OCTOPUS Energy claims to have ended the days of “ugly heat pumps” with a product that it said some customers will get for free after making use of a UK Government grant.

Octopus unveiled a purple heat pump on stage in London, calling it a “radical new design”.

It certainly looks unlike most heat pumps on the market today, which tend to resemble the outside part of air conditioning units.

The National: Ministers have committed to installing 170,000 new heat pumps by 2030 in off-gas grid properties in“This is a huge day for clean heating. 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,” said Octopus Energy founder Greg Jackson.

READ MORE: Leading authority on heat pumps backs Scottish Government's plans

Octopus added that its heat pump “isn’t just as warm as a boiler, but its radical new design ends the world of ‘ugly heat pumps’”.

The unit will be around 1.1 metres tall and 86 centimetres wide, making it a little larger than a model from Mitsubishi with a similar power output. It will produce a similar level of noise to a fridge.

The National:

The company said that when the £5000 government grant is applied to the cost of this heat pump, some customers will be able to get it for free.

But that only applies to households that do not need any extra work done, such as fitting a water tank or bigger radiators, which is a vast minority of homes in the UK.

For others, the company said, costs will probably start at around £3000 to install the system after the grant.

Lauded as the future of home heating by many – although others say they cannot be a solution for all homes – heat pumps use electricity to absorb heat from outside and bring it inside.

The technology is like a reverse air conditioner, and can absorb outside heat even on very cold days just like an air conditioner can absorb outside cold when it is 40 degrees outside.

READ MORE: Ellie Gomersall: Backlash against Government plans for heat pumps is utterly bizarre

Because it uses electricity rather than the gas that is burned to heat homes here today, a heat pump can be completely carbon emissions free if the electricity it uses is totally green.

The biggest trade off is the upfront cost. Without a government grant, heat pumps and the associated upgrades to a home which are often required, such as a hot water tank and larger radiators, can be considerably more expensive than a gas boiler.

But if the UK is to slash its carbon emissions it needs to do something to decarbonise heating.

Today around 17% of the carbon emissions released by the UK are just used to heat buildings.

As a result the UK Government wants 600,000 heat pumps to be installed each year from 2028.