Phil Smith, Carol Williams, David Broom, Chris Davis

Cornish manufacturer Kensa Heat Pumps and Westward Housing Group have won South West Regional Project of the Year for their innovative heating upgrade scheme in Holsworthy, Devon.

The project was recognised at the Regional Green Deal & ECO Awards in Exeter alongside tough competition included entries from British Gas and City Energy South Wales.

The award-winning entry from Kensa Heat Pumps and Westward featured the upgrade of electric night storage heating to UK-manufactured ground source heat pumps in flats at Croft House, Holsworthy. The scheme features an innovative system design that has never been used before in social housing flats; a ‘micro heat network’ which sees the flats connected to a communal system that extracts the heat from the ground to provide hot water and heating into tenants’ homes via individual ground source heat pumps inside each property.

Croft House’s rural location in the South West enabled the works to attract financial support from EDF Energy through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which following recent changes is now able to support heat networks.

Kensa’s Commercial Director, Chris Davis, said:

“With the non-Domestic RHI (this scheme has now closed – please visit this page to explore other funding) and the ECO able to sit alongside one another, the financial case is a compelling one, especially when compared with the alternative options.  For social housing providers, a retro fit ground source heat network that’s able to attract ECO funding, like that at Croft House, will present a solution that is both cost effective and provides a significantly more attractive rate of return under the non-Domestic stream of the RHI than for example fitting individual air source heat pumps under the Domestic RHI.”

Many tenants are reporting their heating bills have halved since the ground source heat pumps were installed by Kensa at the award-winning scheme, as Mr Porter, a Westward tenant comments:

“I have checked my meter for the last month and it was £20, whereas it was £40 or £50 a month before. You are bound to save lots of money with the ground source heating system.”

Mr Mike Smith, another Westward tenant agrees:

“The ground source heat pump is a brilliant system, its cut my electricity bills down by half and it is a lot warmer; the bungalow is lovely and warm.”

Kensa’s Commercial Director, Chris Davis comments on the award win:

“Our ambition is to alleviate the most vulnerable from living in fuel poverty. Our project with Westward Housing at Croft House has made a significant difference to the tenants there, and this award will help to spread the message about the benefits of ground source heat pumps to ensure we continue to deliver on our objective to eradicate fuel poverty in the UK.”

Joshua Jackson, Head of Investment at Westward, comments:

“Kensa’s products have been proven to perform efficiently and effectively and we have already received glowing praise from our customers regarding the real savings they are making on their electricity bills since the pumps have been installed.”

Westward and Kensa Heat Pumps’ retrofit scheme at Croft House is also shortlisted for Innovative Energy-Efficient Project at the Environment & Energy Awards 2015.

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