Croydon Council is piloting a low-carbon, ground-source heat pump system to reduce council tenants’ bills while helping the environment.
The heat pump being installed at a 10-storey block in New Addington will reduce carbon emissions, help improve air quality, and save up to £300 per home per year on more than 40 households’ heating bills.
The pump works by extracting the natural heat stored more than 200 metres beneath the ground, and then piping it into residents’ homes.
The block in Chertsey Crescent is the first Croydon Council building to get the technology, which will replace the existing electric storage heaters.
As well as saving each home between £260 and £300 a year off residents’ bills, the ground source heat pump is expected to cost the council less to maintain.
The project aims to contribute towards a local carbon emissions reduction target – 34% by 2025 – set by the council as it declared a climate emergency this summer.
Removing electric storage heaters cuts enough carbon emissions equivalent to a 4,150-mile car journey. The average night storage heater produces approximately 1,092kg of carbon dioxide per year, compared to the new system that produces around 396kg per year.
Specialist company Kensa expects to complete the works by spring 2020, which have been timed to coincide with an 18-month, £3.2 million refurbishment to the block including new insulation, a replacement roof and windows, landscaping and new parking.
The £700,000 heating system will be funded through the council’s ring-fenced housing budget and via energy credits from energy regulator Ofgem.
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services, said: “Many Croydon tenants find paying their winter fuel bills a struggle, so this pilot scheme and wider refurbishment will make a real difference by ensuring their homes are warmer, more energy-efficient and cheaper to run.”
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet lead for environment and transport, said: “Making Croydon more sustainable is a key council priority, and by both cutting carbon emissions and residents’ heating bills this project underlines our commitment to improving the environment.”