Housing association residents in Suffolk are enjoying warm homes with significantly lower heating bills, thanks to a new communal ground source heat pump.
Norfolk-based renewable heating expert Finn Geotherm has completed the district heating system in In partnership with Gasway Services, part of Flagship Group.
Owned and managed by housing association Flagship, the 21 bungalows in Quayside Court in Lakenheath were built during 1970s. Heating was provided by individual electric storage heaters and a shared oil boiler, which were inefficient and expensive to run. Having completed an award-winning district heating scheme for Flagship in 2017 for 30 flats in Watton, Finn Geotherm were appointed to design and install a similar solution.
The new scheme uses one central ground source heat pump system to provide heating and hot water for all homes on the estate. Heat is collected from under the ground via 14 boreholes installed beneath the parking area and two Lämpöässä EMI 43 ground source heat pumps generate all the heating and hot water for each home. Every bungalow is individually metered and customers are only charged for the energy they use. The heat pump equipment is housed in a standalone plant room meaning that maintenance and servicing can be undertaken without having to disrupt residents in their homes.
Residents are now said to be enjoying cheaper energy bills – costing around 56% 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.
Charlie Conley, head of asset investment at Flagship, said: “Working with heating experts such as Finn Geotherm and Gasway allows us to explore further opportunities to reduce the cost of living for our customers, and the savings should make a real difference for them. Quayside Court is our second district heating installation and we hope to see many more in the future. It is also interesting that this technology, which was actually developed in 1945, can help towards tackling fuel poverty.”
Guy Ransom, commercial director at Finn Geotherm, said: “We are delighted to complete this second district heating installation for Flagship, which has had such a positive impact on the residents at Quayside Court. Not only does this system eradicate fuel poverty and create homes that they can enjoy living in, but the system will also significantly reduce energy use and cut carbon emissions. It is a pleasure to be working with an organisation which not only puts its customers at the heart of its operations, but also its environmental responsibilities.”