The lives of social housing tenants in Whithorn, Newton Stewart, Scotland have been transformed with installation of air-water heat pumps to provide energy-efficient heating in their homes.
The project involved a total of 85 properties and was delivered by a partnership of Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP), Scottish Gas Community Energy (SGCE) and Daikin UK.
Whithorn and the surrounding area is not connected to the mains gas supply, so properties are reliant on electric storage heaters or open fires and back-boilers for heating. These appliances are relatively inflexible and often do not heat up the fabric of a home sufficiently. Damp and condensation can also be an issue, as is the storage and delivery of fuels.
After extensive surveying and heat load testing, DGHP and SGCE arrived at the conclusion that the best solution was to fit Daikin Altherma LT Split 6kW air-to-water heat pumps to the social housing providers 85 homes in the village.
The move from ineffi cient, traditional heating systems to a modern, efficient renewable energy solution required a change of culture at all levels. Some tenants were initially
sceptical about the concept of free heat from the air around us and also needed to adjust to the idea of more output at lower temperatures being more efficient and effective than short bursts of higher temperatures from inefficient sources.An excellent programme of communication between DGHP and the tenants, with visits from a tenant liaison officer, ensured this challenge was met. Word of mouth about the
effectiveness of early installations also spread quickly.
As well as being a new concept for the tenants, the installers also had to get to grips with the Daikin Altherma air-to-water heat pumps and the differences between these and the previous heating systems they had worked with.
As part of the project, Daikin committed to working with DGHP and SGCE to deliver a programme of training for installers and engineers to ensure they understood not only the installation process itself, but also the surrounding concepts of heat pump best practice. This also meant they could engage with tenants to ensure they understood the implications of the new system and how to get the best from it.
The training that Daikin provided also ensured tenants experienced minimal disruption. Work began in May 2011 with 85 installations completed across the village by March 2012. Most installations were completed at each home within one day so residents did not go without heating.
Daikin Altherma air-water heat pumps have been used successfully across the country and are growing in popularity as a highly efficient home warmth solution.
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