Legal & General's 36 per cent stake in the Kensa Group will advance Kensa Heat Pumps‘ research and development programme, expand Kensa Contracting‘s district heating shared ground-loop array installations and fund zero-cost heating infrastructure through Kensa Utilities.
Legal & General invests its capital in clean energy assets, businesses and technologies which will help accelerate the UK's progress to a low-cost, low-carbon economy. The partnership with Kensa complements Legal & General's existing clean energy investment portfolio, which now includes low-carbon heat, transport and power generation.
The investment from Legal & General will enable Kensa to grow rapidly in a post-global pandemic environment and supports the partnership's ambition to form part of the UK's solution to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Heating and hot water for UK homes make up 25 per cent of total energy use and 15 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions. By 2025, the current consultation on new building regulations will likely outlaw fossil fuel heating systems for new build homes, presenting a significant and immediate opportunity for an alternate low-carbon heating solution.
Retrofit represents a significant market opportunity, with around 23 million homes in Great Britain using mains gas (carbon-intensive) as their heating fuel, two million homes electrically heated (high running costs) and the remaining two million using heating oil or other fossil fuel systems (carbon-intensive and high running costs).
As the UK's largest manufacturer and installer of ground-source heat pump technology, Kensa is the only integrated supplier and one of the most developed and effective for delivering homes with the lowest operational carbon emissions.
Kensa's innovations include the Shoebox heat pump, providing safe and low carbon heating in flats, and ambient shared ground loop arrays, a smart and scalable efficient alternative to traditional district heating.
Legal & General's investment in Kensa presents a unique opportunity to partner with a market leader at a time when growth in the sector is accelerating rapidly. Alongside offering an alternative low-carbon heat solution to existing and new build houses across the UK, the partnership opens up Kensa's offering to Legal & General's extensive ecosystem, as it works with local authorities, government and key industry players to create scaled solutions.
Within Legal & General's extensive housing platform, which spans build-to-rent, build-to-sell, later living and affordable housing, as well as modular construction, plans are already underway to make all its new housing stock operationally net carbon neutral by 2030. As part of this, its later living business, Inspired Villages Group, is in advanced discussions with Kensa to install ground-source heat pumps alongside other low-carbon initiatives.
Simon Lomax, CEO of the Kensa Group, said: "This is a significant investment not only for Kensa but also for the low carbon economy and our region. Legal & General's support will deliver vital employment opportunities in Cornwall and bolster UK manufacturing in the wake of Covid-19, as attentions return to combatting the effects of climate change and meeting the UK's 2050 net-zero carbon target. Together with the delivery of our expanded manufacturing premises, Kensa's partnership with Legal & General aims to install 50,000 ground-source heat pumps in the mid-term; a weighty contribution to quickly tackling carbon emissions, air pollution and fuel poverty. Our longer-term ambitions will see the large-scale decarbonisation of the UK's energy infrastructure with smart cities embracing harmonious low-carbon technology."
"We invest our capital in clean energy assets, businesses and technologies which will help accelerate the UK's progress to a low-cost, low-carbon economy," said Kerrigan Procter, CEO of Legal & General Capital. "Our investment in Kensa will enable the business to scale up at pace, bringing vital capacity to the sector. Our partnership marks a major milestone for Legal & General as we look to invest in the transformation of the energy system, and also add critical capabilities to deliver our own ambitious target to achieve net-zero homes.
"We are delighted to invest in a business that will play a major role in the transition to low carbon heating in the UK and support significant job creation in the low-carbon sector. Our investments in clean energy are backing businesses that already employ more than 400 skilled workers in the UK green economy and we expect further accelerated growth in employment in the sector as the UK invests for the future post-COVID-19 where tackling climate change should dominate the agenda."
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