Heat pump installation checklist and guide

Heat pump installation checklist and guide

Are you thinking of installing - or ready to install - a new heat pump? Our heat pump installation checklist and guide will take you step-by-step through the installation process so you know what to expect.

air source heat pump
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Written by Home Energy Scotland
Published February 2024

Are you thinking of installing - or ready to install - a new heat pump?

Installing a heat pump system is like planning for any new central heating system. It’s a big job, but with some forethought, you’ll minimise disruption, and you’ll soon be enjoying warm, cosy, low-carbon heating. Our installation checklist and guide will take you step-by-step through the installation process so you know what to expect.

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Heat pump installation checklist

There are seven essential steps, from thinking about installing a heat pump to having it up and running in your home.

  1. Research: Look at heat pump suitability, types, costs, and space required.
  2. Get advice from Home Energy Scotland: Contact us for free, impartial, and expert advice to help you on the way.
  3. Get a qualifying recommendation report: Know what paperwork you'll need and from whom.
  4. Quotes for your heat pump: Get professionals (we recommend at least three) to provide system designs and costs.
  5. Review everything and apply: Double-check everything. Home Energy Scotland can help with grants and interest-free loans to help pay for the work.
  6. Heat pump installation: Work can start once you have a funding offer.
  7. Completion - what to check after installation: Review the work, collect invoices and your Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certificate. Get a post-installation Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Claim any funding, maintain your heat pump and enjoy low-carbon heating.

Let's look at each one in more detail. You can also download and print our handy Heat Pump Installation checklist - go to the bottom of the page to download it.

Who is eligible for heat pump installation funding?

Owner-occupiers in Scotland can use our Funding Finder to see financial support options for home improvements and renewable energy.

This guide concentrates on heat pump installation and the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan for owner-occupiers in Scotland.

If you are a homeowner in Scotland and live at the property, you may be eligible for financial support to help with the installation costs.

Self-builders can apply for home renewable systems like heat pumps. Not all financial support available covers self-build homes. Applications for self-build properties must be submitted before 1 August 2024 to be considered for funding.

Private landlords or businesses should read our advice about the Private Rented Sector Landlord Loan

Which type of heat pump is best for you?

There are several types of heat pumps. The most common in Scotland are air source and ground source heat pumps. Each has different installation requirements and costs.

Our Home Renewables Selector can help determine if a heat pump or other renewable technology suits your home.

Head to Scotland's Green Homes Network where homeowners across the country share their experiences of installing and living with heat pumps and other renewables.

Network members want to share their journey to renewables. We can put you in touch with members to find out more. In some cases, we can visit their homes if you wish to see renewable energy systems in action. They can explain costs and how their renewable energy systems work and answer any questions you may have. This advice can help you make an informed decision about a heat pump.

Heat pump funding eligibility

You must meet several conditions to claim Home Energy Scotland funding for a heat pump.

  • You must be the owner-occupier.
  • You need a qualifying energy report that recommends a heat pump for your home. This could be a free Home Energy Scotland report.
  • You must use a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installer and products.
  • Your post-install EPC can’t recommend loft or cavity wall insulation. If required, you must install these before you can claim your funding. Funding is available for these measures, too. See below for more details.
  • Work must not commence before a funding offer has been made.

If unsure, call Home Energy Scotland for free on 0808 808 2282 for advice.

It's always good practice to review whether your home could benefit from insulation first. If you have a loft and cavity-walled home, your home must have adequate loft and cavity wall insulation to claim Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan funding.

Solid wall and floor insulation may be too expensive or disruptive, so isn't a requirement to access funding, but it's still worth looking into. Speak to our advisors, who can provide impartial advice on heat pumps and whether your home could benefit from insulation.

There are a variety of home reports that validate your home's suitability for a heat pump. These reports may also recommend home improvements such as loft insulation to ensure your home is energy efficient. Check our information about the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan for more details.

Your property may already have an EPC. Search the Scottish EPC Register to check; you can also see if your EPC currently recommends loft or cavity wall insulation.

If your property doesn’t have an EPC, Home Energy Scotland can talk to you about your home and potentially provide a report to support a funding application. When you need an EPC for your home, the EPC register can help you find an assessor near you. Only registered Domestic Energy Assessors can issue an EPC.

You also need to use an MCS-certified installer when installing your heat pump. Find a complete list of certified installers and products at the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. See the 'quotes for your heat pump' section below for more information.

After you receive a funding offer and install your heat pump, you will need to get a new EPC to claim your funding. This post-install EPC should show the heat pump has been installed and that there are no recommended energy efficiency measures outstanding to meet the funding requirements.

Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan

If you haven't contacted us by now, it's a good idea to get in touch for free, expert, and impartial advice. Home Energy Scotland advisors can answer questions about heat pumps and energy efficiency and provide more information about schemes and financial support.

You can ask about financial support, heating systems, steps in the process, and many more of the heating options and help available. If you're eligible to apply for the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan, only Home Energy Scotland can provide you with an application form. We may be able to arrange a visit or a call from a specialist to assess your home, too.

