Over the past 18 months, EDF Energy & Kensa Heat Pumps have helped tenants in 75 sheltered homes in Devon and Cornwall save money on their energy bills through an award-winning partnership that has secured energy efficiency funding to help housing associations in the south west tackle fuel poverty in their off gas grid stock.

The unique commitment between EDF Energy and Cornwall based ground source heat pump manufacturer Kensa Heat Pumps has helped social landlords like Westward Housing, North Devon Homes and Coastline Housing to access funding from the Energy Company Obligations (ECO) and the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to replace inefficient electric heating and oil fired systems with sustainable ground source heat pumps from Kensa, thus reducing fuel bills for residents, as well as carbon emissions.

So far, the partnership has secured substantial funding and the ground source heat pumps that have been installed in the 75 properties are predicted to yield total annual running cost savings of £24,443, around £325 per household, and significant carbon reductions.
LrgProjectWinner-SWestThis success has earned recognition, with the partnership winning the Best Large Scale Project Award at the South West Regional Energy Efficiency & Retrofit Awards on Wednesday 25th May. The awards celebrate the excellent work being done by the energy efficiency sector to help homeowners reduce their energy bills, tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions by installing renewable heating technology using Government schemes including ECO and the RHI.

Kensa and EDF Energy jointly pioneered the use of CSCO and CERO funding for ground source micro district heat networks as an eligible ECO measure under ECO2, ensuring that this unique application for ECO funding met with all prevailing Ofgem requirements.

District 2 on 2RKensa’s innovative ‘micro heat network’ system architecture features an individual Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pump in each property linked to a shared ground array. This method removes problematic issues around communal plantrooms and shared bills, and crucially allows social landlords to access the lucrative Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme to recover their installation costs and create a regular income stream over 20 years to potentially fund other property improvement measures.

As a result, Ofgem and DECC have recognised that micro heat networks offer significant potential for carbon savings where the most inefficient fuels – notably electric or oil – are displaced by ground source heat pumps. The partnership between Kensa and EDF Energy is thought to be the first of its kind to support the installation of micro heat network ground source heat pump projects under the ECO scheme.

EDF Energy and Kensa Heat Pumps have continued to pioneer the micro ground source heat network approach with other social housing providers and many more similar projects have taken place across sites in other regions of the UK.

Chris Davis, Commercial Director of Kensa Heat Pumps comments: “We are delighted to have won the best Large Scale Project Award for our partnership with EDF Energy. From the outset, EDF Energy had the foresight to realise the potential for ‘micro heat networks’ to deliver ground source heat pump installations at volume and have worked alongside Kensa to ensure that DECC and Ofgem recognised that the architecture is eligible for ECO funding alongside the Non Domestic RHI.

He continues:

“This has enabled us to deliver numerous ground source heat pump retrofit projects across the south west as well as other regions of the country which have helped a significant number of vulnerable people out of fuel poverty. We look forward to continuing to work together with EDF Energy and social landlords to benefit many more households across the UK.”

Mark Dallen, Business Development Account Manager at EDF Energy, commented: “We are so pleased to have won this award for our successful partnership with Kensa Heat Pumps in the south west. This project is a fantastic example of the work we are doing to tackle fuel poverty and provide low carbon energy saving measures across the UK.”

EDF Energy and Kensa Heat Pumps’ win at the regional event ensures that the partnership can now be entered into the National Energy Efficiency & Retrofit Awards in the Best Large Project of the Year category.