Pairing Solar PV with Air Source Heat Pumps in Modern Homes

Aug 11, 2023 | Heating Measures and Technologies

Have you ever thought about how much energy we waste daily? With the escalating concerns about climate change and the depletion of non-renewable resources, energy efficiency isn’t just a buzzword anymore—it’s a necessity. Imagine if we could harness the power of nature more effectively, wouldn’t that be a game-changer? And what if this could be done at no cost to you? (find out more about ECO4 Scheme).

The promise of combined technologies

Now, what if I told you that combining two innovative technologies could lead to even greater energy efficiency? Like pairing tea and biscuits – each is wonderful alone, but together, they’re even better!

solar panels air source het pump integration

What are Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs)?

The basics of ASHPs

So, what’s the deal with air source heat pumps (ASHPs)? In simple terms, an air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air, even when it’s cold! This heat can then be used to warm your home or water. It’s a bit like a refrigerator working in reverse.

Benefits of using ASHPs


Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) are renowned for their efficiency. For every unit of electricity they consume, they can produce multiple units of energy as heat. This means that they can generate more heat energy than the electrical energy they use, making them a highly efficient solution for home heating.


ASHPs are a step forward in sustainable living. They don’t rely on burning fossil fuels but instead harness the natural air to produce heat. This method significantly reduces the carbon footprint of a household, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice for heating.


As they operate efficiently and rely on renewable sources, homeowners can see a noticeable reduction in their energy bills. Over several years, this can lead to significant savings, making ASHPs a cost-effective solution.

Free (UK government subsidies)

If you meet the qualifying criteria for the ECO4 Scheme, you could have an ASHP installed in your home without any charges. It’s a great initiative that promotes energy efficiency and helps UK households transition to greener heating solutions (refer to the ECO4 Scheme eligibility criteria for more details).

The Power of Solar Panels

How solar panels work

Ever basked in the sun and felt its warmth? Solar panels do something similar. They capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. It’s like they’re sunbathing for your home’s energy needs!

solar panels uk terraced houses

Advantages of solar energy


Solar energy is one of the most sustainable energy sources available. Unlike fossil fuels, which are finite, the sun provides a consistent and steady power source that won’t run out in the foreseeable future. This reliability ensures that solar energy remains a long-term and sustainable choice for power generation.

Reduces Bills

Once the panels are in place, they harness the sun’s energy, which is entirely free. Over time, this can lead to substantial reductions in electricity bills, making solar panels a financially sound investment for many homeowners.

Increases Property Value

Homes equipped with solar panel systems often see an increase in property value. As energy efficiency and sustainability become more sought-after features for potential homebuyers, properties with solar installations become more attractive, potentially offering a higher return on investment when selling.

Energy Independence

By installing solar panels, homeowners can reduce their dependence on the grid and traditional energy suppliers. This not only provides a sense of energy security but also insulates households from fluctuating energy prices and potential supply disruptions in the future.

A Combination that Works: ASHPs and Solar Panels

The integration of Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) and solar panels represents a significant advancement in renewable energy solutions.

Solar PV panels, utilising the sun’s energy, generate electricity during daylight hours. Conversely, ASHPs are designed to operate efficiently by extracting heat from the ambient air, even during the night or on less sunny days. This combination ensures a consistent energy supply, with each system compensating for the other’s operational limitations.

The synergy between ASHPs and solar panels not only maximises energy efficiency but also contributes to a sustainable and environmentally responsible energy model.

If you want to find out more about Air Source Heat Pump performance, we’ve covered that in a separate blog post.

Case Study: A Home in London


Consider a medium-sized home in London with a total heating demand of 15,000 kWh annually. The homeowners decide to install an ASHP system and a solar PV array to meet their energy needs.

The Setup

  • Solar PV System: A 5 kWp solar PV system is installed, which, given London’s average sunlight hours, generates about 4,500 kWh of electricity annually.
  • ASHP System: The ASHP chosen has a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 3.5, meaning for every kWh of electricity it uses, it produces 3.5 kWh of heat.
Case Study: A Home in London
Parameter Value
Annual Heating Demand 15,000 kWh
Solar PV System Size 5 kWp
Solar PV Annual Output 4,500 kWh
ASHP Coefficient (COP) 3.5
ASHP Heat Output 15,750 kWh (4,500 kWh x 3.5)
Grid Electricity (Est.) Variable (based on cloudy days or winter)
Potential Savings Substantial (based on London’s average electricity cost)

The Numbers

  1. Solar PV Contribution: The solar PV system provides 4,500 kWh of the total electricity annually. This powers the ASHP, which, with a COP of 3.5, produces 4,500 x 3.5 = 15,750 kWh of heat. This covers the entire heating demand of the home.
  2. Grid Electricity: Even though the solar PV system provides a significant amount of electricity, during cloudy days or winter months, additional electricity from the grid might be needed. However, with the ASHP’s efficiency, the grid electricity consumption is drastically reduced.
  3. Savings: By using the solar PV system to power the ASHP, the homeowners can save on their electricity bills. Given the average cost of electricity in London, the savings can be substantial over the years.

Environmental Impact

The combination reduces the home’s carbon footprint significantly. By relying less on grid electricity, which often comes from non-renewable sources, and more on solar energy, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

solar panels air source het pump integration benefits

Benefits of the Air Source Heat Pump and Solar Panels Synergy

Enhanced energy efficiency

By combining the strengths of both solar panels and ASHPs, you’re ensuring that your home is powered by the most efficient and sustainable energy sources available. It’s like having the best of both worlds!

Cost savings in the long run

While the initial investment might seem steep, think of it as planting a seed. Over time, the combined savings from reduced energy bills and potential government incentives can result in a fruitful return on investment.

Making the Switch: Things to Consider

Before diving in, it’s essential to evaluate your home’s suitability for both technologies. Consider factors like your location, the direction your house faces, and any potential obstructions for solar panels. Similarly, for ASHPs, think about where the unit will be placed and if your home’s insulation is up to par.


The synergy between air source heat pumps and solar PV panels is not just theoretical; it’s practical, as seen in our London home case scenario. By understanding the numbers, homeowners can make informed decisions about their energy choices, leading to both financial savings and a positive environmental impact.

In the grand scheme of things, combining air source heat pumps with solar panels is like creating a symphony of energy efficiency. It’s not just about saving money or being trendy. It’s about making a conscious choice for a sustainable future. So, are you ready to make the switch and dance to this harmonious tune?

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to install both ASHP and solar panels?

Typically, it can take a few days to a week, depending on the complexity of the installation and the size of the system.

Are there any government incentives for installing these systems?

Yes, UK governments offer rebates and incentives for installing renewable energy systems. One of them is ECO4 Scheme, and you can find out weather you qualify for free installation of one or multiple energy efficiency measures with UKES by checking your eligibility for Air Source Heat Pump Grant on our website.

How often should I maintain my ASHP and solar panels?

It’s advisable to check the systems annually, although solar panels might require more frequent checks to ensure they’re clean and free from obstructions.

What's the lifespan of these systems?

With proper maintenance, air source heat pumps can last up to 15 years, while solar panels can last 25 years or more depending on the manufacturer.
Article written by

Abigail Hall

Abbie is an ECO4 specialist helping homeowners to enhance their home’s energy efficiency using government funding. With her guidance, many have adopted sustainable living practices and reduced their energy bills.
Government backed scheme

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