A unique partnership between EDF Energy and Kensa Heat Pumps has won a major National award following the reduction of 75 homes’ annual energy bills by 50% and CO2 emissions by 65%, in just 18 months.

The Heating & Ventilating Review Awards honoured Kensa and EDF Energy’s collaboration with the title of ‘Sustainable Project of the Year’ in recognition of the partnership delivering six off-gas grid ground source heat pump schemes for Coastline Housing, North Devon Homes, and Westward Housing. Since the award Kensa and EDF Energy have also provided ground source heat pump schemes for the Flagship Group, Bromford Housing Association, Trent & Dove Housing Association, and Hanover Housing Association.

The project involved the replacement of old, costly and inefficient night storage heaters with a Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pump fitted inside bungalows, houses and flats, with each of the heat pumps connected to ‘micro’ communal ground arrays, where two or more properties share a borehole.

The ‘micro-district’ method removes the issues surrounding communal plantrooms and shared bills, and also creates access to upfront Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding via the Kensa and EDF Energy partnership. This in addition to the Government’s Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which combined with ECO allows social landlords to fully recover their installation costs and create a regular income stream for 20 years to potentially fund other property improvement measures.

Simon Lomax, Managing Director of Kensa Heat Pumps comments:

The projects recognised in this award-winning partnership are pioneers of a more sustainable approach to heating social houses. Tenants benefit from the lowest cost heating and the exceptional reliability and durability of the technology minimises on-going servicing and maintenance costs for the landlord. Best of all, the initial capital investment, which is reduced thanks to the ECO grants provided by EDF Energy, is entirely recovered via RHI payments.

We are grateful that EDF Energy had the foresight to realise the potential for ‘micro’ heat networks and are pleased that their faith has been rewarded with exceptional feedback from many housing associations. We look forward to delivering more schemes in 2017 as there is no better heating system for social housing.

Mark Dallen, Business Development Account Manager at EDF Energy, commented:

We are so pleased that that our unique partnership with Kensa Heat Pumps has been recognised and won this national award. This demonstrates the great work we have achieved with Kensa Heat Pumps in tackling fuel poverty and providing low carbon energy across the UK.

Typically, the homes benefitting from EDF Energy and Kensa’s partnership are occupied by elderly, disabled and/or socially vulnerable tenants. Fuel poverty is a real issue for these tenants; the housing associations were receiving complaints about high running costs, inefficiency, difficult heating controls, increased illness and poor levels of thermal comfort.

The new ground source heating system has received much praise from its new owners. Mr Smith, a resident of Westward Housing comments:

It is great to be able to flick a switch and within 30 minutes have as much heat as we want. We’ve noticed a dramatic drop in our electricity usage. This time last year we had to put between £50 and £60 a fortnight on our meter – it is now between £20 and £30.

Ralph Retallack, Energy Efficiency Project Manager at Coastline Housing:

This award is well-deserved by the Kensa team, and Coastline are very pleased to be associated with this success.

Claire Fallow, Head of Asset Management at North Devon Homes:

This was a really exciting project for North Devon Homes to be involved in and enabled us to provide an affordable heating solution to some of our supported housing customers living in an off gas rural area. We are delighted with the results; the new heating systems provide an efficient, sustainable source of heating that will benefit our customers for years to come.