A programme to upgrade the heating of homes in Essex is helping the Salvation Army Housing Association bring affordable warmth to residents whilst also reducing the carbon footprint of its housing stock.

Salvation Army Housing Association (Saha) owns and manages over 3,500 homes across England and when a mixture of 35 flats and houses in Brewers Yard, Southminster, in the Maldon district of Essex required an upgrade,  TSG Building Services were appointed as a result of a competitive tender to install new Air Source Heat Pumps heating systems.

“We’ve used air source heat pumps on other schemes and know that it is important to have both a good contractor on board and a resident at pre-start meetings who has experience of the benefits that heat pumps can offer,” explained Dean Sitton, capital projects manager for Saha.

TSG recommended the market-leading Ecodan system from Mitsubishi Electric, with units installed ranging from 5kw to 8.5kW depending on the property size, along with pre-plumbed cylinders.

Ecodan is designed for retrofitting making it suitable for almost any property.  It can even work alongside existing heating systems in a hybrid situation deciding when it is most efficient to use the renewable heating.

“We’ve already had good feedback from a customer satisfaction questionnaire in regards to savings on their energy bills in comparison to their previous electric heating systems as well as the increased thermal comfort of their homes,” added Mr Sitton, “Of course there is also the added benefit of being able to attract regular payments from the Renewable Heat Incentive.”

New mother Sara Hatt has been delighted with the work carried out by TSG and with the warmth her home receives from the Ecodan system: “It’s important that I can keep my baby warm but like everyone I also need to be careful how much it costs,” she says, praising the work that both Saha and TSG did in upgrading the heating.

Saha is committed to partnership working for the benefit of local communities and the organisation also realises that the carbon footprint of domestic housing is one of the biggest contributors to global warming in Britain. The organisation is therefore committed to look to upgrade expensive-to-run heating with one’s that are more energy-efficient and therefore comparably cheaper to run. 

“We believe in working together with our residents, so we can help combat high energy costs and alleviate fuel poverty,” explains Mr Sitton.

“At the moment, gas heating is still just the cheapest option in terms of installation costs but where it is simply not possible or cost prohibitive to get gas onto a scheme, then air source heat pumps are now our preferred choice.”