Heating & Renewable Energy | Savings scheme

Heating & Renewable Energy | Savings scheme

One housing association is delivering fuel savings to residents living in an off-gas area in Shropshire through the installation of mini ground source heat pumps. LABM has all the details.

In 2017, Bromford refurbished a number of properties across two sites in Shropshire, as part of a trial scheme to tackle fuel poverty for residents. Working closely with long-standing partner J Tomlinson, a comprehensive assessment and viability works was carried out on several heating products to source the best solution for the project.

With no gas available in the village of Hodnet, a communal ground source scheme was suggested to replace the inefficient electric storage heating system. The Vaillant geoTHERM mini ground source heat pumps were deemed the most sustainable and cost-efficient option for these properties. The system was installed into 15 homes across Hodnet and Cleobury Mortimer, near Market Drayton.

The ground source heat pumps use thermal energy from the ground via boreholes approximately 110m deep. The energy extracted from the boreholes is then passed through the compressor of the heat pump and turned into efficient heating and hot water for the 15 properties.

Each property was fitted with an individual heat pump and a new, wet central heating system. To minimise the carbon impact on the site, three properties feed from one shared collector. This is known as a Micro District ground source heat pump system, which ensures maximised efficiency.

The new, highly efficient system will help the residents at the Cleobury Mortimer and Hodnet sites significantly reduce their heating bills. Housing provider Bromford, will also be eligible for RHI repayments for 20 years on a deemed tariff.

The outcome
The wall-hung mini heat pumps are as discreet in appearance as a traditional boiler, offering quiet and efficient heating. The decentralised system enables residents to be responsible for their own heating bills and choose their preferred energy supplier.

Feedback from Bromford and the end users has been very positive, with one customer already reporting savings of 42% in comparison to last year’s electricity bill. The success of this pilot scheme has led to plans to extend it to another 12 properties earmarked for geoTHERM mini installation. In addition, 25 Bromford flats will be fitted with a 200kW centralised ground source heat pump system.

Martin Ardron, Operations Director of J Tomlinson, says: “Our working relationship with Vaillant has been very good from the start and we now consider Vaillant our manufacturer of choice. It is clear to see the quality of the products Vaillant manufactures, and their dedication to service and support means there is always reliable back-up should it ever be needed.”

Nigel Gosling, Senior Contracts Manager of Bromford, comments: “Bromford is committed to tackling fuel poverty for residents by ensuring customers have affordable warmth. We are very pleased to hear that this scheme undertaken by J Tomlinson has been recognised as ‘Small Scale Project of the Year’ in the West Midlands Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes Awards 2017.

“Ground source heat pumps are an efficient energy system, especially for off-gas areas. Integrating renewable solutions within our housing portfolio addresses fuel poverty issues for our customers by offering a more affordable and efficient way to heat their homes. Vaillant were excellent in working with our customers to address any questions they had, as well as providing a demonstration vehicle that helped to show the heat pump in action. This was much better than just a leaflet for them to read.”

Thanks to Vaillant for preparing this article.

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