The first installation of a communal ground source heat pump for domestic use in the East of England by housing association Flagship Group, is set to cut its customers’ heating bills by hundreds of pounds a year.
The system at Watton, South Norfolk, was installed to improve the quality and affordability of customer heating systems and living conditions in the 30 flats at Orchard Close.
Previously, the residents at Orchard Close had electric economy 7 storage heaters, which were inefficient and expensive to run. The new system, which draws energy from the earth, will not only cut people’s energy bills by two thirds, but it also results in zero carbon emissions.
Customers started using the system in April, and although it is communal, each home is individually metered and customers are only charged for the energy they use. The installation qualifies for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a Government scheme which assists with the project’s capital cost allowing the Flagship Group to roll out the much-improved heating system into other homes in the future.
Strategic Director for Asset Management at Flagship, Stuart Longbottom, said: “Ground source heat pumps are a low maintenance, sustainable way of heating our homes which are a fantastic solution for our customers. We are committed to continually improving our renewable energy sources to help tackle fuel poverty and reduce our carbon footprint, and this system does that. Capital investment by Flagship as well as the RHI provides a positive and sustainable return for us and our customers.”
Renewable heating experts Finn Geotherm worked in partnership with Aaron Services to install the system. Pictured above is Matt Smith, Contracts Manager at Flagship Group (left), with Guy Ransom, Commercial Director at Finn Geotherm, in the plant room of the new district heating scheme at Orchard Close, Watton.
Finn Geotherm’s Commercial Director Guy Ransom said: “I’m delighted that Flagship have decided to use the technology for their customers. Heat pumps are a tried and tested technology. Finn Geotherm has been installing systems in the UK, in all kinds of properties, for more than 10 years. The systems themselves are made in Finland where they experience extremely cold weather conditions, so we know how efficient it can be. Ground source heat pumps are extremely reliable as they should last for more than 30 years. This provides additional reassurance for Flagship and their customers.”
The system is also connected to the Finn Geotherm offices, which allows it to be monitored wirelessly to see how much heat is being used. Key benefits of the project include reduced energy bills for residents and an improvement in home air quality, whilst the system installed is low maintenance and less intrusive as the equipment is stored in an external plant room.