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Renewable Heat Incentive’ (RHI) funded heat pump solutions workshop

Published: 19 June 2015 - Marianne Evans

A ‘Renewable Heat Incentive’ (RHI) Funded Heat Pump Solutions full-day workshop co-hosted by MyGreenHeating Finance and Kensa Heat Pumps and organised by Glen King PR/marketing, was held at The Buckerell Lodge Hotel in Exeter. 

The theme of the event was the introduction of renewable heating in off gas areas to reduce tenant fuel bills and lower carbon emissions in social housing stock. The event had full attendance, attracting over 50 delegates from across the South West, and beyond, including Social Housing Associations, architects and leading members of the construction industry.  

David Greensmith, director of the Carbon Savings Alliance (CSA) acted as Master of Ceremonies and the welcome address was given by Lord Taylor of Goss Moor, Chair of the National Housing Federation.  A number of industry sector experts gave presentations throughout the day followed by question and answer sessions. 

Darren Mawhinney co-host and commercial director of MyGreenHeating (MGH) Finance talked about the MGH funded air source heat pump heating solution.  He said: “We face a unique chance to lift people out of fuel poverty using the Renewable Heat Incentive.  When combined with Heating Finance’s flexible financing model, 7 year warranty and 3 star / 24 hour response service it has never been more attractive for PRPs to provide comfortable, affordable and renewable heat to their most vulnerable tenants.”

This was followed by an overview from Stephen Purser, chair Teign Housing and a case study by Tony Sharland, head of Asset Management and Development at Teign Housing. The project created by Teign Housing was to install renewable heating to its homes, using the funded option provided by MyGreenHeating Finance.  Tony Sharland commented: “By using air source heat pumps from MyGreenHeating Finance, we were able to stretch Teign’s traditional budgets set aside for storage heaters and provide cost effective low carbon options for our tenants.  Without MyGreenHeating Finances’ funded solution this could not have been possible, we were able to refurbish 44 properties compared with our planned 10.  On average these properties benefited from lower bills, a 15% SAP increase and a carbon reduction of 60%.”

Co-host Chris Davis, commercial director of ground source heat pump manufacturer and supplier Kensa Heat Pumps talked about funded ground source heat pump (GSHP) solutions offered by Kensa.  He said:  “The increasing focus on the UK’s high levels of fuel poverty highlights a growing need to reduce heating bills.  Ultra-efficient ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) provide the most economic heating with costs even lower than a mains gas-condensing boiler. 

“As demonstrated by our recent project with Trent & Dove Housing, ground source heat pumps halve many tenants’ heating costs and appeal to landlords too as the systems are remarkably reliable and durable.

“Innovative applications using ‘micro’ district systems attract lucrative funding through the Non Domestic RHI, as well as the ECO in retrofit projects, proving a very attractive investment opportunity for the funder or social housing provider.”

A case study from Steve Grocock, director of Property Services at Trent & Dove Housing, a client of Kensa Heat Pumps, gave an overview of the success of their recently completed ground source heat pump retrofit project. Steve Grocock said: “Trent & Dove has just completed a project with Kensa installing 133 ground source heat pumps into off-gas, formerly electrically heated bungalows. Fuel bills have reduced by two-thirds for tenants, saving between £350 - £500 per annum per dwelling – one resident has reported savings of £750! We have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal responses from our tenants as a result of this project. We have had many calls from other residents that have heard the news of our successful GSHP scheme enquiring when they are going to have it fitted!  We paid circa £1.8m for the scheme and estimate we will get back from the Energy Company Obligation and Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive circa £2.3m, and we only paid 5% VAT (included in the £1.8m). This was a fast-tracked programme that completed on time in three months, below budget and to exceptionally high standards.”

Harriet Arscott, policy & regulations manager from Ofgem Domestic RHI gave a keynote presentation.  Harriet together with David Greensmith, director of CSA and Alastair Mumford of Regen SW were members of the ‘Ask the Panel’ and gave feedback on behalf of policies from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).  The event included a two-course lunch and breakout networking sessions, as well as exhibition space by partners, Regen SW, CSA and Low Carbon Exchange.

David Greensmith, director of CSA said: “We have been working with our members and DECC to help support the deployment of renewable heating to replace old and expensive heating in off gas areas. The innovation shown by Kensa and MyGreenHeating Finance is helping our members stretch the budgets set in investment plans to meet the deployment of renewable heating. This deployment not only helps reduce carbon but also reduces the costs of heating our customer’s homes. Fighting fuel poverty is a key government and landlord target.  Measures aimed at reducing carbon and energy are at the heart of most landlords. We fully support both MyGreenHeating Finance and Kensa and welcome this funding offer.”

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