Kensa Ground Source Heat Pump Review: Social Housing - Ashfield Court rear 2

An ambitious ground source heat pump retrofit scheme completed in just ten weeks by Kensa Heat Pumps and Hanover Housing Association has been applauded by tenants and industry, resulting in two award short-listings.

As a result of the scheme’s innovation and contribution to carbon and fuel poverty reduction, the partnership has been shortlisted for ‘Most Innovative Retrofit Scheme’ at the Housing Innovation Awards and ‘Retrofit Project of the Year’ at the H&V News Awards. The winners will be announced on the 8th February and 20th April 2017, respectively.

Ashfield Court, a two storey block of 22 flats in a hard-to-reach cul-de-sac in Ipswich, replaced electric night storage heaters with Kensa ground source heat pumps connected to twelve shared ‘micro district’ ground arrays. The work has received a 100% ‘Totally Satisfied’ result in subsequent customer satisfaction surveys.

The system’s micro district design – where two flats share one borehole – suited the restricted site, and also ensured eligibility for ECO funding provided by Kensa’s unique partnership with EDF Energy, along with twenty years of income through the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI: this scheme has now closed – please visit this page to explore other funding).

  • Retrofit Scheme

Peter Phillips, Technical Manager at Hanover Housing Association comments:

The residents now have an affordable heating system that should be low maintenance for at least 20 years. Along with that, over the lifecycle of the systems’ installation, there should be an income benefit to Hanover, a win–win for all.

For Hanover, being an organisation that specialises in housing for the over 55’s, the low surface temperate of the radiators is a real positive. The controls are also accessible and really easy to use. The installation took approximately 10 weeks and, despite the drilling, four weeks after completion the grass and landscaping has recovered and there is barely any visible sign of any previous groundwork.

The project was delivered by Kensa Contracting, the contractual services division of the Kensa Group. Utilising Hanover Housing Association’s approved M&E framework contractors, SSE Contracting, a Kensa 6kW Shoebox heat pump was installed inside the airing cupboard of each flat along with a new hot water cylinder and radiators in place of the old night storage units. Each Shoebox heat pump is connected to a shared borehole. This design avoids the need for a plant room, and provides complete heating independence to the tenants who are free to switch energy providers, and pay only for the heat they use.

Simon Lomax, Managing Director at Kensa Heat Pumps comments:

We are delighted that Hanover Housing has recognised the unique strengths of our ground source heat pump technology and invested in systems which will benefit their tenants and themselves.  Too often, landlords are fearful that any installation will be too expensive or disruptive yet the Government is willing to offer attractive subsidies and we have developed working methods which are very considerate of the tenants and their surroundings – reflected in the 100% satisfaction rating.


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