Social housing heat pump project from Centrica shows early signs of success

Social housing heat pump project from Centrica shows early signs of success

Centrica is working with East Devon District Council on an ambitious heat pump installation project, to reduce energy bills for residents and deliver a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

Between now and the end of March, 78 houses and bungalows in Lyme Regis, Exeter and Axminister will have their solid fuel heating and immersion systems replaced with low carbon alternatives. Each will be provided with an air source heat pump — and all necessary ancillary components — solar panels, new radiators, upgraded insulation, and a new, intelligent heating control system.

The aim is to bring the properties from ECP rating E or below up to a minimum of a C, although most properties are expected to achieve ECP B or above.

Ian Mather, Business Development Manager at PH Jones, Centrica’s specialist social housing division said: “Now that the first units are in, early indicators and tenant feedback suggest that the project will over-deliver against the targets we’ve set — in terms of its environmental benefits, and by making residents’ homes warmer and more comfortable, for less.

“We’re committed to being at the forefront of the UK’s transition to low carbon heating, drawing on the expertise within our organisation to make a meaningful difference to local communities in everyday life, and in the context of our national net zero goals.”

The project is being delivered as part of the national Green Homes Grant Scheme with significant additional investment from East Devon District Council.

An application has been submitted for a second phase, which if successful, could see sustainable heating technology rolled out to another 75 properties in East Devon.

Sophie Davies, Housing Business and Customer Improvement Manager at East Devon District Council, added: “This scheme has real potential to change tenants’ lives for the better, by making their home heating systems more effective and more affordable — while reducing global warming and improving air quality.

“Collaboration has been at the heart of the project, which can now be used as a best practice example in the low carbon economy — showing others what can be achieved and encouraging them to follow suit. We’re proud to be investing in our tenants, and to be investing in a green future for East Devon.”

Project planning, delivery and compliance is being overseen by P H Jones, with the support of engineers, electricians and managers from British Gas.

Each home is being specified with a suite of products including a Vailliant aroTHERM air source heat pump and intelligent heating control, a Mixergy unvented heat pump cylinder with built-in solar PV modulating diverter and a series of individually-sized low water volume radiators from Stelrad, complete with thermostatic valves.

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