Housing Associations and Local Authorities struggling to heat high rise?

An unprecedented energy crisis is upon us. The NEA forecasts a 50% increase in the number of households facing fuel poverty in the next 6 months. Networked ground source heat pumps provide a reliable, renewable heating solution, especially for high rise, where options are limited and safety is paramount.

This blog series, written by David Broom, Managing Director of Kensa Contracting, will explore the issues around fuel poverty and the renewable ground source solution in more detail.

Want to find out more?

To provide further advice on switching to ground source heat pump technology, Kensa ran a series of regional webinars discussing the operating costs and environmental benefits in detail, providing advice based on our experience and how to develop projects from concept to business case approval and deployment.

Catch up on the series

Blog Series

Click the blog number to read the latest blog.

Blog 1: Fuel poverty & resident well-being

Ground source heat pumps for reducing fuel poverty and improving resident well-being

The science to prove we are in the midst of a climate crisis is indisputable, we can see the evidence of this in the news every day and often just by heading outside. What is becoming increasingly clear is that we are also in an energy crisis. Not only are we challenged with becoming more sustainable in our use of energy but there are increasing issues around the security and the affordability of energy. This is most apparent in the social housing sector, where the increasing cost of energy will inevitably plunge millions of homes deeper into fuel poverty. The lowest income homes will be most affected and of these, residents living with electric night storage heating, will find bills increasing disproportionally.

Building fabric improvements should always be explored first to minimise the requirement for heat. However, to really tackle the problem, the switch to renewable heat also needs to be considered. Kensa's solution is to use ground source heat pumps connected to a shared ground array. This solution will provide the lowest cost of renewable heating, reducing energy cost to residents but also significantly reducing carbon emissions as the system gathers three-quarters of the energy from the ground via closed-loop boreholes, providing greater energy security.

Kensa's shared ground loops in apartmentsBy installing individual heat pumps within each dwelling, the need for heat metering and billing is removed. The heat pump is connected to the individual properties electric supply, meaning all heat is billed directly and the resident is free to shop around for the lowest cost energy supply. Simplifying the billing of heat in this way ensures the running cost to the end-user is as low as possible and also leaves them in complete control of their energy costs.

When replacing storage heaters, we not only see a significant reduction in the cost of heating but providing a full central heating system also significantly improves the comfort and control of heating within the dwelling. This contributes to resident well-being and can also help to reduce building services issues associated with underheated homes.

To expand further on the benefits of switching to ground source heat pump technology, Kensa ran a series of regional webinars where we discussed the solution in detail and provided advice based on our experience and how to develop projects from concept to business case approval and deployment. Catch up on Kensa's series.

Author: David Broom, Managing Director of Kensa Contracting.

David joined Kensa in 2008 and works on large complex commercial applications of ground source heat pump projects. In his time with the company he has played a key role in establishing shared ground loops as a recognised solution for tackling fuel poverty, carbon reduction, air quality and energy security in both the social housing and new build development sector culminating in assisting Kensa secure the 2021 Ashden Award for UK Climate Innovation.


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