Region’s first communal domestic ground source heat pump
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 district heating system at Watton was installed ultimately 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 2017, 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 Flagship 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.”
Attleborough-based Finn Geotherm worked in partnership with Aaron Services Ltd to install the system.
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 well tried and tested technology. Finn Geotherm have 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 – immediate and long term
• Zero CO2
• Encourages customers to heat their homes, positively impacting on their health – reduction in damp and improved air quality
• Low maintenance requirements – cost and frequency
• Less intrusion for customers as equipment is stored in an external Plant Room
• Lasts three times longer than a conventional boiler