market.

So strap on your recycled, climate-neutral hard hats and let's get into how to price up a heat pump installation.

If you’re looking for a more general article on how to price your work then check out how to price a job.


So, your first heat pump customer has got in contact. They’ve seen you offer heat pumps and they think they want one installed at their property.

Before you jump in feet first you first need to clarify a few details.

Heat pumps are in many ways quite a delicate instrument. They need to be carefully calibrated and adjusted so they work at optimum efficiency for the property where they’re installed.

This means you need to get some upfront information about the customer's property such as its age, size and available space.

This will give you an idea of what kind of install you will need to perform and the type of heat pump needed.

You may also want to get an idea of your customer's budget so as to ensure they’ve got a realistic picture of the costs.

On top of this, it’s also important to clarify if the customer is eligible for the UK heat pump grant (otherwise known as the boiler upgrade scheme), as without this, pumps are significantly more expensive.

The initial assessment

So, before you can begin doing anything else, you first need to ensure your potential new customer is boiler upgrade eligible.

First of all, you need to establish that the property you’re planning on fitting is located in England or Wales. This is because the scheme is applied regionally. If you operate in Scotland or Northern Ireland, check your local policies.

The next thing to check is whether the property has a valid EPC rating that doesn’t recommend loft or cavity wall insulation.

Essentially this means that the property needs to already have 270 millimetres of loft insulation, as a minimum, plus cavity wall insulation or is a solid wall property.

insulated piping in insulated loft

The home must also be transitioning from a heat source that isn’t a heat pump as the scheme is about upgrading from boilers rather than replacing an existing heat pump.

If all that is okay, then the customer should be eligible for the full £7500 grant.

So far so good.

Creating an initial estimate

Once you’ve established the customer’s eligibility, you now need to get a better idea of the cost. This is done through an initial estimate.

If you were fitting a boiler, you may be used to providing one rough estimate or going straight in with a quote without this initial stage.

This makes sense for less technical and less expensive projects, but given the high costs and technical detail required for a heat pump, it’s better to provide the customer with a more complete picture of the work, including costs, before providing the more detailed estimate.

To work out your rough price, you need to perform a basic heat loss estimate for the building.

To do this you will need to calculate the the size of the property in meters squared. You can usually find this information on the property’s Energy Performance Certificate, but you will likely still need to make mental corrections for the level of insulation and double glazing in the building.

This will typically leave you with a heat loss level of between 30W per meter squared if it’s a new build, or up to 90W/m² for houses that have only had minor insulation improvements.

This information will allow you to calculate the size of the heat pump you need.

pipework and pump mechanism connected up in insulated room

It’s also worth asking the customer if they have ever tried running their heating at a low flow temperature. You can use this information to help you judge the number of radiator changes that will be needed to sufficiently heat the property.

This will range from 0 to 50% of radiators that will require upgrades.

Based on this information you can now put an estimate together.

This serves two purposes

  1. It gives you a chance to start building a relationship with the customer, helping to create trust while providing them with the information they need to make an informed decision.
  2. It gives the customer an initial figure, allowing them to establish if the installation is going to be financially viable.

This initial estimating process will usually take around half an hour to complete which is a fairly time-consuming initial enquiry when compared to a standard boiler install. However, this is worth it as it allows you to start building a relationship that can pay dividends down the line.

The detailed estimate

After you’ve made the initial estimate and if the customer is still interested in continuing, you can then look at making a follow-up estimate.

This second estimate will be far more detailed providing a figure that is much closer to what will be the final quoted price.

As a rule of thumb, you should aim to price this estimate within 10% of the final figure you will quote. Any more than that and the customer may object to the final price.

Remember, a big part of the job of an estimate is to set price expectations for the customer. If this is done correctly it will help to increase the conversion rate of your quotes, but if you get it wrong it could lose you customers.

When creating the follow-up estimate we would recommend visiting the site for up to an hour and making a more detailed inspection.

Take the time to check the outdoor unit, location, potential planning permission issues, cylinder location, pipework routes and anything else that can affect the final price.

It’s also a good idea to take some radiator measurements to give yourself a better estimate of the radiator upgrades you will need to make.

