Shepway Court - Salford

As Ground Heat is the leading provider of bespoke commercial ground source heat pump design and installation solutions, Shepway Court’s 40 units fitted in September 2013 were a cause of celebration for its residents. The original 1970s’ gas boilers saw the inhabitants constantly cutting back on the amount of energy they used in order to save money, so when the old system started to fail City West Housing Trust decided to be intrepid.

Due to the efficiency and reliability that ground source provides, in addition to being energy efficient and environmentally friendly, City West Housing Trust commissioned Ground Heat to drill 12 boreholes at a depth of 150 metres. These were connected to the heat pumps located in the plant room, which in turn were linked to each unit’s radiators and hot water supply. Tenants control their room temperature using individual thermostats. In addition, a 42 kW solar PV panel was fitted to subsidise the electricity needed to operate the heat pump, once again to reduce costs. A 80kw gas boiler was also fitted to provide pasteurisation. The heating medium circulates through all of the cylinders 24/7 throughout the building, giving a stored hot water supply of 48/50 degrees through the taps, reducing the overheating of the building.

Before we submitted our proposal for the installation of a GSHP plant at Shepway Court we spent many hours with the housing association deliberating over how the existing system was operated. We had to take into account the elderly residents’ needs. The occupants are often up in the late hours, so heat on demand was vital, as was a requirement for 24 hr domestic hot water supply to each apartment. The inconvenience for the residents was kept to a minimum as the installation took 2 months to complete. Old radiators were upcycled allowing the controls to remain the same. Likewise, training was provided to permit tenants to optimise the system and the warmth it affords.

On average with the gas boiler system, tenants were paying £345 per annum for heat and hot water. Electricity was separate. Now, billed through their electricity provider the average costs for heat and hot water are £260 which equates to over a quarter saved on running costs combined with a 25 year life expectancy.

Due to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), City West Housing is receiving payments of £15,684 per year which are made over 20 years to reflect the amount of energy used as a substitute of fossil fuels. Therefore City West Housing Trust is in line, by 2033, to receive more money than it paid out to install the ground source system.

Gary Vaughan, Head of Supply Chain and Sustainability:
“Over the past several years, we have learned that there is no one system that is a silver bullet, so it’s worth taking the time to assess each property on its own and make educated decisions.”

As Ground Heat designs individual tailored systems we can deliver a personalised specific package to suit many large housing properties, cutting cost and significantly reducing CO2 emissions.