For home owners who currently have oil, propane or wood as their primary heating source you are going to experience an increase in you power bill with a ductless heat pump. Why? Because a heat pump uses electricity to run.
Of course the goal of installing a heat pump is to reduce the cost of your primary heating source (oil, propane, natural gas, wood etc.), slightly increase your power bill and then leave a net savings for you every month.
A question we get asked frequently is “How much will my electrical bill increase after installing a heat pump?“.
That’s what we’re going to answer today.
The Difference Between Oil/Propane Heat and a Heat Pump
To figure out how much more your electric bill is going to be we need to start with how much electricity a heat pump actually draws.
Heat pumps draw more electricity at start up and then ramp down as your room approaches the proper temperature. The operation of a heat pump is very different compared to oil or propane. A heat pump raises a rooms temperature slow and steady over time while oil or propane heats a room of fast and shuts off.
It important to understand this because you’re used to your furnace coming on for a few minutes and then shutting off. A heat pump is going to be one for most of the day, but not to worry it actually ends up costing your less.
How Much Electricity Does a Heat Pump Draw
We’ll use a 12,000 BTU Fujitsu heat pump as an example here. When a 12,000 BTU Fujitsu RLS3 heat pump starts up it draws about 3,200 watts. However, it doesn’t stay at this amount for long. As the heat pump ramps up and begins to bring your room to temperature the wattage draw drops. The “cruise control” amount is around 1,100 watts.
Lets look at an example scenario to determine what the increase on your power bill could be.
Some data and assumptions we’re going to make for this example are:
- Nova Scotia Power’s current electrical rate per kilowatt hour 17.2 cents (14.8 cents + 15% HST)
- Estimated time the heat pump will be on during the day producing heat 80% – 90%
In a 24 hour day if your heat pump runs 80% of the time you’re going to use 19.2 kilowatt hours of electricity. At 17.2 cents per kilowatt hour this will cost about $3.30 per day including HST.
Over the duration of an average 30 day month that will be a $99 increase on your power bill.
What do Total Savings Look Like?
At first glance you might think “Geese that seems like a lot“, but lets contrast that with what you spend on oil or other heating now.
The average Hot Water Baseboard home we visit spends about $2000+ a year on space heating. This amount is excluding the amount of oil used to heat your hot water.
Here in Nova Scotia we only heat for about 6 to 7 months a year. The rest of the year we leave our thermostats off. We’ll be generous with the example and divide the $2,000 spent on oil by 7 months. That is $285 a month on oil through the winter.
Now the $99 increase on electricity doesn’t look so bad does it? Of course you won’t eliminate all of your oil costs for space heating but pending your home layout is ideal for a ductless heat pump you can potentially reduce it by 70%+.
If we assume a 70% reduction in oil use (realistic) than you’re net savings per month will be around $100, or $700 per year (assuming 7 months of heating).
With $700 in savings most home owners will make back their investment on the heat pump in 5 to 7 years depending on the model and size you purchase.
What can you do next?
These numbers aren’t far fetched. If you’re spending $2500 a year on oil total per year or more (including hot water) than you should give us a call for a risk free consultation.
It’s worth spending the 20 to 30 minutes with one of our Home Energy Specialists to determine if your home layout is optimal for a ductless heat pump and where you may be able to position the unit for best coverage.
At the end of the consultation you’ll know beyond a doubt whether a heat pump is a good investment for your home and what it will cost to install one.
You can book a consultation by calling (902) 701-9678 or submitting the form on this page.
To learn more about heat pumps download a free copy of The Consumers Guide to Heat Pumps in Nova Scotia. This free guide walks you through everything you need to know before you purchase a heat pump for your home.