The blueprint for decarbonising how we heat our homes

Government officials have set out their vision for supporting the growth of heat pump installations to 600,000 units a year by 2028. A blueprint for mass decarbonization of heat and a method for rolling out heat pumps en masse is being presented through Heat the Streets.

We are moving toward a future where our homes will be heated by heat pumps as the leading green technology.

Green alternative to the gas network

During the 1960s and 1970s, we transitioned from town’s gas (coal/oil) to natural gas. We can now transition to more economical, safer, and eco-friendly heat sources in the 2020s, a 21st-century equivalent to the gas grid.

We can instead have separately owned and maintained ambient loop pipework feeding sustainable energy to ground source heat pumps in people’s homes instead of separately owned and maintained gas pipelines.

Shared ground loop arrays are unobtrusive, scalable, and perfectly suited to large domestic developments, encompassing streets of houses to tower blocks. Providing a natural and safe heat exchange between homes and properties, and the ground – no carbon emissions, no air pollution, and no energy supply volatility.

By pre-installing the sustainable ambient loop infrastructure, multiple properties across entire communities, including tower blocks, can switch to networked heat pumps simultaneously.

Furthermore, this facilitates households making the transition from gas boilers to heat pumps easily and affordably when they’re ready to upgrade. Like when replacing a gas boiler and energy supplier contract, the end user can shop around for the best ground source heat pump and energy tariff.

New ways to heat your home

Heating plays an essential role in our daily lives. As a result, we are reliant on it for cooking and washing, as well as maintaining comfort in our homes. Over a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heat.

Street by street deployment

Pre-installation of the sustainable ambient loop infrastructure means multiple properties across whole communities, including tower blocks, can switch to individual networked heat pumps simultaneously.

The installation of ground source heat pumps can be done on a neighbourhood scale by plumbing and heating engineers without having to involve themselves in the ambient loop infrastructure.

As utility company customers, we are accustomed to accessing services in our homes and individual appliances. We do this with gas, water, electricity, data, and even with roads and waste disposal through local authorities.

The networked model of heat pumps is no different from the gas grid model. A ‘white box’ ground source heat pump is installed in the home, and the consumer pays a standing charge to connect to the heat network.

For utility companies, it is an investment that will last for decades, as shared borehole ground arrays have a lifetime of up to 100 years.

In a ground source heat pump, ambient heat is primarily supplied by stored solar energy, which is naturally replenished. Ground temperatures remain constant 24/7, 365 days a year, regardless of air temperature changes.

This means networked heat pumps provide sustainable heating, cooling, and hot water all year round without any loss of efficiency, keeping homes comfortable no matter what the season.

Individual ground source heat pumps are installed in each dwelling and the ambient temperature heat network connects all dwellings.

Networked heat pumps allow householders to control their heating appliances independently, and they can change suppliers and contracts whenever they like. For landlords, this also means no more split-billing or metering requirements for tenants.

If the infrastructure is provided at zero upfront cost to the consumer, then homeowners could be motivated to replace gas boilers with heat pumps in a phased switchover, subsidised by Government support.

Decarbonise your community

The Kensa Group believe that the street-by-street installation of infrastructure and split ownership approach being demonstrated through Heat the Streets is the most effective way of overcoming the barriers that the government has failed to address.

Alongside Heat the Streets, Kensa Utilities are working on other projects , and have scalable commercial offers available.

If you’re a developer, local authority or social housing provider and are looking to decarbonise your portfolio we would love to hear from you.