Heat pumps aim to slash fuel bills at housing association development

RESIDENTS at a housing association's £1.1m eco-friendly development in Rotherham could save hundreds of pounds each year in fuel costs from the installation of "heat-pump" technology.

The pumps, which extract heat from the ground, are providing low-cost energy to each of the 10 new semi-detached homes on the Munsdale development in Greasbrough.

They are just one of many eco-friendly features aimed at cutting carbon emissions and helping residents on the South Yorkshire Housing Association site avoid fuel poverty.

Christine Walker, who moved into the development in June with her eight-year-old daughter, was recently made redundant from her job and is very conscious of fuel costs.

She said: "I haven't had my first proper energy bill yet, but I understand from neighbours that they have paid between 40 and 60 for their first quarter, which includes the cost of heating, hot water and all other electricity usage.

"Knowing that I can keep the house warm without running up large bills makes a massive difference to me at this time."

The development was designed to meet sustainable homes criteria, which means it benefits from a lower carbon footprint and can provide reduced energy bills to residents.

It has other eco-friendly features such as triple glazing and structural-insulated timber panels.

The 6kw heat pumps – supplied and fitted by Danfoss Heat Pumps UK of Sheffield – are fed through an 80m vertical borehole in the garden and supply space heating and hot water for homes.

They output around 4kw of power for every 1kw of electricity used – and the expected energy saving for each property compared to other heating systems is 6,029kw per year.

Chris Dale, director of Danfoss Heat Pumps UK, says: "This was a really exciting project to work on, although there were some challenging circumstances surrounding the installation because of the previous mine workings. However we were able to overcome the difficulties and install a system which will help ensure this development becomes known as a great example of sustainable building."