Social Housing

Kensa’s ground source heat pumps bring social housing communities together to help eradicate fuel poverty and achieve building carbon compliance using cost effective Shared Ground Loop Arrays.

Award-winning solutions for social housing

Whether in the design and construction of new homes or for replacement heating system installations, rising fuel prices, concerns over long term energy security and the need to tackle climate change all mean that there is a compelling need for social landlords to provide residents with the lowest heating and hot water costs and highest levels of energy efficiency.

To reduce reliance on fossil fuels and preserve our natural energy resources, alternative heating solutions which harness renewable energy and reduce overall energy consumption must be considered.

In existing homes space and water heating accounts for almost three-quarters of a typical household energy bill, so tackling the cost of heating is vital in addressing the fuel poverty issue for social tenants.


Whilst in new homes increasingly stringent legislation in the form of building regulations is driving the need for low carbon alternatives to traditional heating.

The UK Government has introduced ambitious, legally binding targets to ensure that at least 15% of all UK energy consumption comes from renewable sources by 2020. The production of heat from renewable technologies, such as ground source heat pumps, is a key objective in achieving this.

Kensa’s community centric ground source heat pumps linked to Shared Ground Loop Arrays, literally bring communities together to eradicate fuel poverty through an innovative and cost effective approach to community scale heating.

For you & your tenants

Tenant benefits:
  • Reduce heating and hot water costs by up to 50% compared with off peak electric heating
  • Fully controllable central heating, providing heat and hot water when/where it is needed
  • Removes over/under heating syndrome associated with unpopular night storage heaters
  • Simple to use heating system controls, as used in conventional central heating systems
  • Lower heating bills allow whole home to be properly heated, improving overall comfort and quality of life
  • Opportunity to switch to a standard rate electricity tariff, reducing running cost of general day time electricity consumption
Landlord benefits:
  • Exceptional reliability and durability leads to extremely low lifetime ownership costs
  • 20 year heat pump unit life expectancy with minimal ongoing maintenance costs
  • 100 year borehole lifetime, able to service multiple heat pump unit replacements over the property’s life
  • Installed inside the home, so heat pump is not exposed to the external elements
  • Improved whole home heating reduces other associated maintenance issues, like damp
  • More efficient, cheaper to run heating reduces likelihood of high tenant turnover

For new build & retrofit

Existing properties:
  • Complete with full replacement wet central heating system
  • Investment costs subsidised by ECO funding via our ECO funding supplier EDF Energy
  • Return on investment via the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
  • Removes reliance on expensive fossil fuels
New properties
  • Helping with new build Building Regulations carbon compliance, particularly where gas is not available
  • No point of use emissions such as Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulphur Oxides (SOx) or Carbon Dioxide (CO²)
  • Higher SAP score than air source or exhaust air heat pumps
  • Return on investment via the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
  • Can be co-funded with HCA grant funding
  • Permitted development rights – no need for additional planning consent
  • Replaces need for and cost of gas infrastructure

Shared Ground Loop Arrays

Kensa’s unique approach for social landlords delivers all the benefits of cheap to run, renewable heating systems for individual dwellings, but with the added advantage of enhanced financial benefit under the non domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Suitable for both new build and retrofit projects, Kensa’s ambient-temperature Shared Ground Loop Arrays linked to individual ground source heat pumps inside each dwelling, are a truly flexible solution.

Unlike traditional ground source heat pump designs which feature an individual borehole adjacent to each dwelling, the communal approach reduces drilling costs, enhances flexibility and provides the opportunity for a significantly more attractive financial model, which covers the entire system investment costs within its lifetime.

And significantly, the shared ground loop approach is exempt from the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 as there is no central heat generation (the “district” is formed simply by the communal ground array); each property is furnished with its own ground source heat pump so each resident is responsible for their own bill, so there is no requirement for the landlord to either apportion energy bills between residents or indeed meter heat losses through district distribution pipework.

More housing associations should be doing this - what are you waiting for?!

Steve Grocock, Director of Property Services, Trent & Dove Housing

Related Content

Brochures: Social housing: brochure V4

Download Kensa’s guide to ground source solutions for social housing providers with new build and retrofit projects. (Version 4)

Case Studies: Hanover Housing Association

Ground Source Review: Hanover, Ashfield Court. Two-storey flats in hard-to-reach cul-de-sac combat fuel poverty and high carbon emissions with Kensa micro-district ground source heat network. In just ten weeks, twelve communal boreholes totalling 1700 metres deep were drilled, 92 night storage heaters and 22 vented hot water cylinders were removed, and twenty-three ground source heat pump…

Case Studies: Flagship Group, Fressingfield

Ground Source Review: Flagship Group. During nine weeks in the Spring of 2016 Kensa Heat Pumps completed a compact and challenging heating upgrade programme featuring 11 of the Flagship Group’s properties on an estate in Fressingfield built in 2010. The project showcases the largest variety of communal ground source heat network designs installed on one site to…

Videos: Ground Source Heat Pump Borehole Drilling Time Lapse

Neat, quick, and efficient, this time lapse video shows the drilling of 25 communal boreholes which will feed heat to ground source heat pumps installed at 49 bungalows owned by Stonewater Housing in Burton Gardens, Weobley. The communal micro district ground source heating system qualifies for upfront ECO funding and Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive…

Videos: Case Study: Trent & Dove Housing

In Spring 2015, Trent & Dove Housing and Kensa Heat Pumps delivered the UKs most ambitious retrofit upgrades programme of its time, replacing electric night storage heating with Kensa ground source heat pumps connected to a micro heat network over 133 one and two bedroom bungalows over 15 different sites throughout Burton-upon-Trent. Key Facts £1.8m…

Videos: Ground Source Combating Climate Change

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