Case study: Bromford Housing Association

Bromford Housing Association has successfully completed the installation of a Kensa micro district ground source heat pump solution in 16 formerly electrically heated bungalows in rural Shropshire.

  • Shortlisted: Renewable Project of the Year  – under £1m (H&V News Awards 2017)
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Bromford Housing Association decided to replace inefficient night storage heaters with Kensa ground source heat pumps to provide heating, hot water and lower heating bills to its tenants in 16 of its off gas properties in Shropshire.

Intended as a pilot scheme to establish the viability of ground source heat pumps as an upgrade option across its entire electrically heated housing stock, the successful project received funding from both the Non Domestic RHI and ECO.

The project involved drilling a network of communal boreholes to harness heat energy from the ground, with each borehole serving two properties. A separate Kensa 6Kw Shoebox Twin ground source heat pump was installed in each bungalow meaning that no central plantroom was needed and each household receives its own bill direct from an energy provider. The communal borehole array reduces costs and timescales as drillers can deliver a smaller number of deeper holes.

This approach is known as a ‘Micro Heat Network’ and has been pioneered by Kensa as an opportunity for social housing providers to access multiple funding streams, including the lucrative Non Domestic RHI.

The compact but powerful Kensa 6kW Shoebox Twin heat pumps were neatly located in tenants’ airing cupboards along with new domestic hot water cylinders. New steel panel radiator systems were also installed as part of the programme of retrofit works to ensure the heat pumps operated efficiently.

The systems use state of the art heating controls giving Bromford the ability to remotely set and monitor optimum property temperatures and allowing tenants the flexibility to make minor adjustments to ensure they keep warm and comfortable at all times.

A combination of heat meters and electrical consumption meters show how efficiently the systems are performing and also ensured that the project was eligible for the Non Domestic RHI fund, enabling Bromford to receive quarterly payments from the Government for the next 20 years.

During the handover process, in addition to supplying the tenant with operating instructions for the new heat pump, Kensa also demonstrated the operation of the system to the tenants including the heat pump controls and radiator valves to ensure ease of use after installation.

Nigel Gosling, Senior Contracts Manager, Bromford Housing Association said:

The installation was very positive for our first experience of GSHP, and we would be confident to look at further installs through Kensa. The set up was well organised and coordinated. The pre and during works information provided to us and the customers was first class, and the use of known heating installers helped all works run to plan.

Feedback from Bromford’s customers has been glowing:

I’m now spending less on my whole house heating as I was on one electric heater previously!

The heating is so good I am walking around in a t-shirt!

The heating is great, comes on when I want it.

Tenants are due to save between £300 and £350 on their heating bills per year. Following the success of this pilot scheme, Bromford Housing Association is looking at rolling out further ground source heat pump projects in the future.

Key Facts

  • Micro district heating system
  • Funded by Non Domestic RHI & ECO
  • 6kW Shoebox Twin
  • Replacing night storage heaters
  • 8 boreholes serving 16 bungalows
  • New wet system installed (radiators & cylinders)