Smart City Energy Scheme Pilot
A local energy system to demonstrate how ground source heat pumps with smart heating controls reduce heating costs and carbon emissions is being piloted in Oxford by UK housing provider Stonewater and Kensa Contracting.
Sixty Stonewater homes at Blackbird Leys are being fitted with Kensa’s low carbon heating solution which features ground source heat pumps connecting each property to a communal ground array and offers smart controls and time-of-use tariffs integration to optimise heat production for cost and carbon savings.
The heat pump installations form part of Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) which participants in the pilot describe as a "world-first" project showcasing an integrated approach to decarbonising power, heat and transport across Oxford.
Supported by Innovate UK, ESO is led by consortium partners Oxford City Council, Pivot Power, Habitat Energy, Kensa Contracting, Invinity Energy Systems and the University of Oxford. The renewable heating scheme with Stonewater is the first phase of Kensa Contracting’s aim to pilot the smart technology in 300 homes around Oxford over the next two years under the ESO project.
ESO aims to demonstrate how ground source heat pumps with smart controls can help balance the electricity grid as part of an integrated local energy solution that also includes grid connected batteries and smart electric vehicle charging.
Leon Storer, Assistant Director - Capital Investment at Stonewater, says: "We’re delighted to be a part of this innovative and forward-thinking project, supporting the local authority in achieving a net zero carbon future.
"By replacing current high carbon night storage heaters with Kensa’s ground source heat pump systems, we’re able to not only work towards a more sustainable future, but an economical one too. This is because a benefit of transitioning to this type of heat pump system is the significant cost savings it provides for residents."
Dr Matthew Trewhella, managing director of Kensa Contracting, says: "Kensa is delighted to partner with Stonewater for the first phase in this 300 property pilot ground source heat pump project.
Residents will benefit from clean, renewable heat with savings of up to 25% compared to a standard ground source heating system. Smart meters enable residents to switch to Octopus's unique Agile Tariff, which varies the electricity price every half hour and optimises energy use when renewable power is prevalent on the grid, and together with Switchee internet connected smart heating controls will automatically run resident's heating systems at the lowest cost times to reduce their bills while maintaining their comfort levels, and caring for the environment."
Despite delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Kensa expects to complete the installations across the Stonewater homes by the winter of 2020.