Housing group replaces electric heating with ground-source heat pumps
With heating bills of up to £500 a month for electric panel convector heaters for 11 homes on a estate in Fressingfield, Suffolk, Kensa ground-source heat-pump systems have been installed following the housing provider Flagship gaining unanimous support for its plans at a consultation meeting with residents.
Matt Smith, contracts manager at Flagship Group, said, ‘We knew we needed to innovate to solve the problem. We had received a petition from customers asking for oil to be installed in their properties, but we are taking steps wherever possible to reduce our reliance on oil in favour of sustainable alternatives. After the consultation meeting, customers all voted in favour of the renewable option.’
The 11 properties comprise flats, bungalows, semi-detached and detached houses. Each home required a bespoke solution for the heat pumps, cylinder and radiator location, resulting in five distinct communal heat networks served by a total of six boreholes.
At least two properties are connected to one communal ground array in order to qualify for the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant funding.
Each home has a Kensa 6 kW Shoebox ground-source heat pump to give heating independence and the freedom to switch energy suppliers.
It is expected that each tenant will save on average £350 a year.
The geology of the site consists of Norwich Crag, a notoriously demanding condition with a sandy formation that can collapse during drilling. To overcome the site conditions, Kensa’s drilling contractor, Geo Drill, used a specialist drill rig that cased as it drilled to depths of 140 m, ensuring the project kept to schedule and the boreholes’ integrity was maintained.