U.K.-based Octopus Energy has introduced a new 6kW (1.7TR) propane (R290) heat pump system, dubbed the “Cosy Octopus,” for a standard three-bedroom U.K. home, with plans to introduce additional and larger models in six months.

“This establishes a path to heat pumps for all,” said Octopus Energy CEO Greg Jackson in a statement. He launched the heating system at the WIRED & Octopus Energy Tech Summit in London on  September 14. It is expected to be available starting in December.

The Energy Tech Summit was organized in collaboration with WIRED magazine. Speakers at the event included Prof. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web; Maj. Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to perform a spacewalk; and business magnate Deborah Meaden.

The Cosy Octopus comprises the newly developed Cosy 6 heat pump, the Cosy Hub home control system, Cosy pod room sensors, a customized smart tariff and the “five-star” service. “This is a huge day for clean heating,” Jackson said. “The combination of a high-temperature heat pump (as hot as a gas boiler), Octopus smart tariffs and room sensors across your home doesn’t just open up cheaper clean heating but more comfort too.”

The Cosy 6 represents Octopus Energy’s inaugural heat pump, entirely developed in-house. Dr. Jason Cassells, the CEO of the Octopus-acquired company known as Renewable Energy Devices (renamed Octopus Heating), is credited with its design. Manufacturing takes place in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, with six patent applications currently underway.

The Cosy Hub and Cosy Pods were crafted by a London-based team under the leadership of electrical engineer Derya Robison.

Addressing cost issues

“The heat pump is magic; it’s just got a couple of issues,” said Jackson. They’re very expensive to build and very expensive to install, and traditionally there’s a view that they may not generate enough heat for a typical home without some fairly significant upgrades to insulation and radiators.”

However, in the U.K., the Cosy Octopus comes at no cost for residences and requires no modifications to accommodate the system, following the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) implementation. However, homes requiring alterations like new radiators, pipelines or hot water tanks can acquire the system for approximately £3,000 (US$3,665) after grant considerations.

“Cosy 6 isn’t just as warm as a boiler: its radical new design ends the world of ‘ugly heat pumps,’ and the Cosy pods ensure comfort across the house, efficiently,” he said.

Octopus entered the heat pump market in 2021 with the launch of the first research and development center for heat pumps in Slough, southeast England. Since that time, the company has allocated £50 million (US$60.8 million) to propel the deployment of heat pumps and assist in reducing carbon emissions in the UK.

According to the British Parliament, heating buildings contributes to over 17% of the U.K.’s carbon emissions. To curtail these emissions and achieve net zero, the nation aims to install 600,000 heat pumps annually by 2028.

“Cosy 6 isn’t just as warm as a boiler: its radical new design ends the world of ‘ugly heat pumps,’ and the Cosy pods ensure comfort across the house, efficiently.”

Greg Jackson, CEO at Octopus Energy

Author Saroj Thapa