Shropshire Rural Housing: New build

Ground Source Review: Shropshire Rural Housing, Kinlet - On-site

Ground Source Review: Shropshire Rural Housing, Kinlet.

Kensa Contracting incorporated a shared ground loop array ground source heat pump system featuring the Kensa 6kW Shoebox Twin into a development of eight new build properties in the village of Kinlet, rural Shropshire.

  • Winner: Best small client (NHMF Maintenance Awards 2017)
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Ground Source Review: Shropshire Rural Housing, Kinlet

Shropshire Rural Housing Association has seized Kensa’s shared ground loop array ground source heat pump opportunities with both hands, rolling out ground source heat pump installations into both their retrofit and their new build housing stock.

Their latest ground source heat pump project in the village of Kinlet in Shropshire, features eight new build semi-detached houses and detached bungalows, which are adjacent to a cluster of eight existing properties which just 15 months ago were also the recipients of a Kensa ground source heat pump.

The area suffers from a lack of affordable housing and Shropshire Rural Housing Association was therefore keen to provide inexpensive, sustainable and fuel efficient homes for the local community. Due to the rural nature of the local area, the development had no access to mains gas, making many traditional heating options too expensive.

Based on the success of previous ground source heat pump installations with Kensa Heat Pumps, Shropshire Rural Housing Association decided that the technology represented the best way to give tenants control over their heating and reduce their energy usage costs. The fact that the new-build homes are well insulated and designed to minimise heat loss ensures that the heat pumps operate efficiently.

Ian Richardson, Shropshire Rural Housing Association Chief Executive, says:

The delivery of affordable warmth is important to Shropshire Rural. Given that the majority of our housing stock doesn’t have access to mains gas, Kensa’s micro district ground source heat pump solution is proving to be very helpful.

We now have more than a third of our homes getting their heating and domestic hot water in this way; whether through retrofitting or by incorporating the ground source heat pump into new homes.

Each of the eight new build properties house an individual 6kW Kensa Shoebox heat pump inside the home, connected to one of three communal borehole arrays. One of the communal boreholes feeds two properties, with the two remaining communal borehole arrays – consisting of two boreholes per array – feeding the remaining six properties, with one communal array per three properties.  This system architecture, referred to as shared ground loop arrays, means the installations are eligible for generous subsidies through the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI – this scheme has closed) due to their ‘district’ nature.

The flexibility of the district ground source heat network design means the installation could be staggered to fit with the progress of the build, and by employing a diversity factor across the array, a lesser number of deeper boreholes was required compared to using individual boreholes connected to individual heat pumps.

Each heat pump was installed with heat and power meters which were required for RHI (this scheme has closed) grant claims. The heat meter data has allowed SRHA to claim £2836 in RHI (this scheme has closed) income over the first two quarters of operation, which over the 20 year income stream will more than recover the total cost of the installation. Over the 2016/17 heating season this data also verifies the low running cost of the system, with properties averaging a running cost of £33 per month: 20%-30% lower than with a fossil fuel alternative.

Ian Richardson affirms:

Tenant satisfaction with the heat pump solution has been high and the support and assistance we have received from Kensa has been first class.

Tenants with the benefit of Kensa’s ground-source heat pumps tell us how warm their homes are and how affordable the system is. For example, one tenant shared with us the electricity bill for their first winter, November 2015 – February 2016, in their two bedroom, 83sq.m home. Bearing in mind the homes are all electric, the bill covers space heating, hot water and lighting and amounted to an average of £10.62 per week: this represents great value. Shropshire Rural is committed to delivering affordable warmth and we continue to value the excellent relationship we have with Kensa.

 A video has been produced documenting the project:


Chris Davis, Commercial Director of Kensa Heat Pumps explains:

Shropshire Rural Housing Association have invested in an infrastructure that will provide these rural homes with free energy for the next 100 years. The borehole will provide three quarters of the energy required to heat the homes and provide domestic hot water, for free, sustainably for the lifetime of the property. The remaining energy is provided by the electricity used to run the heat pump and extract the energy from the ground. This equates to a running cost to the tenant that is lower than mains gas, with equivalent comfort and control in off gas grid areas.

Ian Richardson, continues:

Shropshire Rural had a number of reasons for deciding to use ground source in our eight new build homes at Kinlet. Firstly, as the development is off mains gas, ground source heat pumps provide a source of affordable warmth for our tenants.

Secondly, the pumps have low lifetime costs owing to their minimal maintenance requirements and long life expectancy.

Thirdly, Kensa heat pumps allow us to benefit from the Non Domestic RHI (this scheme has closed). This means that Kensa ground source heat pumps were, for us, the best choice.

This view is reinforced by the fact that Shropshire Rural has expanded our partnership with Kensa, retrofitting almost one hundred ground source heat pumps to our homes.

A video documenting the project has been jointly commissioned by Shropshire Rural Housing and the projects contractors, including Kensa and the main contractor, Saxonby. The video can be viewed here.

Key Facts

  • 8 new build properties
  • Communal borehole ground array
  • Kensa 6kW Shoebox Twin
  • Micro district heat network
  • Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI - this scheme has closed)

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