In response to the Committee's call for a more sustainable infrastructure to heat homes, Simon Lomax, Kensa Group CEO, said: "We wholly embrace the CCC's call for urgent action and would hope the government would look to introduce this requirement before 2025. The report identified a skills gap, but the knowledge and technology is already here and is deploying at scale in more challenging retrofit applications."
Kensa recently installed England's largest residential ground source heat pump installation at eight high-rise tower blocks owned by the London Borough of Enfield. The project featured the ‘shared ground loop array' infrastructure which effectively takes the place of the gas network and serves an individual heat pump and hot water cylinder installed inside each dwelling.
Lomax said: "Government has delayed the introduction of any effective regulations that will encourage the deployment of heat pumps in new build housing. Thankfully, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has lost its patience and now requires planning applicants to base their energy strategies on the forthcoming carbon intensity factors proposed for the next generation of SAP, the software that demonstrates compliance with building regulations. As a result, London will lead the way."
The expected increase in heat pump deployment prompted the GLA to commission a 2018 report, ‘Low Carbon Heat: Heat Pumps in London'. Kensa's shared ground loop infrastructure is described in the report as "the most efficient, lowest carbon, and lowest cost solution when utilised in new-build houses compared to various air-source, direct electric, gas and CHP configurations".
Lomax continued: "For fast-track projects, shared ground loop installations qualify for subsidy support via the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, which runs until Spring 2021. Beyond that, it is likely that entities will emerge to fund, own and maintain the ground arrays in return for an annual connection fee so any developer can sidestep the cost burden. This will ensure that more efficient, reliable and durable ground-source heat pumps will cost no more than air-source heat pumps. In time, more innovative models will emerge, which sell energy as a service for a fixed fee to any householder; a ground-source heat pump is perfectly suited to this innovation."