Renewable Heating In Sheltered Housing

Replacing communal gas heating systems with renewable ground source heat pumps.

125 t
Est. annual reduction in carbon
emissions (tonnes CO2 eq)

70
Est. number of people
who benefit directly

Installation works for ground source heat pump
Drilling equipment on site

Our story

Adur and Worthing Councils are reducing carbon emissions across the area to meet their pledge of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. As part of their carbon reduction activities, they have installed ground source heat pumps at two sheltered housing developments in Adur.

Tollbridge House and Shadwell Court were identified as having aging and unreliable gas-fired heating systems with poor energy efficiency ratings. The decision was made to insulate both buildings and replace their heating systems with ground source heat pumps to ensure that residents had access to reliable heating and hot water and to significantly cut carbon emissions.

Ground source heat pumps harness natural heat from the earth by pumping a glycol solution through underground pipes. The pump then increases the water temperature so it can be used for heating or hot water.

The project was part-funded by the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), and a successful bid saw nearly a million pounds of grant funding secured to complete the works. Installation is in its final stages at both locations, with all works set to complete in mid 2022. The project will see 52 flats and two communal areas connected to clean, renewable heating systems across both sites.

Councillor Emma Evans, Adur Executive Member for Environment, described the benefits of heat pump systems:

“Ground source heat pump technology is not only eco-friendly, it is a sustainable way of moving away from the use of fossil fuels and investing in our future as we work to improve the way we operate as a council.”

Boring holes for the pumps was unavoidably noisy and caused disruption for residents; we worked closely with them to explain the scope of the project and demonstrate the lasting benefits of ground source heat pumps. We also supported vulnerable residents throughout the process and communicated with households to minimise the impact of construction and drilling wherever possible.

Individual shared-loop ground source heat pumps are being installed at both Tollbridge House and Shadwell Court by contractors, Kensa Contracting. This means that every property will have their own heat pump connected to a communal ground loop. This reduces heat loss and enables independent heat control and billing for each household. Sunamp UniQ Dual Port Heat Batteries are also being installed in each apartment to provide efficient hot water heating.

The installations at Tollbridge House and Shadwell Court will turn off 10% of Adur and Worthing Councils’ emissions in a single project. We believe that by tackling our biggest emission offenders and working at scale, we can have a significant and positive impact on our local carbon footprint.

Our advice

Take it slow – The installation process is lengthy and complex and you’re likely to have to take many people with you. General understanding around ground source heat pumps is still very limited and, given the disruptive nature of installation, it’s important to be able to clearly express the benefits of this type of renewable heating. Don’t underestimate the resources needed to communicate your message clearly and effectively.

Have faith in the technology – The technology around ground source heat pumps is still relatively new, but by choosing a pioneering solution and working at scale, we have been able to deliver real benefits for residents and make a significant impact on local carbon emissions.

Our metrics

  • kWh consumed by each heat pump
  • kWh consumed by PV (and self-consumed)
  • Tenant satisfaction
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