Release Date: 09-Nov-2009
A major renewable energy project got underway in Huddersfield yesterday, officially launched by the Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Julie Stewart-Turner.
KNH is replacing old, inefficient electric storage heaters in over 150 council homes on Fernside Close, Almondbury with ground source heat pumps.
The Mayor of Kirklees with representatives from KNH and the main contractors. Photo courtesy Huddersfield Examiner
Ground source heat pumps work by using the earth as a heat source to provide both heating and hot water. Bore holes are drilled down 80 metres to capture this heat, where the temperature stays constant year round. The concentrated heat is distributed through the home via traditional radiators and hot water cylinders.
The systems KNH will be installing are between 300 and 400% efficient. That means for every £1 they spend on electricity, customers will receive around £3.50 worth of heat.
In addition, most of the homes already have solar panels fitted, which means that on some bright or sunny days, the ground source heat pumps will run on solar energy, effectively providing free heating and hot water.
The new pumps will cut customers’ energy bills by at least a third, provide much more efficient and controllable heating systems, and reduce carbon emissions by two-thirds.
The £1.6 million scheme is part of a much bigger project to improve energy efficiency in council homes as well as tackle carbon emissions and fuel poverty. Over the next five years, KNH will invest more than £13 million in schemes like these and another £8.5 million on thermal cladding on properties that can’t have cavity wall insulation.
Simon Rogers, KNH Chief Executive, said: “To our knowledge, this is the biggest single ground source heat pump project undertaken.”
“Tackling fuel poverty is one of KNH’s key priorities but so too is supporting the council’s green ambition and reducing the overall carbon footprint in Kirklees, and this scheme indicates just how committed Kirklees is to investing in renewable energy.”
Cllr Shabir Pandor, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This project is an important addition to the way we use renewable energy in Kirklees.
“The work of partners like KNH is vital to helping the council reduce its carbon footprint and tackle fuel poverty. Working together, we can make a real difference.”