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Ground Source Heat Pumps – Your Homes Newcastle

Hillsview – replacement of electric heat with ground source heat pumps

This exciting project involves upgrading the existing electric storage heating system in a young person’s accommodation block, replacing it with a ground source heat pump (GSHP) system. This has been made possible by a partnership project between energy supplier E.ON, Newcastle City Council (NCC) and Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Electrification of Heat initiative. The project aim is to help both private and social housing residents take a step towards a more renewable source of heating and hot water; YHN is delivering the project to local social housing stock.

The current heating system in the young person’s accommodation will be replaced with a lower carbon system which will provide more constant, affordable heating and hot water and help tackle fuel poverty. Most of the tenants living in the block are vulnerable young people living on low incomes. Many do not use the current heating system for fear that the costs are too high and worry about being unable to pay their bills.

A key challenge of the scheme will be helping residents use the technology effectively, so they will receive the maximum benefit from the new system. For many of the residents living in the block this will be their first tenancy and they will have limited experience of managing a heating system and associated costs. The GSHP system will give residents more control over their heating and therefore more ability to manage their bills.

The NCC Energy Services department will be on hand to support residents with impartial advice and meter exchanges where necessary to ensure that they can access the best tariffs available to them on the energy market. They will also offer support to residents to adjust to the new heating system. E.ON will also be on hand to provide support regardless of the residents’ chosen energy supplier for the first 12 months including:

  • Installation of system monitoring equipment to provide ongoing support to the tenant once the install is complete
  • Ability to optimise the customer’s system using the monitoring equipment
  • Annual service a year after installation

National Energy Action (NEA) will also contact the customer after installation to offer them independent tariff advice and complete a full face to face interview. This step will be crucial in capturing information on the customer’s experience in more detail and will aid understanding of what has worked well and what could be improved in terms of customer engagement for future projects.

The great news is that it is estimated that there will be a 71% reduction in CO2 emissions from the block because of the GSHP installation and all residents will have access to affordable warmth and hot water.  This funded opportunity will give a demonstration of how this technology can be used on similar buildings where residents with older heating and hot water systems can upgrade to cleaner greener and more efficient technology.  

We encourage our partners and supporters to share their examples of good practice in tackling the climate emergency, reversing ecological collapse and delivering a just transition. NEECCo does not undertake to quality assure these case studies, and inclusion of a case study on this website does not imply endorsement of the project by NEECCo or by its partners.

Some case studies will feature organisations who are involved in fossil fuel industries, or who are open to challenge on other aspects of their performance in relation to our objectives. NEECCo recognises that if we are to reach our ambitious objectives, all organisations and individuals within the north east will need to adapt their behaviour and actions. We want our case studies to encourage this process. Our commitment to achieving a just transition from a carbon-based economy to a green economy requires us to encourage positive steps wherever they are to be found. 

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