Remember, you’re still not making a design at this stage, the idea is to give the customer enough information to decide if they want to proceed and to let them feel like they’re making an educated choice before you proceed with the non-refundable design.

Final quote

It’s now time to deliver the final quote.

To do this you need to perform a full heat loss calculation, which will be done at the customer's home.

You now need to create a full design, which is essentially a detailed mock-up of how the heat pump will be fitted and the requirements needed to do this. You will need to calculate the water cylinder size, pipe sizing and emitter sizing. You will also need to complete an electrical survey and perform noise calculations too.

At this point, this quote is essentially a formality as the customer has already approved to go ahead on the back of the detailed estimate - assuming your price isn’t massively out from your estimate.

It’s usually a good idea to offer exclusions as an additional add-on to your quote.

These include extra work outside the scope of the project such as electrical power and base building for the outdoor unit. It’s quite common for the internal heating and hot water circuits to be excluded as they can be considered part of a renovation.

On a pure retrofit with no other works taking place, there can often be no exclusions.

Choosing the right heat pump

To select the correct heat pump, it’s important that you have the right documentation from the manufacturer. This will allow you to clarify the heating output and make sure your design's outdoor temperature and flow temperature are sufficient.

A typical design temperature would have an outdoor temperature of -2 and a 45 flow temperature, with an indoor target temperature of 21°C.

When choosing which heat pump to provide, look out for the following:

  • A user-friendly interface and easy-to-use controls
  • The latest R290 refrigerant
  • An aesthetic appearance
  • Good unit documentation

The unit needs to have advanced weather compensation which incorporates setback temperatures for the property.

European heating manufacturers tend to be good options for fulfilling these criteria.

air source heat pumps outside building


It’s worth remembering that a heat pump will only be as good as the system it’s connected to.

This means the existing heating circuit needs to be assessed for suitability before you can begin work.

For example, you can’t just connect a 12 kW heat pump to existing 22MM circuits.

You may need to upgrade sections of the property’s pipework or run additional flows and returns to pick up portions of the Heating system. It’s important to be comfortable with pipe sizing calculations for this to go well.

It’s not too important whether you have underfloor heating or radiators, but it does make it easier to create a design that operates at a lower temperature for properties that use underfloor heating.

Either will work fine as will fan convectors.

Even if there is a mix of radiators and underfloor heating, you should try to design everything to the same flow temperature in a single combined zone. This is called open loop design and has proven in recent years to be the most efficient design.

Breaking down the quote

How you break down your quote is down to you and how you like to lay your work out.

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to provide the customer with as much information as possible, so the more you can break it down, the better.

To do this consider the major parts that make up the heat pump and separate them out into distinct items on the quote. For example, you can show the controls and associated connections, valves, cylinder, radiators, underfloor heating, pipework, fittings, insulation and sundries, et cetera.

In some cases, you may want to include optional extras or multiple-choice items on the quote, but given the nature of a heat pump, requiring such a detailed design, there is less flexibility than you’d have on a boiler install.

As a general rule, it’s good to be as transparent and upfront with your customers as possible. From that perspective let the customer know what adjustments can be made to the heat pump and how this will affect efficiency. They may want to pay a bit more for optimal efficiency.

To make life easy for yourself, you’ll find that pricing and designing your estimates and quotes is far more straightforward with the right software. With Payaca you can build quotes very quickly by using saved groups of items and building in selectable choices that allow you to create market-leading quotes.

Check out Payaca here.

If you need some more tips on how to design and layout your quotes then check out our article on how to create a quote.

Final thoughts

Pricing your first heat pump can feel like a slightly daunting task. The key to getting it right is to break it down using a clear repeatable process.

Please bear in mind that the process we’ve provided is just one method you can use to price a heat pump job. Each business is different and so are each customer's requirements.

You may find that a different variation of the quoting process works better for you and we would recommend tailoring your pricing process to fit how you like to operate.

But as a general guide, following the process we have outlined will allow you to prepare your heat pump install in a reliable and consistent way that works.

Thanks to Michael Paini of Options Energy for sharing his quoting process with us and for his invaluable insights. If you’re looking for a heat pump install in the southeast then check out Option Energy.

If you're new to heat pump installs and are looking to join the industry, check out our article on should you become a heat pump engineer.