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Ground-breaking market boost for renewables ignites local authority climate emergency action

Ground-breaking market boost for renewables ignites local authority climate emergency action

In October 2017 the governments clean growth strategy set out ambitions to fully decarbonise how we heat our homes by 2050.  Heat pumps installed by local authorities on housing estates have demonstrated that they have the ability to decarbonise heating on mass and as such demand for low carbon ground and water source heat pumps have been increasing rapidly. 

280 local authorities have declared climate emergencies in the last 18 months. Decarbonisation of heating in social housing has increased the demand for reliable heat pump technology that can be installed with long term carbon savings and fuel poverty mitigation at the centre of the agenda.

Heating and hot water for UK homes accounts for over a third of the total carbon emissions in the UK.  The current consultation on new building regulations will likely outlaw fossil fuel heating systems for new build homes, presenting a significant and immediate opportunity for an alternate low carbon heating solution.  

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) work by collecting a large amount of low-grade heat from the ground or a body of water and upgrading this heat using a small heat pump.  The process creates enough useable heat to provide heating and hot water.  Heat pumps connected to multiple boreholes collecting ambient heat from the ground can offer 300%+ efficiency and a saving of over 80% in carbon emissions compared to gas central heating.

The Kensa Group manufactures, installs and maintains the worlds smallest and quietest ground source heat pumps, specifically developed as a mass market solution for both retrofit and new builds.

APS Energy partners, The Kensa Group has recently partnered with Legal & General to strengthen its market-leading position and accelerate deployment of its ground source heat pumps across the UK.

The move will help with advancing Kensa Heat Pumps‘ research and development programme, expanding Kensa Contracting‘s district heating shared ground loop array installations, and funding zero-cost heating infrastructure through Kensa Utilities. This also offers a unique opportunity for local authorities working with Kensa to achieve their zero carbon goals at a faster pace.

As the UK’s largest manufacturer and installer of ground source heat pump technology, Kensa is the only integrated supplier and one of the most developed and effective for delivering homes with the lowest operational carbon emissions. Enfield Council installed this technology in 12 tower blocks helping lift social housing resident out of fuel poverty and saving the equivalent carbon emissions to taking 2000 cars of the road.  The Council continues to retrofit social housing blocks with Kensa Heat pumps, helping the council on its journey towards net zero by 2030.

Committee on Climate Change has suggested that 2.5M heat pumps need to be installed in the UK to meet the net zero by 2030 goals, this means that demand for heat pumps is expected to increase from 20,000 to 250,000 a year over the next 10 years.  Kensa Heat Pumps has ramped up its manufacturing ability 10-fold with the opening of its new factory earlier this year at Mount Wellington Mine in Cornwall.  The factory and offices are heated by harnessing the ambient temperature from the mine water under the factory. 

Retrofit represents a significant opportunity, with around 23 million homes in Great Britain using mains gas (carbon intensive) as their heating fuel, two million homes electrically heated (high running costs) and the remaining two million using heating oil or other fossil fuel systems (carbon intensive and high running costs).

Dr Matthew Trewhella, managing director of Kensa Contracting said, “Over the next 20 years we will be carrying out large scale electrification of heating and transport while massively increasing renewable generation into the grid. “

“Flexibility will be the key to ensuring the right balance between supply and demand and being able to control millions of heat pumps and car chargers automatically and remotely will unlock the route to net zero.”

Kensa has also partnered with experts from the Energy Superhub Oxford project that has looked at the use of smart controls to test load shifting for the purpose of heat generation. This work has focused on shifting traditional energy demand by a time period of between one and two hours by relying on the thermal mass of buildings.

Dr Trewhella added, “Our next step is to develop methods of storing energy to load shift up to 24 hours to take advantage of excess overnight capacity. The L&G financing allows us to substantially ramp up our investment in R&D staff to continue this work in parallel to our more traditional product evolution.”

Legal & General invests its capital in clean energy assets, businesses and technologies which will help accelerate the UK’s progress to a low-cost, low-carbon economy. The partnership with Kensa complements Legal & General’s existing clean energy investment portfolio, which now includes low carbon heat, transport and power generation.  The investment from Legal & General will enable Kensa to grow rapidly in a post global pandemic environment, and supports the partnership’s ambition to form part of the UK’s solution to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Alongside offering an alternative low carbon heat solution to existing and new build houses across the UK, the partnership opens up Kensa’s offering to Legal & General’s extensive ecosystem, as it works with local authorities, government and key industry players to create scaled solutions.

Simon Lomax, CEO of the Kensa Group, said:

“This is a significant investment not only for Kensa, but also for the low carbon economy and our region. Legal & General’s support will deliver vital employment opportunities in Cornwall and bolster UK manufacturing in the wake of Covid-19, as attentions return to combatting the effects of climate change and meeting the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon target. Together with the delivery of our expanded manufacturing premises, Kensa’s partnership with Legal & General aims to install 50,000 ground source heat pumps in the mid-term; a weighty contribution to quickly tackling carbon emissions, air pollution and fuel poverty. Our longer term ambitions will see the large-scale decarbonisation of the UK’s energy infrastructure with smart cities embracing harmonious low-carbon technology.”

APS Energy partners, The Kensa Group has recently partnered with Legal & General to strengthen its market-leading position and accelerate deployment of its ground source heat pumps across the UK.


Editors Notes:

About Kensa:

Established in 1999, privately-owned, and headquartered in Truro, Cornwall, the Kensa Group is a fast-growing collection of award-winning businesses involved in the manufacture and installation of ground source heat pumps and the ownership of associated underground infrastructure.

Now employing over 90 people the Kensa Group wholly owns Kensa Heat Pumps Limited and Kensa Contracting Limited.

Kensa Heat Pumps remains the UK’s only manufacturer of ground source heat pumps and is the long-established market leader according to BSRIA annual reports.  It provides products and technical support to an extensive network of plumbing contractors.

Kensa Contracting is a specialist installation business which focusses on large-scale new build and social housing retrofit programmes.  It benefits from unrivalled experience and expertise and has delivered the UK’s largest installations in the residential sector.

Kensa Utilities is an infrastructure asset company which funds, owns and maintains shared ground loops that serve heat pump installations.  It utilises subsidy support to provide these assets at zero cost to the housebuilder or social landlord.

The Kensa Group is partly owned by Legal & General Capital, part of Legal & General PLC.


For media enquiries:

Stephanie Gregory (Director of Marketing)

The Kensa Group, Mount Wellington, Truro, TR4 8RJ


T: 01872 862140

E: stephanie.gregory@thekensagroup.com

W: www.kensaheatpumps.com

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.






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