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Thu June 27 2019

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Housing association turns to ground source heat pumps

22 Mar Together Housing is replacing night storage heaters with ground source heat pumps in more than 700 properties across Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Installing an ambient shared ground loop array
Installing an ambient shared ground loop array

Truro-based manufacturer Kensa Heat Pumps and sister company Kensa Contracting will fulfil the order worth more than £7.5m over the next three years.

Tenant fuel bills are expected to be reduced by between 30% and 50% a year, saving around £150 for bedsits and up to £500 for houses.

Patrick Berry, managing director of Together Housing’s energy services, said: “This investment is a major commitment to ensuring our homes are affordable and energy efficient. Using renewable heat we can provide our customers with clean, comfortable, low cost energy and lower our carbon impact. It forms a part of Together Housing’s strategy to maximise the potential of renewable heat and power and we are delighted that the projects are now underway.”

The new ground source heat pump infrastructure will consist of a series of communal boreholes connected to individual heat pumps within each property; Kensa call this system ‘ambient shared ground loop arrays’. The shared ground loop array infrastructure is deemed a district heating system, qualifying the project to be part-funded via the Energy Company Obligation and receive a 20-year income via the non-domestic renewable heat incentive.

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Kensa Contracting managing director Matthew Trewhella said: “Together Housing’s landmark investment in ground source heat pumps via the Procure Plus framework is a pioneering step by a social housing provider to address the emissions of existing housing stock and fuel poverty levels; their commitment to innovation, community, and the environment is a benchmark for fellow housing associations and new build developers to follow.

“Their commitment to renewable heat indicates a market transformation of the UK’s approach to heating infrastructure. Substantiated by government’s spring statement announcement of a future homes standard mandating the end of fossil-fuel heating systems in all new houses from 2025, following the recent Committee for Climate Change report calling for the end of gas grid connections to new build housing in six years, this is the beginning of the end of inefficient heating infrastructure in the UK, on and off the gas grid.

"Political and building regulation pressures have built the case for ground source heat pump infrastructure in UK housing, and now the climate threat has built the urgency.”

Energy minister Claire Perry said: “I’m delighted to see how many more businesses and organisations, such as Kensa and Together, are seizing this multi-billion pound opportunity to energise their communities to tackle the very serious threat of climate change.”

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