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Triple win for Cornwall’s Coastline Housing and Kensa partnership

Coastline Housing residents in Cornwall have benefited from a triple award winning partnership in the form of renewable heating, using locally manufactured ground source heat pumps from Kensa Heat Pumps.

Left to right: Nicola Fuller; Coastline's Ralph Retallack and Derek Law; Kensa's Matt Fontaine; Coastline's Mark England; and Kensa's Dan Roberts.

Coastline and Kensa’s renewable energy programme received three awards at the recent Cornwall Sustainability Awards on December 1, celebrating all that’s good and green in Cornwall.

Replacing old inefficient night storage heaters in bungalows over four sites in Cornwall with individual Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pumps connected to micro district heat networks, the project earned the award for ‘Best Contribution Towards The Creation Of A Sustainable Energy Economy’, and the night’s highly coveted title of ‘Overall Winner’, beating off competition across all categories, including entries from St Austell Brewery, Surfers Against Sewage, and Falmouth University. 

Allister Young, chief executive of Coastline Housing, said: “Sustainability is an incredibly important issue for Cornwall and for the housing industry nationally. We are incredibly proud to be working with partners like Kensa on exciting initiatives which not only help the environment but also make our customers’ homes more affordable to heat.”

Coastline and Kensa’s heating upgrades will result in an annual average saving of £188 on each property’s energy bill, and reduced CO2 emissions of the properties by over four tonnes per year - the equivalent of driving a family car 30,000 miles.

Ms Osnebury, a Coastline resident commented: “Very pleased on affordability – I was paying approximately £30 per week now just £12 per week - and I can stay nice and warm for that! I’ve never been happier. No damp problems now – all gone.”

Pioneered by Kensa, the ‘micro ground source heat network’ features an individual ground source heat pump installed inside each home linked to a network of communal boreholes. Each property uses their own preferred energy supplier and pays only for the heat they use. The design also reduces drilling costs – typically the most cost-prohibitive aspect of a ground source heat pump installation – and ensures project eligibility for the Government’s non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), securing the property owner (in this case Coastline Housing) quarterly payments for 20 years for the renewable energy that the ground source heat pumps produce. 

With typically two thirds of the heating sourced from the ground, for free, the borehole installations are providing an infrastructure which will deliver an affordable heat and hot water solution for Coastline’s properties for the next 100 years. 

Judges of the Cornwall Sustainability Awards declared Kensa and Coastline “the best example of a sustainable, local cooperative project that delivered an affordable, green and efficient integrated solution”.  

Utilising local skills and businesses keen to deliver energy savings both economically and environmentally, the judges said it was an exemplar to all for the sustainable future of Cornwall: “It’s tremendous to see an engineering company in Cornwall leading the way in environmental solutions as our precision manufacturers here have done in so many ways for generations.”

Dr Matthew Trewhella, contracting director at the Kensa Group, said: “Kensa works nationwide to reduce fuel poverty but is delighted to partner with Coastline Housing to deliver these systems in our own backyard of Cornwall. It really is a win-win program:

•    Coastline get improvements to their housing stock and an income stream from the Government's non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI);
•    Coastline's tenants get significantly reduced bills;
•    Kensa employs a local workforce to build the heat pumps and deliver the program;
•    Local contractors deliver the installation to maximise the local economic benefits.

Coastline and Kensa's collaboration delivers genuine sustainability including both environmental and economic benefits.”

Ralph Retallack, energy efficiency project manager at Coastline was also recognised for his role in supporting the sustainable energy economy of Cornwall with the title ‘Best Individual Contribution’. He said: “We are delighted that CSA recognised our project as a category winner and very proud to receive the Overall Winner award.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment and public protection concluded: “We must all look after the special place we call home and I take my hat off to the CSA winners and finalists who are champions of innovative and sustainable business and have shown that economic and environmental growth can go hand in hand.” 

13 December 2017

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