A new trial heating system being installed in Croydon council flats that saves tenants money and helps the environment is set to expand this autumn.
In November ground source pump systems will begin to pipe natural heat from 200 metres underground into around 40 council flats at Chertsey Crescent in New Addington, saving each household up to £300 per year on heating bills, cutting carbon emissions and helping to improve air quality.
The scheme will also involve removing existing electric storage heaters and cut enough carbon emissions per property that are equivalent to a 4,150-mile car journey. Residents will also receive new double-glazed windows and insulation.
Now the council has informed a further 80 households at two blocks with gas heating in Broad Green and Upper Norwood that they will also get the new renewable heating system, delivered by specialists Kensa Contracting. Work on installing the individual Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pumps into each flat will start at Dartmouth House in Elmwood Road in late September, and in College Green in October. The new system will go live in these blocks next spring.
Removing gas heating from these blocks cuts enough carbon emissions equivalent to a 344,450-mile car journey, saving each household around £100 per year on heating bills. New double glazed windows and insulation will also be fitted to these homes.
As well as savings on residents’ bills, the ground source heat pumps are expected to cost the council less to maintain. The scheme was paid for last year through a combination of the council funding start-up costs and energy regulator Ofgem pledging to pay most of it back through grants.
The project will contribute towards a local carbon emissions reduction target – 34% by 2025 – set by the council as it declared a climate emergency last summer. Energy & Transport is also one of five priority focuses of the Croydon Climate Crisis Commission, set up by the council this year to lead the borough’s green agenda.
The new initiative will be discussed at next week’s cabinet meeting during an update on council progress with initiatives that promote sustainability. This work also includes a recycling rate expected to hit around 50%, planting thousands of new trees across the borough by 2023, hundreds of new electric car charging points, and installing dozens of secure bicycle hangars.
Councillor Stuart King, Croydon Council’s lead for transport and the environment, said: “Making Croydon more sustainable is one of our biggest priorities, so expanding this low-carbon energy project to more council blocks will make a real difference to residents and our local environment.”
Councillor Alison Butler, Croydon Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services, said: “Fuel poverty is an issue for people across London, including Croydon, so I’m pleased we can offer more Croydon households this heating system with significant financial benefits.”