Together Housing, Lancashire & South & West Yorkshire

Ground Source Review: Together Housing | Rothery

Ground source review: Together Housing, Lancashire & South & West Yorkshire.

Kensa’s ground source heat pumps in Together Housing properties will allow tenants to benefit from up to 45% savings on running costs.

  • Heat Pump City of the Year Award, the European Heat Pump Association’s Heat Pump City of the Year Awards 2020
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Ground source review: Together Housing, Lancashire & South & West Yorkshire

Following a pilot scheme in Elland, Halifax, Together Housing and Kensa Contracting have commenced a three-year programme where electric night storage heaters will be replaced with 770 heat pumps in social housing properties across Lancashire and South & West Yorkshire. By the end of 2019, 444 ground source heat pumps had been installed, with a further 326 units installed in 2020. Kensa Contracting has acted as the principal designer and contractor for the entire scheme.

The project will benefit from significant Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)* income to recover the total capital cost of installation. Using current SAP methodology the lifetime carbon savings have been calculated as 44,858tCO2. As the grid further decarbonises with the increased levels of renewable capacity, the carbon impact of heating will be further reduced.

Each site features an installation of ‘shared ground loop’ borehole arrays which collect the energy from the underlying bedrock and distribute the energy at ambient temperatures to individual heat pumps installed within each home. The property types consist of mainly low rise one/two bedroom flats but also houses, maisonettes, and two eight-storey tower blocks at Towngate and Talbot House. The groundworks included the drilling of boreholes up to 200m, with site set-up ensuring safe access was provided at all times. All internal works (Ground source heat pump, cylinder and radiator installations) were completed with tenant’s in-situ; Kensa Contracting exercised great care and attention to limit tenant disruption.

Kensa Contracting developed a proactive tenant liaison and project management system to ensure tenants are ultimately delighted with the outcome – affordable, controllable low-cost heating. Kensa Contracting exercised great care and attention to limit tenant disruption.


Tenant’s feedback demonstrates this was achieved:

Just to say your workers and staff are very hardworking and helpful. They are also very tidy each day and clear up any rubbish lying about. Great job done by all and we thank you very much.

The workmen that carried out the work were all lovely, they made every effort to make sure we were as settled as possible. It was a long process but Together Housing and Kensa did everything they could to make sure any issues we had were sorted.

The new heating system is amazing, before it was so difficult to heat up more than one room in my home but now I don’t have to worry about that.

David Broom, Commercial Director of Kensa Contracting, comments:

Kensa Contracting have pioneered the use of ground source heat pumps in social housing over the last 7 years, developing capability to deliver increasingly ambitious market-leading projects; this project is the largest of its kind delivered to date. This scheme has been a true partnership of client and contractor working to achieve a shared goal of decarbonisation, reducing fuel poverty and providing affordable comfortable homes, through the adoption of British-manufactured renewable technology.

Benefits to tenants:

  • Increased comfort. Radiators provide more comfortable whole-house heating. Previously tenants would typically heat a single room due to the cost of direct electric heating.
  • Significant improvement in control via off-the-shelf timeclock and thermostat provides residents with simple, effective control over heating
  • Ability to switch tariff to maintain lowest possible running costs also provides the opportunity to switch to time-of-use or 100% renewable energy.
  • Up to 45% savings on running costs, evidenced through gathering via smart meters. Average cost of all heat and power per home is £613 per year previously in excess of £1000 with NSH.

Benefits for the client:

  • Benefit from significant RHI* income to recover the total capital cost of installation.
  • ECO funding provided where installations demonstrate reduction in fuel poverty for those living in the worst-performing homes.
  • Reduced tenant turnover and void periods due to improvement in the heating system.
  • Low service and maintenance cost. In-house operatives have been trained to provide ongoing service and maintenance, up-skilling the local workforce.
  • A 20-year lifecycle for the Ground Source Heat Pumps. Low replacement cost as ground array infrastructure will remain in place for future Ground Source Heat Pump replacements.

The scheme was procured using the ProcurePlus framework, the first domestic ground source heat pump replacement program procured via a framework in this way. Together Housing has made a significant commitment to renewable heat they are leading the way in rolling out large scale deployment of renewable heat technology.

*Please note, the RHI has now closed. Please visit this page to explore other funding.

Key Facts

  • 770 Ground Source Heat Pumps
  • Shared ground loop array system
  • Borehole drilling of up to 200m
  • Up to 45% savings on running costs
  • Project eligible for the Non Domestic RHI (this scheme has closed)
  • 20 year life-cycle for Ground Source Heat Pumps

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