Client: Stafford and Rural Homes
Contractor: Azure Natural Energy Heating
Type of works: supply of Dimplex ground source heat pumps.
A Staffordshire housing association is changing the heating system of an entire development of bungalows to Dimplex ground source heat pumps with homes taking part in the UKs first independent research survey into the everyday performance of heat pumps in a domestic environment.
Stafford and Rural Homes, a registered charity, is a social landlord that owns and manages 5,600 homes in the borough of Stafford, a small percentage of which are sheltered accommodation with a warden on site or warden-linked. This heating refurbishment project is for nine warden-linked bungalows in the small village of Swynnerton, Staffordshire, with five of them taking part in the yearlong survey by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to monitor ground and air source heat pumps across the UK in real-life installations.
Colin Roff, Stafford and Rural Homes, says: When we were looking at replacing the heating in these properties fuel poverty was of course a consideration as economic heating is very important to our tenants. We needed to find something that was future-proof and cost-effective with no costly regular maintenance bills or annual inspections visits.
After we decided on heat pumps, three suppliers were considered for this job and key criteria included both costs and quality. The assessment panel, which included three tenants from the homes in Swynnerton, were impressed with Dimplex, as not only could they meet our requirements, but they also provided lots of advice and information from grants to specifications and also came up with ideas like getting involved in the Energy Saving Trust survey.
Were now considering Dimplex air source heat pumps for another site, which is unsuitable for the ground source option as it is on a hill.
As a result of using Dimplex, the Stafford and Rural Homes Swynnerton project was also able to obtain a grant for 50% of the cost of the heat pump installation under Phase 2 of the Low Carbon Building Programme. Dimplex is one of only three framework suppliers which has access to this grant funding.
Stafford and Rural Homes is undertaking a home repair and improvement programme of more than £60 million by 2010 throughout its housing stock, so efficiency and performance have been key issues. Dimplex heat pumps have typically twice the life expectancy of a boiler, up to 25 years, with low ownerships costs.
The 5kW Dimplex ground source heat pumps at the site will draw as much as 75 per cent of the energy needed for the bungalow heating system from solar energy stored in the ground. Residents will remain in their homes while the installation is carried out by Dimplex heat pump installer partner Azure Natural Energy Heating.