11 Feb 15

EDF Energy funds energy efficiency scheme with Kensa Heat Pumps

The industry first commitment sees a unique partnership that will provide funding support to housing associations and other registered social landlords across the UK to improve heating systems in existing homes, lower tenant energy costs and reduce carbon emissions in rural homes, away from the gas grid.

The partnership is a result of the Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) – an initiative designed to help people in low-income areas save energy, thereby saving carbon and money on their energy bills.

Using an innovative approach to system design, Kensa and EDF Energy have already partnered on an ECO funded “Ground Source Heat Network” scheme for residents of Westward Housing in Holsworthy, North Devon. By extracting free, renewable energy from a series of communal borehole ground arrays, each approximately 100m deep, the Kensa “Shoebox” heat pumps located in each dwelling provide low cost heating and hot water, typically producing three kilowatt hours of heat energy for every kilowatt hour of electricity used to run the heat pump.

The Government’s ECO scheme was introduced at the beginning of 2013, and set energy suppliers with individual targets to deliver energy saving improvements to customers’ homes. The scheme focuses on benefitting vulnerable and low-income households as well as properties that are considered ‘hard-to-treat’. The agreement between Kensa and EDF Energy is thought to be the first of its kind to support the installation of “district” ground source heat pumps under the ECO scheme.

Eric Salomon, Energy Field Services Director at EDF Energy, said: “We are proud to be able to bring our ECO project funding to Devon. This specialist energy efficiency technology using a renewable heat source will make a significant difference to the lives of the local residents who will be able to benefit from lower fuel bills and much warmer homes. We look forward to continuing work with Kensa on this project, which will benefit many more households across the UK.”

Chris Davis, Commercial Director of Kensa Heat Pumps comments: “This exciting agreement offers a huge opportunity for social landlords across the country to address fuel poverty in their rural and off gas grid housing stock. Using Kensa’s “ground source heat network” approach, the ECO funding provided by EDF Energy will help offset capital installation costs, and when used in conjunction with the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive will provide a long term income stream for the landlord, while significantly reducing heating costs for residents. I am delighted that EDF Energy has agreed to partner Kensa in this initiative.”

The work with Westward Housing was completed in late 2014 and there are plans to install further Ground Source Heat Network systems in up to 500 households throughout the UK this year, with a second tranche of installations progressing in Devon and other housing associations having commenced schemes in Shropshire and the East Midlands.

Kensa Heat Pumps and Westward Housing have produced a film of residents’ experiences during the first ECO funded project with EDF Energy, available on Kensa’s website at www.kensaheatpumps.com/video/westward-housing-tenant-tales .

For more information contact:

Megan Johnson
Media Officer (Customers)
07875 114 691

Notes to editors

EDF Energy has signed an agreement with UK-based ground source heat pump manufacturer and installer Kensa Heat Pumps to fund vital energy saving measures for social housing providers and their residents.

  • Using Kensa’s innovative “ground source heat network” approach, individual ground source heat pumps are installed in each dwelling, giving each occupier complete control over their own heating and hot water system and responsibility for their own bill. The heat pumps are then linked to a ‘communal ground array’, a network of buried pipes or boreholes, which enables the system to qualify as district heating under the Energy Company Obligation and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), generating 20 years of income under the Non Domestic RHI stream to the system owner.
  • Kensa Heat Pumps’ project with Westward Housing, utilising ECO funding from EDF Energy, has been shortlisted for Commercial Project of the Year at the Energy Efficiency & Renewables Awards 2014.
  • Kensa Heat Pumps is the UK’s only dedicated manufacturer of ground source heat pumps. Established in 1999, Kensa supplies the UK’s widest product range of ground source heat pumps to satisfy residential and commercial applications.

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.

In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/