If other support is available, advisors can also discuss that with you. But remember, the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan is not linked to other schemes, nor is eligibility for the loan indicative of eligibility for additional support.

Contact us on 0808 808 2282 for free. Speaking with Home Energy Scotland is vital in understanding the heat pump installation process and possible financial aid. It's a condition of funding that you don't start work before you receive a funding offer, so it’s best to speak to us early in the process.

Contact Home Energy Scotland

Some paperwork involved with a heat pump installation and the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan. These requirements are in place to protect you as a consumer, maintain high work standards, and ensure the heat pumps work correctly.

If you decide to apply for funding, you need a qualifying energy report showing a heat pump may be suitable for your home. The report must be included with your Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan application.

There are several types of qualifying recommendation reports we can accept for heat pumps:

  • Home Renewables Selector Report (issued by Home Energy Scotland following a phone discussion).
  • Home Energy Improvement Report (issued by a Home Energy Scotland specialist following a phone discussion or visit).

Home Energy Scotland can discuss suitable qualifying reports for you, and your property may already have an EPC.

Search the Scottish EPC Register

Once your home is considered suitable for a heat pump installation, the next step is pricing.

We recommend getting quotes from at least three different qualified installers. The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan requires you to use an installer registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). This certifies that installers and their installations adhere to recognised industry standards.

It is a condition of the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan funding that your heat pump installer and products are MCS-certified.

You can find installers in your area, as well as customer reviews, on Energy Saving Trust's Renewables Installer Finder.

When getting quotes, you should expect your installer to give you:

  • a detailed breakdown of the technical specifications and costs
  • an explanation of how they calculated your property's heat demand
  • information on the system’s maintenance requirements and running costs
  • an explanation of who is responsible for the system’s different components.

Now you have your recommendation report and your quotes, it's time to review everything before filling in your Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan application form. Remember, heat pump installation can't start until you have received a Home Energy Scotland funding offer in writing.

Find a renewables installer

At this point, it's a good idea to check you have everything in place.

You can also contact Home Energy Scotland at 0808 808 2282 for free, impartial advice and to get a funding application form if you do not already have one.

Points for you to check should include the following:

  • The proposed system’s efficiency values and available options.
  • Who is doing what? An MCS-certified installer must fit the heat pump. Do you need to arrange and pay for other trades, for example, for any loft or cavity wall insulation?
  • Is the cost of integrating the new system with your home's existing system included?
  • Is the cost of safe removal and disposal of existing equipment included?
  • Warranty details, which, if applicable, should be for a minimum of one year.
  • Any additional warranty from the manufacturer.
  • Your payment options, including consumer rules on deposits and deposit protection.
  • The right to cancel. You have the right to cancel within 14 days of signing a contract.
  • Whether the price covers the cost of commissioning and authorising as fit for service.
  • Details on whether the price includes aftersales service such as annual servicing.

Understand your consumer rights

Installing a heat pump, applying for funding, and making changes to your house are significant steps. The MCS sets out standards to which all certified installers must adhere. As part of this, MCS installers must be members of a consumer code. We recommend you read and understand their consumer code to know your rights and good industry practices.

Three codes are available to MCS installers:

You can find the relevant code for your installer by searching for their name in the MCS installer database. Selecting their profile will give you more information about the company, including their consumer code.

How to fill in the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan application form

Be sure to have all relevant supporting documentation before starting your application for Home Energy Scotland funding.


  • You can only apply using the application form provided to you by Home Energy Scotland.
  • Third parties—for example, installers or letting agents—are not allowed to apply for you.
  • You need a qualifying report to recommend the measure for which you are applying. You can submit this online—you don't need to send a paper copy.
  • The scheme is only open to owner-occupiers in Scotland.
  • You must not start work before receiving a written offer of funding

We’ll send you an online application form once you’ve spoken to one of our Home Energy Scotland advisors.

We aim to process your funding application within ten working days of receiving a fully complete application. Your loan offer may be delayed if there is missing information or we need to clarify anything.

We run credit and affordability checks for every application.

Get in touch

Home Energy Scotland will send you a funding offer in writing if your application is approved.

Heat pump installation work can only commence after we approve a funding offer. You must complete the work within nine months of the funding offer. Remember, Home Energy Scotland advisors are on hand to help you with questions at any point.

Your installer should indicate how long the work will last and the level and type of disruption to expect.

It's essential to keep all your paperwork together after your heat pump installation, both for the work and the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan.

We recommend you:

  • keep your commissioning certificate and warranty details in a safe place
  • keep a note of your installer’s contact details
  • know when to expect contact about annual servicing
  • leave a review on the Renewables Installer Finder. This is important; if your installer is registered here, your loan conditions require it
  • pay your installer
  • share your experience with the Green Homes Network.

You can now enjoy your low-carbon heat pump, meeting your heating and hot water demands while reducing your carbon emissions.

Get in touch for further information about heat pumps, renewable energy systems and more.

Contact Us

Heat pump installation checklist and guide

Download our handy checklist and guide to installing a heat pump.

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