President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado presenting Award to the Kensa Group
Climate solutions charity Ashden honours pioneering organisations lowering carbon emissions and building a fairer world. The winners were announced at COP26 in a ceremony attended by the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado.
Kensa was nominated for the UK Climate Innovation Award for its ongoing commitments to the decarbonisation of heat, including the pioneering use of shared ground loop arrays and ground-breaking Shoebox heat pumps in district heating schemes.
The judges noted: “Kensa manufactures and installs ground source heat pumps, providing a solution for decarbonising social housing” and its network of heat pumps offers “efficient and affordable heating, tackling carbon emissions and reducing fuel poverty”.
James Standley, managing director of Kensa Heat Pumps, said: 'We are delighted that Kensa's pioneering work in tackling climate change and fuel poverty is being acknowledged. To be recognised in the international cohort of the Ashden winners is truly outstanding and just shows how Kensa is going from strength to strength.'
It is the second time Kensa has won an Ashden Award, the first was in 2008 in the Sustainable Buildings category. The organisation has come a long way since then, with Kensa now calling for the government to think ‘big’ about the opportunities for the widespread installation of heat pumps across communities, rather than just funding boiler replacements on a house-by-house basis.
Kensa believes the only way to reach the Government’s target of 600,000 heat pump installations per year by 2028 is to install an underground infrastructure that mimics and replaces the current gas grid, allowing individual heat pumps in each dwelling to be connected to ambient shared ground loop arrays, enabling whole communities to switch to renewable heating.
This vision for the mass scale transition to networked ground source heat pumps has been brought to life in an augmented reality experience, ‘Welcome to Green Street’, unveiled by Kensa at COP26 – access it HERE.
Using ground-breaking technology, Kensa’s virtual tour guide Doug sets out the benefits of networked heat pumps in an interactive fly-through and shows how they can heat entire streets from houses to tower blocks.
The real-life inner-city suburb of Green Street in Glasgow, just a stone’s throw from COP26, is used as a basis for the AR experience. Kensa’s visionary model shows how the separately managed underground network connects whole streets and communities, using natural heat in the ground or possibly waste heat to keep their homes warm. Consumers could easily and cheaply change to ground source heat pumps from carbon-intensive fossil fuel boilers when they’re ready to transition.
Simon Lomax, chief executive of Kensa Heat Pumps said: “Welcome to Green Street’ is our way of setting out a virtual street map that proves any street can be a Green Street, by showing how the ground beneath our feet can transform how we heat and power our homes and combat climate change.”