15 June 2020: Stonewater and Kensa team up to offer residents cost savings

A project aiming to demonstrate how ground source heat pumps with smart heating controls can reduce heating costs for residents in Oxford, whilst also protecting the environment, is officially underway.

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Leading housing provider Stonewater has partnered with ground source heat pump manufacturer and supplier Kensa Contracting to have 56 of its homes at Blackbird Leys, installed with Kensa’s innovative low carbon heating solution.

The Kensa ‘Shoebox’ ground source heat pumps will integrate with smart controls and a time-of-use tariff, which is able to optimise heat production for cost and carbon savings. This is a pilot scheme under the Energy Superhub Oxford project, which aims to roll out the technology to 300 homes in and around Oxford over the next two years.

The heat pump installations are part of a world-first project showcasing an integrated approach to decarbonising power, heat and transport across Oxford, being led by consortium partners Oxford City Council, Pivot Power, Habitat Energy, Kensa Contracting, Invinity Energy Systems and the University of Oxford.

The Energy Superhub Oxford project aims to demonstrate how ground source heat pumps with smart controls can help balance the electricity grid as part of an integrated local energy solution that also includes grid connected batteries and smart electric vehicle charging.

Leon Storer, Assistant Director – Capital Investment at Stonewater, said: “We’re delighted to be a part of this innovative and forward-thinking project, supporting the local authority in achieving a net zero carbon future.

“By replacing our residents’ current high carbon night storage heaters with Kensa’s ground source heat pump systems, we’re able to not only work towards a more sustainable future, but an economical one too. This is because a benefit of transitioning to this type of heat pump system is the significant cost savings it provides for residents.”

Dr Matthew Trewhella, Managing Director of Kensa Contracting, said: “Kensa is delighted to partner with Stonewater for the first phase in this 300-home pilot ground source heat pump project.

“The residents will benefit from clean, renewable heat with savings of up to 25% compared to a standard ground source heating system. Smart meters enable residents to switch to Octopus's unique Agile Tariff, which varies the electricity price every half hour and optimises energy use when renewable power is prevalent on the grid, and together with Switchee internet connected smart heating controls will automatically run resident's heating systems at the lowest cost times to reduce their bills while maintaining their comfort levels, and caring for the environment."

Despite delays to commence as a result of coronavirus, Kensa is still expecting to complete the installations across the Stonewater homes before winter 2020.