Heat the Streets, Wins UK Green Business Awards

Image courtesy - BusinessGreen

Kensa Utilities, is thrilled to announce that its groundbreaking project, Heat the Streets, has been successful in the category: Green Heat Project of the Year, at the highly esteemed UK Green Business Awards, organised by BusinessGreen. This recognition highlights Kensa Utilities’ commitment to revolutionising the heating industry and its dedication to deployment of sustainable, efficient energy solutions.

The UK Green Business Awards celebrates excellence within the green business sector. The “Green Heat Project of the Year ” category acknowledges some of the most innovative green heat projects in the UK. Kensa Utilities’ ‘Heat the Streets’ project surpassed all expectations and emerged as the clear winner, impressing the judges by bringing affordable low-carbon heating to urban areas with a street-by-street approach.

Heat the Streets was an ambitious project that aimed to decarbonise residential heating across all housing sectors by deploying Kensa’s highly efficient and renewable ground source heat pump technology connected by an in-road network of boreholes (known as a shared ground loop array). The project has successfully demonstrated the scalability and viability of ground source heat pumps connected to in-road infrastructure as a cost-effective solution for reducing carbon emissions and providing reliable, sustainable heat.

Lisa Treseder, Director of Business Development at Kensa Utilities, expressed her pride in receiving the award, stating, “We are honoured and thrilled for Heat the Streets to be recognised at the UK Green Business Awards. This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team who have been instrumental in making this project a resounding success.”

Treseder continued, “Heat the Streets represents a significant step towards achieving our goal of decarbonising heating at scale. Combining our new business model where Kensa Utilities fund, own and maintain the infrastructure with Kensa’s well-established ground source heat pump technology, we can confidently advance towards the reduction of carbon emissions and the implementation of more efficient heating solutions.”

Kensa Utilities’ Heat the Streets project has also showcased the importance of collaboration between industry experts, local authorities, and community stakeholders. Through strategic partnerships and proactive community engagement, Kensa Utilities has successfully delivered the first iteration of a 21st century version of the gas grid, providing homes in Cornwall with low cost, low-carbon, energy-efficient heating systems whilst improving the quality of life for residents.

As Kensa Utilities continues to expand its influence and shape the future of sustainable heating, this prestigious award reinforces the company’s reputation as a pioneer in the industry. The recognition received at the UK Green Business Awards serves as an encouragement for Kensa Utilities to pursue further innovations and drive the adoption of networked heat pumps on a broader scale.

First Ground Source Heat Pump connects to the world’s first in-road retrofit of ground array infrastructure.

The first resident in the Cornish village of Stithians has today had their ground source heat pump (GSHP) connected to an ambient heat network that will draw energy from under the street.

 It’s thought to be a world first shared ground array being retrospectively installed in a public highway.

The pioneering project,  Heat the Streets, is run by Kensa Utilities and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and represents a significant investment in the future of sustainable energy.

Each home involved in Heat the Streets will swap either carbon intensive oil or LPG fossil fuels for its own low carbon Kensa ground source heat pump that will provide 100% of the property’s heating and hot water year round.   Homeowners will pay a monthly standing charge to access the heat network, much like the existing gas connection fee.

The in-road ground source heat pump network, also known as Networked Heat Pumps, in Collins Parc, Stithians, will consist of 42 boreholes, drilled to an average depth of 106m. It allows homeowners to utilise the heat from the ground to keep their houses warm and reduce carbon emissions. The infrastructure emulates the existing gas grid and has been designed to accommodate future connections, allowing households who were not ready to change their heating system to connect at a later date.

Unlike traditional district heating, there is no need for a central plant, no heat loss around the network, and customers can still change their energy provider at will, promoting energy independence.

Heating accounts for around 30% of the UK’s carbon emissions and The Committee on Climate Change estimates 80% of the buildings that will be here in 2050 have already been built. As ground source heat pumps are electrically powered, non-combustion devices that emit no local emissions or air pollution, they will reduce the carbon output associated with heating each home by around 70%.

Wouter Thijssen, Managing Director of Kensa Utilities comments:

“It’s fantastic to have the first heat pump up and running on this landmark project which provides a blueprint for the decarbonisation of heating in the UK. Our model replicates the gas network with a pipe in the ground, a flat rate standing charge to consumers and a little white box in the house.

