Fuel poverty and tenant well being is high on the agenda for social landlords. When it comes to heating system upgrades ground source heat pumps offer tenants an easy-to-use, fit-and-forget solution delivering constant ambient heat, improving property condition and the health of residents, whilst significantly lowering running costs and generating an income through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).


  • 20 – 25 year heat pump lifetime;
  • 100 year ground array lifetime;
  • Low lifetime ownership costs;
  • Exempt from Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014.

Rewarding heating upgrades

Commonly used to replace aging night storage heaters and costly exhaust air heat pumps, Kensa’s Shoebox ground source heat pump fits easily into an airing cupboard often underneath a new hot water cylinder to distribute renewably sourced hot water and heat via upgraded radiators, providing 100% of the property’s needs.

The ultra-low maintenance ground source heat pumps require minimal servicing or aftercare, saving social landlords time, money and inconvenience for the residents. And the reduced carbon emissions help social landlords to achieve their carbon reduction targets.


The night storage heaters were a waste of space, they didn’t stay warm. The heat pump heats up the house quickly and is easy to control using the themostat. They did a great job drilling the boreholes; I wasn’t sure how they would get into such small spaces, but even though the drill was large, you can hardly tell where they’ve been.

Tenant, Coastline Housing

Micro heat networks

With rising tenant energy costs, Kensa’s micro heat network solution, (also known as district heating), is the ideal choice for heating system replacements in properties located off the gas grid or heated by electricity.

Featuring an individual Shoebox heat pump in every property, tenants have absolute control over their own heat and bill; significantly, this set-up negates any compliance requirements with the Heat Networks (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 as there is no central ‘communal’ heat generation.

With a number of properties linked to the micro district heat network, landlords are able to receive a 20 year income through the Renewable Heat Incentive.

And where the most inefficient fuels are displaced – notably electric or oil – additional funding can also be delivered through our ECO (Energy Company Obligation) funding supplier EDF Energy.

Micro district diagram

Our Wellbeing Plan commits us to a continual improvement in our energy use and carbon footprint. This project is a fantastic example of how we can use renewable energy sources to help reduce our carbon footprint, tackle fuel poverty and support the global agreement to achieve net zero emissions by the second half of the century.

Rebecca Hazlewood, Flagship Housing Group

The heat pump solution tackled a number of issues with retrofit, namely for properties off the gas network or what we call hard-to-treat, but also trying to make sure its affordable as well, and the payback periods are good. Fuel poverty is a huge issue and if we are going to be able to make sure we have the right retrofit solutions, especially around heating, then this is an opportunity to show that we’ve addressed a very difficult area of the problem.

Awards judge John O’Brien, Director of BRE Innovation Park

Related Content

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