Energy Superhub Oxford Live Blog

Follow our smart renewable heating trial

First Phase | Heat


Follow the pioneering trial of smart renewable heating with Stonewater Housing Association and Kensa Contracting on this live blog page!

Part of the £41m Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) project, this blog charts our journey as we upgrade the heating of 60 homes in Blackbird Leys, Oxford. Individual Kensa Shoebox heat pumps will be installed into each home and integrated with smart controls and time-of-use tariffs to cut costs and carbon for residents. This is the first phase of the ESO project, where homes are set to feature smart renewable heating over the next two years.

The project overview

Installations in Blackbird Leys:

Individual Shoebox ground source heat pumps will be retrofitted into each property and connected to a communal ground array, displacing 56 night storage heaters and 4 gas boilers.

The heat pumps will work together with behavioural-learning controls to produce space heating and hot water at the optimum times based on the individual householders preferences. To deliver this as cost effectively and sustainably as possible, the systems will access flexible tariffs and automatically run the heat pumps when electricity is at its cheapest and lowest carbon.

This ‘load shifting’ will help to stabilise the grid, without compromising on customer comfort, and will become an increasingly important component for the mass deployment of heat pumps. Residents will benefit from clean, renewable heat, and are expected to realise demonstrable savings on their heating bills, compared to a standard ground source heating system without smart controls and automated load shifting.

Key facts:

  • 60 Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pumps
  • Smart thermostats – create the perfect heating profile for each property based on the occupant’s preference and building’s fabric
  • Time-of-use energy tariffs – 100% green electricity with dynamic plunge pricing
  • Heat optimisation software – takes a day-ahead forecast of half-hourly electricity costs and automatically shifts the operating times – allowing occupants to make savings from dynamic tariffs without having to change their behaviour.

Live blog milestones:

Follow our blog to stay up to date with this innovative world-first project with Kensa Contracting and consortium partners Oxford City Council, Pivot Power, Habitat Energy, Invinity Energy Systems and the University of Oxford.

Over the coming weeks, we will bring you live updates as they happen. Click the titles below to follow the updates.

The entire UKRI-backed ESO project is made possible through the Prospering From an Energy Revolution (PFER) programme, which encourages new approaches to delivering cleaner, cheaper and resilient energy.

Read more about the role of the entire two-year ESO project in the electrification and decarbonisation of heat, power and transport here.

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