“Just as Burton Upon Trent was the first UK town to convert to natural gas in 1968 – at the time a cheaper, better, cleaner fuel than towns gas – we believe Stithians is the first UK town to convert to the 21st-century equivalent: networked heat pumps. Residents will have access to a network that will provide cheaper and cleaner heat for 100 years to come”.

Some locals have already been connected to a parallel scheme in Stithians which involves drilling a borehole into their front drive. They’re delighted with the results from their Kensa ground source heat pumps.

Caroline Bolitho, switching on her Kensa Shoebox heat pump for the first time.

Caroline Bolitho, resident of Stithians who’s heat pump was switched on today comments: “As a grandma I feel that I’m doing my bit for future generations and reducing my carbon footprint by having a ground source heat pump system which is important. I have been using oil heating before this and I feel really privileged and excited to have the system up and running.”

Jackie Barson, a resident of Stithians is already connected, she commented:

“I am happy with it.  It’s smart and efficient. It’ll take a few weeks to fully get to grips with the operation, but I have no regrets. I do know there are other residents who are disappointed they’re not part of the project.”

Kensa believes that street-by-street deployment of this infrastructure is the most efficient way for the country to reduce the carbon output associated with heating for the lowest overall system cost.

In order to make projects like Heat The Streets easily replicable across the country, effective zoning and the granting of statutory rights for heat networks are crucial.

For more information on Kensa Utilities and how they plan to enable the mass rollout of ground source heat pumps, please visit kensautilities.com or contact the press office.

National coverage and recognition.

Heat the Streets has been making headlines again, with the project being covered by the Financial Times. The article focuses on how our model of networked ground-source heat pumps provides a blueprint for decarbonising millions of UK homes.

You can read the full article here >>

An article in Elemental Digital stated that “Kensa’s approach is offering the holy grail of clean heating, hot water and stable bills without significant upfront costs.” You can read the full article here >>.

We are delighted to announce that Heat the Streets has been shortlisted for the Green Heat Project of the Year in the UK Green Business Awards 2023.

This is an incredible achievement for us to be recognized alongside the other finalists, all of whom are leading the way for the UK’s green economy and transition to net-zero and a sustainable economy.

Former Secretary of State visits Kensa’s renewable heating project

Former Secretary of State for The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and current MP for Camborne, Hayle, and Redruth recently visited Kensa’s pioneering ground source heat pump project in Stithians.

Our landmark ground source heat pump project, that has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, will see homes within the off-gas village of Stithians, Cornwall, have their existing fossil fuel heating systems replaced with highly efficient, low carbon ground source Heat pumps.

George Eustice, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Camborne, Redruth, and Hayle was given the opportunity to learn how Heat the Streets is demonstrating Kensa’s vision for the decarbonisation of home heating and the mass rollout of heat pumps which are required to meet the Government’s net-zero goal by 2050.

Following the visit, George Eustice, local MP for Camborne and Redruth commented,

“It was great to recently visit the Kensa Utilities’ demonstration of ground sourced heat pumps in Stithians. One of the lessons from the current situation with Russia and Ukraine is that we must ensure that we increase our energy independence in a sustainable way.

The Stithians demonstration is a blueprint for how ground-sourced heat technology can be rolled out UK-wide and a great example of how we can harness our readily available natural resources to reach net-zero by 2050 and ensure we reduce our reliance on natural gas imports. I look forward to continue supporting Kensa and their work as Cornwall continues its proud heritage of leading the way in developing new cutting-edge technology.”

Through the street-by-street roll-out of the infrastructure, which residents pay to connect their heat pump to, Kensa’s split ownership model offers a viable renewable alternative to the mains gas network. Each home will have its own ground source heat pump, offering residents full control over their heating, independent billing, and the flexibility to switch energy suppliers, much like a traditional gas boiler.

With the current energy and cost of living crisis having an impact felt within the village, George was also able to discuss with residents the positive effect that this new equipment will have on their lives.

Kensa Utilities’ Managing Director Wouter Thijssen said:

“What we’re demonstrating here in Stithians can be a blueprint for millions of homes all across the UK. The barriers to ground-source have always been upfront cost and disruption. These barriers are lifted thanks to Kensa Utilities’ funding and the deployment of ground infrastructure on a street-by-street basis. This will make heat pumps accessible to millions of households.”

