Thurrock Council celebrates ground source heat pump switch on


Kensa Contracting and Thurrock Council celebrated an important milestone as the first energy and carbon saving ground source heat pump was switched on. It is one of over 270 residences benefiting from a landmark energy upgrade scheme delivered by Kensa.

Kensa’s low carbon ground source heat pumps are replacing night storage heaters in three social housing high-rise tower blocks at Chadwell St Mary in Thurrock. According to a statement, the pumps are estimated to reduce fuel bills by over 50% for some households due to them being three times more energy efficient.

Replacing the night storage heaters with ground source heat pumps is expected to cut carbon emissions by 70%. This is set to save an estimated 7,080 tonnes of CO2 over the lifetime of the heat pumps – the equivalent of taking 1,540 cars off the road, Kensa’s representatives have said.

Zohra Naeem, the first resident to benefit from the ground source heat pumps being installed for the project, said: “The new heating system is easy to use, keeps our home warm and is much cheaper than the old system that we had, which took a while to heat the radiators up. The best part is we can use it any time that we need to.  

“The contractors also worked nicely, were quick, and tidied up after themselves. Thank you to everyone who has supported us.”

Ieman Barmaki, sustainability director for Kensa Contracting, added: “The positive impact of this scheme for the residents at Chadwell St Mary and the local community is huge and far-reaching, so we’re delighted to get the new systems up and running.

“Ground source heat pumps are extremely energy efficient and environmentally-friendly. Not only will they keep tenants warmer for less money, but they also produce no carbon emissions or pollutants, improving the local air quality and environment.”

Thurrock Council secured £3.2m from Wave 1 of the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) to finance the scheme. The SHDF, a £3.8bn 2019 manifesto commitment, aims to support local authorities and social landlords to retrofit their housing stock at scale over a 10-year period, to improve building’s energy rating to at least a C.

Iain Carr, director of sales – domestic at Kensa Contracting, said: “The success of the Thurrock project shows that by working in partnership large-scale retrofit Networked Heat Pump schemes can be successfully undertaken at pace.

“Securing the SHDF award for this project allowed the council to support as many people as possible in the fight against fuel poverty. Central government needs to continue to update current schemes with realistic timeframes, more frequent competition windows, and less bias towards expensive fabric measures, to properly incentivise heat pumps. This is important if we are to achieve the scale of rapid decarbonisation needed for the UK to hit its net zero goals.”

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