Kensa work to deliver a Green & Great Britain, street-by-street with networked heat pumps

As the cost-of-living crisis converges with the climate crisis, The Kensa Group has launched a plan to help the UK reach net zero by 2050 through the rapid decarbonisation of heating and cooling with networked heat pumps.

All of us, across government, industry and the economy, are connected to this united goal. Kensa’s plan outlines what we need to do to unlock and realise a Green & Great Britain.

Networked heat pumps are the 21st century gas grid equivalent

In the 60’s and 70’s we moved off towns gas (coal/oil) on to natural gas. Now in the 2020’s we can transition to a cheaper, safer and greener heat source: networked heat pumps – a 21st century gas grid equivalent.

Networked heat pumps are a balanced heating and cooling system of two or more ground source heat pumps and Ambient Temperature Heat Networks.

Ambient temperature heat networks are installed alongside the gas grid in the street and enable a ready-to-go switch from fossil fuels to heat pumps, and a balanced and flexible grid to complement EVs.

Networked heat pumps are connected by the ambient temperature heat network to sources of thermal energy which they either upgrade or downgrade to provide heating or cooling to the premise.

Identifying the optimal heat decarbonisation pathway

To define the best strategy for effectively and affordably decarbonising each part of the UK, we should create a detailed regional map to show the best form of decarbonised heat for each area.

This zoning approach should consider factors such as; heat density, property type, local population and geology, to choose between high temperature, ambient temperature or stand-alone solutions.

Dr Matt Trewhella, CEO of The Kensa Group, comments:

“To become a Green and Great Britain we need to think consciously about all our choices and how they can impact our progress towards net zero and support British-made goods, services and experiences. We need to do more to champion green growth which will help boost our economy and create thousands of green jobs right here in Britain.”

Why networked heat pumps are the solution

1. Achieving energy security, stability, resilience and affordability

‘Replacing the UK’s 23m boilers with heat pumps could avoid £25bn p.a in wholesale gas costs £1,100 per household, or 1.2% GDP’ – Nesta (2022)

2. Providing opportunities for growth and developing a strong green economy

‘Recent analysis suggests the adoption of existing heat pump technologies, energy efficiency measures, and a shift towards low-carbon fuels would result in a £6.8bn increase in GDP in 2030.’ – Greenpeace (2022)

‘The Heat Pump Association suggests we need 50,200 installers by 2030 to deploy 1 million heat pumps p.a.’ – Heat Pump Association (2020)

3. Best value transition to decarbonising heating & cooling

‘Electrifying heat through networked ground source heat pumps saves the need to increase investment in electricity generation’ – CSRF (2020)

‘Using air source heat pumps would require the build of 8 x 3GW nuclear power stations’ – CSRF (2020) ‘Using hydrogen would require the building of 26,500 wind turbines’ – CSRF (2020)

‘Inefficient installed boiler systems have resulted in a wasted 16-30TWh of gas (about the same as we imported from Russia in 2021)’ – BEIS (2022)

Working together, we can act now and prevent future energy crises

The Government has a commitment to install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028. This equates to decarbonising on average 20,000 homes per week.

This vision is unlocked via a series of actions from various stakeholders including central Government; local Government; the finance industry and the heat pump industry itself. These actions improve the financial proposition by reducing costs in one of three broad areas:

● Capital costs ● Finance costs ● Running costs

John Pearce, CEO of Made in Britain, comments:

“Kensa’s bold vision demonstrates the pioneering role that British manufacturers can play in building the UK’s green future. The action plan announced by Kensa epitomises the remarkable
homegrown innovation, technical know-how and commitment to sustainability that are hallmarks of our Made in Britain community.”

Kensa’s Fifteen Point Plan: In Summary

Our 15 point plan not only benefits Networked heat pumps but other technologies too, like: district heating with a central plant, hydrogen and individual heat pump installations, as well as different sectors like: retrofit street by street properties, new builds and off gas properties.

Central Government

1. Grant statutory rights for all types of heat networks (inc. ambient temperature) to be deployed in- street (like other utilities).

2. Balance gas & electricity levies – decoupling allows renewable energy to be delivered more cheaply. 3. Link carbon intensity to stamp duty (lower carbon = less tax).

4. Create short-term partial subsidy for networked heat pumps to stimulate market growth.

5. Create a detailed regional map of heat zones showing the best type of decarbonised heat by area.

6. Increase the pace of low-carbon electricity generation.

7. Create heat zone incentives to encourage properties to install the right technology for their area.

Local Government

8. Link council tax to carbon to create a long-term incentive to switch from fossil fuels (lower carbon = less tax).

9. Give local councils national/regional plans with zoning blueprints for heat decarbonisation. Finance Industry

10. Work towards reducing finance cost. More market uptake will help push down the cost of financing the ambient temperature heat network.

11. Develop innovative green finance products that give house purchasers additional capital to switch to low carbon heating with better borrowing rates.

Electricity Industry/Ofgem

12. Standardise time of use tariffs to support networked heat pumps which can use power when the grid has capacity.

13. Allow owners/operators of ambient loop connections to charge for access via utility bills.

Heat Pump Industry

14. Reduce infrastructure costs. Increases in projects should mean more localised drill rigs and teams which will lower costs.

15. The core cost of heat pumps should reduce as sales volumes increase and markets mature.

James Standley, COO of The Kensa Group, comments:

“It is Kensa’s mission, as the UK’s leading ground source heat pump manufacturer and networked heat pump installer, to mitigate climate change through an optimal transition to zero carbon heating and cooling. We have a unique opportunity to make choices that will improve the nation’s energy security, reduce reliance on exposure to foreign markets and provide progress towards our net zero ambitions.”

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