Aspire Housing has just completed a programme to deliver significantly lower running costs to customers living in fifteen properties at Ashley.  Not only is the fabric of these post-war Airey Houses being improved to reduce energy demand, new ground source heat pumps now also deliver the heat and hot water far more efficiently than the previous oil or solid fuel boilers, and dramatically reduce their carbon footprint.

To support the installations, partial funding was obtained through the Government’s RHPP  programme and via leading energy company SSE  under the guidance and support of Kensa Engineering, who also manufactured and managed the installation of the ground source heat pumps.

Aspire were motivated to upgrade the properties following feedback from their customers, as Paul Minister of Aspire Housing comments:

“Having listened to the customers, Aspire were keen to switch the estate onto a more efficient fuel source. Many customers struggled to afford to fill their oil tanks, and the practicalities of getting oil to our rural areas meant that during particularly bad weather some customers were unable to have deliveries. The carbon savings provided by the heat pumps were also of great appeal to us.”

Kensa co-ordinated the installation program to ensure it minimised customer disruption, and engaged with local installers and drillers to undertake installation of the ground source heat pumps. Simon Lomax, MD of Kensa Engineering, comments:

“Customer engagement was crucial to ensure that the works did not cause unnecessary disruption.  The support of Aspire, along with the professional courtesy and efficiency demonstrated by our sub-contractors, ensured a swift delivery, important given the requirement to complete the project before the worst of the winter weather.”

The fifteen properties are each served by a Kensa 7kW high temperature heat pump, providing heating via a new radiator system designed specifically for the use of ground source heat pumps at a flow temperature of 45°C. In addition, the heat pumps provide hot water stored at over 60°C. Each heat pump was connected to a 120m borehole located in the front garden of each property.

The feedback from Aspire’s customers on the performance of the heat pumps has been very positive, with some seeing cost savings of around 30%. Cost savings are anticipated to increase even further once insulation works to the buildings have been completed.