An award winning housing association project to help tenants save money on energy bills continues to garner praise; this time from Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Burton based Trent & Dove Housing has been working in partnership with British ground source heat pump manufacturer, Kensa Heat Pumps, to install ground source heat pumps (GSHP) to nearly 200 rural sheltered properties scattered across East Staffordshire.

At a visit to a home in Burton upon Trent which has recently undergone a GSHP installation under the second phase of the project, Lord Bourne expressed his admiration for the scheme, made possible largely due to the innovative way it accesses streams of government funding. He said:

(Photo shoot 0915-039) Trent and Dove Housing visit to a site in Burton upon Trent with Energy Minister Lord Bourne, pictured right.“Social housing tenants in East Staffordshire are saving hundreds of pounds on their energy bills thanks to Trent & Dove’s innovative project, in partnership with Kensa.

“It’s great to see Trent & Dove putting the consumer at the heart of their plans, leading the way for others to follow.”

The system approach utilised by this scheme is recognised by DECC and Ofgem as a ‘micro heat network’ and qualified the project for Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding, and 20 years of income via the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Steve Grocock, Director of Property Service at Trent & Dove Housing is eager to promote the benefits for all involved:

“Over the last two years, we have been working hard to help our tenants reduce their fuel bills by installing sustainable energy solution such as external wall insulation.

“Tenants involved in the first phase of this GSHP scheme are already seeing energy bills reduced by as much as 50%, and, anecdotally, are reporting significant improvements to their health and well-being, aswell. We estimate that tenant electricity costs will be reduced by a total of over £50,000 per year, at an average of £390 per resident. The average electrical energy consumption of each property is expected to drop by 75%, producing an annual CO2 saving of 2.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2).

“At the most local level, we are helping some of the most vulnerable people to stay warm, but the impact of the scheme is much greater still as the reduction in CO2 will benefit on a global scale.

“We are delighted that Lord Bourne has chosen to visit our project and we hope more housing associations use the ‘blueprint’ we have created, to access the funding necessary to install innovative heating systems such as GSHP’s and make a real difference to peoples lives”.

Trent & Dove Housing visit to a site in Burton upon Trent with Energy Minister Lord Bourne, pictured left.The second phase of the ground source heat pumps retrofit works sees the district heating solution being introduced to a further 60 Trent & Dove Housing properties in Burton upon Trent. Read about this Phase of the project here.

During his visit, Lord Bourne, visited tenant’s homes to see for himself the impact the installation of a renewable heating solution has had on them.

Mr Bullock, a Trent & Dove Housing tenant, has lived in his flat for the past 9 years; it was previously heated by electric night storage heaters. His new heating system, powered by a GSHP was installed last week and he is already feeling the difference:

“My flat has never felt so warm,” said Mr Bullock.

Phase two of the GSHP installation project is due for completion in October 2015. The project is currently being documented via a live blog on Kensa’s website at test.kensaheatpumps.com/category/blog

Trent & Dove Housing and Kensa Heat Pumps have released a video documenting the first phase of the project, which saw the installation of ground source heat pumps into 133 bungalows. The video is available to view at test.kensaheatpumps.com/video/case-study-trent-dove-housing

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Read more about Phase Two of the Trent & Dove project here

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