Heat Networks

Kensa’s innovative approach to communal heating allows social landlords and developers to realise the full potential of ground source heat pumps and receive Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments in both new builds and existing housing stock, without the drawbacks of traditional district heating systems.

Top 10 benefits

1. RHI

Under BEIS’ guidelines, as few as two properties linked together with a common ground array can be considered a heat network (or district) system, qualifying for the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

2. Cost-effective

Drilling costs are reduced by allowing a smaller number of deeper boreholes.

3. Flexible

Boreholes can be positioned flexibly across the site, as there is no specific requirement for a borehole within the curtilage of each plot.

4. Robust

Communal nature of the array enhances design robustness, reducing risk of the ground being exhausted and allowing “diversity” to be provided across the array.

5. Scalable

Can be applied to apartment blocks, clusters of houses or bungalows.

6. Simple billing

No centralised billing; each tenant has their own energy bill meaning the system is exempt from Heat Network (Metering & Billing) Regulations 2014.

7. Controllable

Featuring an individual ground source heat pump in every property, tenants have absolute control over their own comfort levels and energy costs.

8. Compatible

Works with radiators and underfloor heating.

9. Sustainable

A Kensa ground source heat pump provides 100% of the property’s heating and domestic hot water.

10. Planning exempt

Meets permitted development rights criteria.

District GSHPs in tower blocks

This Kensa animation depicts the key stages for the installation of Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pumps into individual flats in tower blocks, connected to shared ground loop boreholes.

District drilling time lapse

This Kensa time lapse film shows the drilling of 25 shared ground loop boreholes, which will feed heat to Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pumps in 49 bungalows owned by Stonewater Housing in Weobley.

Read the case study here.

How it works

Designed for groups of properties, Kensa’s micro ground source heat network provides each home with its own ground source heat pump, ensuring heating and hot water independence.

The “heat network” is created by linking multiple properties to a communal shared ground loop array, designed to deliver an efficient, reliable and durable source of heat for the life of the property.


The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Ofgem have confirmed Kensa’s micro heat network meets the definitions of ‘district heating’, meaning both new build and retrofit installations are able to access generous payments for 20 years through the Non Domestic RHI. Systems replacing electric heating in existing housing stock are also able to tap into capital subsidy support through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

With no need for a plant room, Kensa’s micro district heat network solution also overcomes the drawbacks of traditional “central plant” district heating systems. Efficiency is not compromised by heat loss in the distribution pipework and there is no need to meter and apportion energy bills between dwellings, thus avoiding the need to comply with Heat Network (Metering & Billing) Regulations 2014.

Multiple occupancy dwellings

Kensa’s district heat network approach can also be used on a larger scale, and when combined with Kensa’s Shoebox heat pump – the world’s smallest and quietest ground source heat pump – opens up a whole world of opportunities for social housing providers with high rise buildings and apartment blocks.

The Shoebox’s advantageous size and low noise output allows for the heat pump to be fitted inside the home without disturbing the tenant, negating any requirement for costly and inconvenient plant rooms, centralised heating systems or ugly and exposed units on the roof space or at ground level.

Heat Network Regulations

Kensa’s micro heat networks are exempt from the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014.

There is no central heat generation (the “district” is formed simply by the shared ground loop 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 meter heat losses through district distribution pipework.

Related Content

Videos: District Ground Source Heat Pumps Installation In Tower Blocks

This Kensa commissioned motion graphic depicts the key stages for the installation of Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pumps into individual flats in tower blocks, connected to shared ground loop boreholes. For more information on this application click here.

Videos: The Shoebox Heat Pump

The Kensa Shoebox Heat pump is a small, extremely quiet, MCS-accredited and British-made ground source heat pump specifically designed to provide both space heating and domestic hot water in new build and retrofit properties which require a load of 3kW to 6kW. The Shoebox Heat Pump is the market’s smallest and quietest heat pump. Benefitting…

Videos: Ground Source Heat Pump Tower Block – Groundworks Stage

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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: Shropshire Housing Group

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