Paul Witham, owner of Baddow Eco Solutions, has fallen in love with ground source heat pump technology. In this interview, he tells us about his first experience of fitting Kensa’s new Evo Series, and his plans for increasing the number of ground source heat pump installations in the near future.
Tell us about your business…
Based in Essex and operating in the surrounding area, Baddow Eco Solutions provides a range of renewable heating solutions, either individually, or as part of an integrated ‘whole house’ system.
Traditionally we have done a lot of air source heat pump installations, but we fitted our first Kensa Evo ground source heat pump in June 2018, and haven’t looked back since.
Tell us about the job…
The project was based in Hatfield, where the customer was renovating and extending their five bedroom 1970s home, to turn it into an ultra-modern living space. The property is actually on mains gas, so the owner deliberately installed a ground source heat pump to be more eco-friendly.
The ground source heat pump provides 100% of the property’s heating and hot water needs and is connected to three 50m slinkies which are located underneath a nearby paddock. The heat pump unit is housed in a specially designed utility room, and the house has had underfloor heating installed throughout as part of the renovation works.
Why did you choose to use Kensa’s products?
One of the reasons was that Kensa provides an MCS Umbrella scheme, whereby they take MCS responsibility for the sizing, specification, commissioning and MCS registration of a heat pump system to ensure it is eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI: this scheme has now closed – please visit this page to explore other funding).
This was a major selling point for us, as I am MCS accredited for air source, but currently not for ground source, although I understand the principles. Kensa’s advice and technical assistance gave us the confidence to proceed with our first ground source installation, and certainly makes life easier for newcomers to the technology.
How did you find working with Kensa?
I think that Kensa is a great company! They very patiently provided plenty of technical support and guidance on our first installation. I know I can always phone them up to discuss potential projects and system specification.
They also helped us to get all the MCS paperwork up-together on a very tight deadline to enable our customer to claim the RHI, which was a godsend, because paperwork can be a nightmare! I will be continuing to use Kensa’s services and they are my preferred supplier of this technology.
What is your feedback on the new Kensa Evo Series?
Having previously fitted the Kensa Twin Compact, I think the new Evo is brilliant! It is very user-friendly, easy to install and commission. The intuitive control panel allows you to see exactly what’s going on and find your way around the heat pump.
The speed of hot water delivery is also amazing and the Evo produces copious amounts of it! It is also very nice looking, and customers like it because it looks good in their utility rooms. With the new higher output models that Kensa has added to the range, you can easily serve larger properties.
What are your plans for the future?
Since our first install, we’ve lined up a number of other ground source heat pump installations, some with boreholes and others with pond mat ground arrays, for which we’ve also specified the Evo.
We have a unique partnership with local company Chelmer Heating, who supply underfloor heating and thermal stores. We pick up jobs that are specified by them, and work with the customers’ existing plumbers to provide them with the necessary heat loss calculations to ensure that the heating distribution system is sized appropriately for a ground source heat pump. Although we can provide a complete turnkey installation service, often we come into a project to do the ‘techy install bit’ of connecting up the heat pump unit.
We’re seeing a sharp increase in the number of enquiries for renewable heating systems and hope to continue to specify more Kensa ground source heat pumps in the future.