Landmark Renewable Heating Scheme cuts heating costs for flagship residents  

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Published: 06 April 2021


£1.4m landmark renewable heating project for housing association Flagship Homes, part of Flagship Group, in Felixstowe has dramatically cut heating bills and carbon emissions by 70% for more than 100 homes.

The new six-phase communal ground source heat pump system - the largest in the region - has been installed by Norfolk-based renewable heating expert Finn Geotherm in partnership with East Anglia’s largest heating company, Gasway Services, also part of Flagship Group.

Key features of the project:

•             Reduced heating bills by 70%

•             Cut carbon emissions by 70% compared to storage heaters

•             System will last in excess of 30 years – more than three times a conventional boiler

•             Encourages customers to heat their homes, positively impacting on their health and wellbeing

Managed by Flagship Homes, the 113 houses, flats and bungalows in Felixstowe, plus two private residences, had previously been heating their homes by expensive and inefficient electric storage heaters. Having successfully completed two other district heating schemes for Flagship, Finn Geotherm was appointed, alongside Gasway, to undertake its largest heat pump project to date, to transform the way residents heat their homes and receive hot water.

Six large scale district heating schemes were installed for this project. Each use a central ground source heat pump system to generate all the heat and hot water required for one section of the estate – around 20 homes. Heat is collected from the ground using bore holes – a total of 14,000 metres was carefully installed underneath parking and grass areas in the estate.

Installed underground were highly insulated primary distribution pipes to the individual houses. Gasway then connected each home to the primary distribution and installed the new radiators. Each phase of the project has a standalone plant room, which enables the heat pump system to be monitored and serviced centrally, without the need to disturb any of Flagship’s customers.

70% reduction

By installing this renewable energy heating system, customers are now enjoying cheaper energy bills – costing around 70% less than before. Energy use has also been cut by 70%, making a significant impact on carbon emissions and providing a more affordable and efficient living environment for Flagship customers.

In addition, the installation qualifies for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a Government scheme which assists with the project’s capital cost by providing quarterly payments for 20 years, allowing Flagship to roll out the much-improved heating systems for more customers in the future.

Madeleine Jefferies, Head of Housing at Flagship Homes said: “Last year was challenging for everyone and we know that many people really struggled to pay their energy bills. Fuel poverty is a serious issue which can affect the wider community, and we’re always looking at ways to make our customers’ homes more affordable and giving people some breathing space when things get tough. Our customers in Felixstowe have already seen a difference in their prices and we’re delighted that we can help to make a difference.”

Megan Gonsalves, Energy and Sustainability Manager at Flagship Group said: “As a Group we’re embracing a greener, cleaner approach to our homes and across our business, to improve the future for our customers, and our planet. This has been a fantastic project; we’ve made progress in reducing our carbon footprint and we’re hoping to continue to improve heating systems in the communities that we serve.”

Finn Geotherm, is seeking 10 new employees following the award of a multi-million-pound contract to install 21 heat pump projects in the public sector.

  • 1 x multi-skilled maintenance engineers
  • 2 x commercial plumbers / pipe fitters
  • 3 x electrical engineers
  • 2 x trainee heating engineers
  • 2 x trainee electrical engineers

Applications for all the vacancies can be made by emailing a CV to [email protected] or see www.finn-geotherm.co.uk for more details.