Why heat pumps are a great option

Heating is one of the largest energy users in the average Kiwi home – making up around a third of your energy bill. Electrifying your heating lowers your monthly bills – especially if you make the switch to an efficient heat pump.

Electric heat pumps are highly energy efficient, and cheaper to run than gas heaters, wood burners, or other electric heating options.

If you’re building, renovating, or looking to replace an older heating system that’s at the end of its life – heat pumps are a smart choice.

Considering a switch? Know your numbers

  • Upfront costs

    Around $4400 including purchase price and installation.

  • Savings*

    Including purchase, installation and energy costs, electric heat pumps could save the average household:

    • $3,540-$12,350 over 15 years compared to piped gas heating.
    • $12,290-$14,380 over 15 years compared to LPG.
  • Efficiency

    Heat pumps can provide about 3–5 times the amount of heating for the same amount of input energy as gas heaters.

  • Features

    • Low running costs
    • Low emissions
    • Instant heating
    • Aircon/cooling option
    • Consistent temperature
  • Lifespan of tech

    15 years

  • Install

    Needs to be installed by a licensed electrician.

Life works well electrified. Installing an efficient heat pump is one of the best moves you can make to lower your energy bills long term.

Why choose a heat pump

  • Low running costs – Heat pumps are the lowest cost option for home heating available, around a third of the cost of heating with gas. Running costs can be lowered further if solar panels are installed and a portion of the heating is done during the day.
  • Instant heating (and cooling) – Room temperature can be controlled with the press of a button and can be controlled using timers to automate your home heating around your schedule.
  • Highly efficient – Heat pumps are incredibly efficient, meaning they consume less energy to produce heat than other options. In New Zealand, the average heat pump can put out three times more heat than the power they consume.
  • Low emission – Heat pumps are 100% electric. New Zealand’s highly renewable electricity grid makes them the lowest emission heating option – with around 10 times lower emissions than gas or LPG heating*.
  • Cheapest over time – Electric heat pumps are the cheapest heating option, considering both upfront and operating costs. While the upfront cost can be higher than bar and column heaters – heat pumps are about a quarter the cost to run, making them much cheaper over time*.
  • Versatile – Heat pumps can heat one room, or many rooms if you buy a ducted system.
  • Future proof – In the near future, our electricity grid will require demand response capabilities in equipment – heat pumps can offer this.

How heat pumps work

Heat pumps work by ‘pumping’ a refrigerant between inside and outside – using the temperature difference between the two to gasify or liquify the refrigerant – producing heating or cooling.

There are different types of heat pump to choose from, depending on what you need in your home.

  • Single-split systems are easy to install and cost effective with one outdoor unit connected to an indoor unit that heats one room.
  • Multi-split systems are great for larger homes, connecting one single outdoor unit to multiple indoor units that heat different rooms.
  • Ducted heat pumps offer central heating for your whole house, blowing heated air through a duct system into multiple rooms in your home. They can be more expensive upfront than the other options.

Compared to a piped gas heating system, electric heat pumps can save you...

  • $230

    per year (variable energy costs)

  • $820

    per year (energy costs if gas connection is cut completely)

  • $3,540

    over 15 years (upfront and variable energy costs)

  • $12,350

    over 15 years (upfront and all energy costs if gas connection is cut completely)

Efficiency matters

Some models of heat pump are more efficient than others – this has an impact on their running costs.

The efficiency of a heat pump depends on the temperature both indoors and outdoors, and the refrigerant used. To help you out, Zoned Energy Rating Labels on heat pumps tell you how well a heat pump or air conditioner performs in NZ’s climate zone.

Our Efficient Appliance Calculator lets you filter and compare heat pumps being sold in New Zealand. You can find the type of heat pump that meets your needs, and compare the different models based on their energy efficiency rating.

Using a heat pump with 3 stars on the Energy Rating Label generates 34% less emissions than a similar heat pump with only 1 star – so make sure you pick the model with the highest rating in your price range.

Source: EECA, 2024

Common questions

It pays to go electric

Powering your home with efficient, electric appliances can save you in energy costs – and slash your carbon footprint.  

We’ve done the math on key household energy uses such as heating, water heating, cooking and driving. The numbers show that the most efficient electric options make sense financially – both in terms of monthly running costs and overall lifetime costs. 

Discover how your household might stand to benefit from going electric. 

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