UK's Largest Retrofit GSHP Scheme Completed

23rd January, 2013

The UK’s most ambitious heat pump retrofit programme has been successfully completed on time and on budget, following a collaborative partnership between Yarlington Housing Group and ground source heat pump manufacturer, Kensa Engineering. Over 200 ground source heat pumps were installed over 90 days in Somerset this Autumn, following Yarlington Housing Group’s successful bid for Government RHPP funding, which was supplemented further via Kensa’s partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy.

Julian Scott, Sustainability Manager for Yarlington Housing Group comments: “This project is an excellent example of how Yarlington, working in partnership with Kensa, have used renewable technologies to improve our residents’ living standards and help towards alleviating fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.”

The unique project benefits 200 of the most vulnerable residents living in Yarlington’s sheltered properties.

In order to satisfy funding conditions installations must benefit the most vulnerable residents, hence the decision to focus the programme on sheltered bungalows.  According to Simon Lomax, Kensa’s Managing Director: “We are delighted to have assembled the necessary financial support to allow Yarlington Housing Group to embark on this major programme. In addition to responding to the pleas of their tenants to provide lower cost heating, each heat pump will contribute a significant environmental benefit, reducing carbon emissions by around 60%.”

As a ‘green’ project the carbon footprint of the whole scheme including its delivery was considered, which favoured Kensa given the heat pumps are manufactured in Cornwall.  

To support the programme and Kensa’s growth plans, Kensa recruited several employees for its production and project management departments. In addition, the pioneering retrofit collaboration involved a team of over 120 staff, including Resident Liaison Officers from Yarlington, heating and plumbing companies, drilling contractors, and ground workers.

The timely installation of the ground source heat pumps ahead of the winter’s coldest weather will help significantly reduce Yarlington residents’ energy bills. Replacing night storage heaters, the ground source heat pumps will provide all the heating and hot water needs by extracting naturally occurring heat stored in the garden using a 90m borehole.

The requirements of elderly residents were considered during the specification of the heat pumps. Kensa modified the heat pumps to feature easy-to-use controls. The appliances were also located outside the property in custom made weather-resistant enclosures  to maximise space within the house, and ensure straightforward access should any maintenance be required.

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