Private retrofit ground source heat project breaks ground.

Lord Matthew Taylor officially opened Heat the Streets in Stithians. Kensa Utilities’, European Regional Development Fund supported project has officially broken ground in the most ambitious part of the project; the retrofitting of private homes in the off-gas Cornish Village of Stithians.

Photographs by Emily Whitfield-Wicks Kensa Utilities Project Launch.  Stithians.Lord Matthew Taylor was on hand in Stithians to officially start the borehole drilling, which is the first step in the installation of the split ownership ground arrays, through which the ground source heat pumps will provide homes with all their heat and hot water.

Lord Taylor stated: “Heat the Streets in Stithians is a national first, the first time a cost-effective way has been demonstrated to achieve the UK’s net-zero targets for heating existing housing stock.

Already delivering the lowest running costs for heating homes of any system, Kensa’s model of a ‘street main’ for Ground Source Heat to enable affordable zero carbon heating for every home in the street is the world’s first.

Borehole being drilled to install ground source heat pumps in Stithians
It is great that Cornwall is leading the way in solving the issue of decarbonising heat for homes affordably, an incredible achievement for a Cornish business which is already the UK market leader by far in ground source heating systems.

The village of Stithians will be attracting national attention as this system rolls out a solution which will keep families affordably warm and help save the planet.”

Through Heat the Streets, homes in Stithians will be part of a street by street retrofit program that will see existing heating systems replaced with efficient ground source heat pumps that are made just 3 miles from the village. Due to the funding which Kensa Utilities received all the equipment is being provided with no upfront cost to the homeowner.

Borehole being drilled as part of the ground source heat project in Cornwall
Heat the Streets is demonstrating Kensa’s vision for the decarbonisation of home heating and the mass rollout of heat pumps which are required to meet the Government’s net-zero goal by 2050. Through the street by street roll out of the infrastructure, which residents pay to connect their heat pump to, this split ownership model offers a viable renewable alternative to the mains gas network. Each home will have its own ground source heat pump, offering residents full control over their heating, independent billing, and the flexibility to switch energy suppliers, much like a traditional gas boiler.

Kensa Utilities’ Director of Business Development, Lisa Treseder said “The ground array infrastructure serving ground source heat pumps has a lifespan of around 100 years making it ideal for split ownership and long-term investment. The ground array represents over a third of the cost of a ground source heating system. By splitting out this system cost, Kensa will make ground source heating more accessible to British households. We hope that this infrastructure will eventually take the place of the UK’s gas network.”

Heat pump project breaks ground in Cornwall.

Heat the Streets, Kensa Utilities’ ambitious ERDF-funded sustainable heating project, has broken ground at two new construction sites in Cornwall.

Work has begun on Heat the Streets low carbon heating installations in Carlyon Bay and Harlyn Bay. Drilling has started for boreholes that will form shared loop ground arrays to be connected to Kensa ground source heat pumps. The heat pumps will supply the homeowners with 100% of their heat and hot water all year round.

Kensa’s Shared Ground Loop Arrays are an ultra-low temperature heat network used with ground source heat pumps. In a similar setup to a traditional gas framework, a series of boreholes are linked to create a shared ground loop array that provides heat to multiple properties. Kensa Utilities will retain ownership of the ground array, charging a fixed annual fee to households for its use.

This split-ownership funding of low carbon heating is intended to break down the barriers to net zero and make clean, reliable heating affordable for more households.

Due to Kensa Utilities’ ERDF financing model, they have been able to install heat pumps and the associated infrastructure for less than the cost of an air source heat pump. Consequently, forward-thinking developers can offer a more attractive sustainable heating system while reducing construction costs and reducing carbon emissions.

The drilling of these boreholes marks a significant step forward in the Heat the Streets project which will also see installation of split-ownership, ground source heat pumps retrofitted into private properties in the off-gas village of Stithians, Cornwall and social housing estates around the county.

Lisa Treseder, Kensa Utilities Senior Project Manager, commented: “To achieve net zero by 2050, we need to transform the way people heat their homes. This Project demonstrates how we can decarbonise home heating in a way that creates great value for money while minimising capital investments. We also need to lower the barrier of upfront costs to encourage the adoption of ground source heat pumps.”