The residents of 200 dwellings under the ownership of a Basingstoke Housing Association have been given a welcome boost to both their energy bills and their temperatures with the installation of Mitsubishi Electric Ecodan air source heat pumps.

The homes, all located in an off-gas area, were scheduled for an upgrade to their systems in the next five years but have now been fast-tracked for the installation by Sentinel Housing Association.

The installations of the 5kW and 8.5kW units are being carried out by local firm Faulkners, who have been installing Ecodan heat pump systems for the past eight years.

Sentinel Asset Manager, Carolyn Munns explains: “The main reason for looking for a renewable heat source was the cost of the existing fuel solutions. This is an off-gas area so they were all powered by either electricity or solid fuel. We are confident that tenants will be saving hundreds of pounds in energy bills by switching to air source heat pumps.”

The fact that they also qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) provides additional financial benefits to the owner of the system.

“The RHI was a major factor in our decision to install air source heat pumps,” explains Carolyn. “Without this incentive we would not have been able to proceed with the installation, but when this is factored into the equation the money which Sentinel will receive makes it a very cost effective solution.

The installations also include Mitsubishi Electric’s Metering and Monitoring Service Package (MMSP). This allows residents and Sentinel Housing to track how well the Ecodan units are operating, as well as enabling the housing association to claim a further annual incentive payment under the RHI.

“We wanted something that would be easy to control as well as saving money, but we were also acutely aware that some of our residents weren’t able to afford to heat their home properly in winter due to the cost of solid fuels,” explains Carolyn.

“So as well as the financial benefits of the Ecodan solution, the residents will also benefit from a better quality of life as a result of having access to cost-effective heating throughout the winter months. In addition, they will no longer have to worry about cleaning out and maintaining their old solid fuel system.”

She concludes: “There have been other costs involved in future proofing the homes, for example making sure that windows and insulation meet the required standards. This has however all been factored into the overall costs and both the Housing Association and the tenants will still be substantially better off with this renewable technology.”