Work has started on installing ground source heat pumps at two of Gravesham Borough Council’s housing developments as part of the authority’s work towards achieving net-zero status by 2030.
Boreholes are being drilled at Merston Court and Hermitage Road, Gravesend, ahead of the installation of the pumps, which are predicted to save almost 36 tonnes of carbon over the next 20 years and reduce energy bills for residents.
The introduction of a ground source heat pump in 11 properties in Hermitage Court is expected to see a saving of 24 tonnes of carbon over 20 years, while at Merston Court, ground source heat pumps in 5 retrofitted properties will see 13.67 tonnes of carbon saved over the same period.
Cllr Jenny Wallace, Gravesham Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing Services, said: “Our independent living homes at Merston Court currently rely on electric storage heaters, which are inefficient, expensive to run and have reached the end of their lives, while the flats at Hermitage Road have gas boilers.
“Ground source heat pumps are a tried and tested technology here in the UK. These new ground source heat pumps will improve the energy efficiency ratings of all these homes and significantly reduce their carbon footprint, and bring real financial benefits for our tenants.”
The work comes at the same time as the news that more than 350 homes owned by the council will have their energy efficiency improved after the authority successfully applied for more than £800,000 from the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.
The council is one of only two in Kent to successfully apply to the fund and will receive a grant of £823,337. Gravesham will contribute £800,170 to the project, meaning a total of £1,623,507 will be spent on upgrading the energy performance of 364 council-owned properties in the Borough in 2022/23.
Cllr Wallace said: “We are doing all we can to upgrade our council-owned homes and help us towards our net-zero target. The installation of these new ground source heat pumps will bring real benefits for the environment and our residents alike.”
Stuart Gasden, Commercial Director of Kensa Contracting, said: “We are delighted to be working with Gravesham Borough Council to install ground source heat pumps at Merston Court and Hermitage Road.
“The project’s success is a result of close collaboration between the council, its residents and Kensa and will significantly reduce carbon emissions and positively impact residents’ lives. We look forward to developing our partnership with the council and installing this technology at further locations around Gravesham.”