Private retrofit ground source heat project breaks ground

Lord Matthew Taylor has officially opened the Heat the Streets project in Stithians. Kensa Utilities’ European Regional Development Fund supported project has officially broken ground in the most ambitious part of the project; the retrofitting of private homes in the off-gas Cornish Village of Stithians.

Lord Matthew Taylor was on hand in Stithians to officially start the borehole drilling, which is the first step in the installation of the split ownership ground arrays, through which the ground source heat pumps will provide homes with all their heat and hot water.

Lord Taylor states: “Heat the Streets in Stithians is a national first – the first time a cost-effective way has been demonstrated to achieve the UK’s net zero targets for heating existing housing stock.

“Already delivering the lowest running costs for heating homes of any system, Kensa’s model of a ‘street main’ for ground source heat to enable affordable zero carbon heating for every home in the street is the world’s first.”

Through Heat the Streets, homes in Stithians will be part of a street by street retrofit program that will see existing heating systems replaced with efficient ground source heat pumps that are made just three miles from the village. Due to the funding which Kensa Utilities received, all the equipment is being provided with no upfront cost to the homeowner.

Heat the Streets is demonstrating Kensa’s vision for the decarbonisation of home heating and the mass rollout of heat pumps which are required to meet the government’s net zero goal by 2050. Through the street by street roll out of the infrastructure, which residents pay to connect their heat pump to, this split ownership model offers a viable renewable alternative to the mains gas network. Each home will have its own ground source heat pump, offering residents full control over their heating, independent billing, and the flexibility to switch energy suppliers, much like a traditional gas boiler.

Kensa Utilities’ Director of Business Development, Lisa Treseder says “The ground array infrastructure serving ground source heat pumps has a lifespan of around 100 years, making it ideal for split ownership and long-term investment. The ground array represents over a third of the cost of a ground source heating system. By splitting out this system cost, Kensa will make ground source heating more accessible to British households. We hope that this infrastructure will eventually take the place of the UK’s gas network.”

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