Ashden Award Winners 2021

Kensa has received a prestigious award for its pioneering net zero work and vision for achieving the decarbonisation of heat

The Kensa Group, the UK’s only manufacturer of ground-source heat pumps and the compact Shoebox heat pump was among winners of the esteemed Ashden Awards at COP26, which honour pioneering organisations “lowering carbon emissions and building a fairer world”.

Kensa’s award recognises its innovation and vision for the mass scale transition to low cost and low carbon heat, calling for government to think ‘big’ about the opportunities with heat pumps rather than just funding boiler replacements on a house-by-house basis.

Kensa believes the only way to reach the volume of heat pump installations required by government (600,000 per year by 2028) is to create a large, networked solution that mimics and replaces the current gas grid, with individual heat pumps in each dwelling connected to an ambient shared ground loop array. 

The model allows consumers to easily and cheaply change to ground source heat pumps from carbon intensive fossil fuel boilers when they’re ready to transition

The separately managed underground network connects whole streets and communities to a local heat source that uses the natural heat in the ground or possibly waste heat. 

Our eco-friendly networked heat pumps plan, and innovative work to date, saw Kensa win the Ashden Award for Climate Innovation in the UK, particularly recognising our commitment to the decarbonisation of heat in social housing. 

More than 2,600 properties are now heated using Kensa’s innovative approach to district heating, from streets of houses to tower blocks. The Ashden Awards noted the partnership between Kensa Contracting and housing association, Together Housing, who since 2018 have been on a mission to tackle fuel poverty and reduce the carbon footprint of the social landlord’s property portfolio.

The three-year ongoing project is the largest retrofit ground source heat pump programme of its kind to date, resulting in over 1,200 of Kensa’s ground source heat pumps being installed across Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Judges noted Kensa offered “a solution for decarbonising social housing” and its network of heat pumps provided whole communities “efficient and affordable heating, tackling carbon emissions and reducing fuel poverty”.

After receiving the award from climate solutions charity Ashden at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, The Kensa Group has pledged that we will use the cash to set up a Social Impact Fund tackling fuel poverty. Kensa is adamant that our award success will “establish a lasting legacy” and a pot of funding focusing on “positive and environmental impacts”. Kensa will be working with Ashden on the Social Impact Fund with an intention to help customers most in need. We want to use the fund to “provide affordable warmth for those who were previously in fuel poverty” whether through food vouchers or financial assistance “to pay the heating bills in the coldest months”. Also intending to use the money for biodiversity measures such as a wildflowers meadow and fruit and vegetable plots for residents.

It is not the first time Kensa has been recognised at the awards. Kensa previously won the Ashden Awards back in 2008 in the Sustainable Buildings category for pioneering the adoption of ground source heat pump technology in the UK with British-made products.

James Standley, Managing Director of Kensa Heat Pumps, said:

We are delighted that Kensa’s pioneering work in tackling climate change and fuel poverty is being recognised. To be recognised twice in the international cohort of the Ashden winners, once in 2008 and again in 2021 is truly outstanding and just shows how Kensa is going from strength to strength.

The accolade came days after Kensa unveiled, at COP26, a virtual decarbonisation of inner-city Green Street in Glasgow, just a stone’s throw from the COP26 host venue.The street has been brought to life using pioneering augmented reality technology accessible via any smartphone – an interactive street flythrough demonstrating the benefits of networked heat pumps.

Guests at the prestigious awards ceremony (4th November) included the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, who in his keynote speech said

All nominees have chosen to lead by example.

Winners were chosen from over 800 applicants for their green credentials. Praising Kensa and the other winners, Harriet Lamb, CEO of UK-based Ashden, said:

The Ashden Awards have showcased bold, brilliant and ground-breaking initiatives at COP26. Our winners show what is possible in the shift to a fairer low carbon future and should inspire world leaders to take decisive action to slash carbon emissions.

Find out more and register your interest for funding: 

Kensa Social Impact Fund


Find out more about Kensa’s Green Street here: 

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