Grant Aerona heat pumps aleviate fuel poverty for tenants in Western Isles

Under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme the Hebridean Housing Partnership has installed 77 MCS approved Grant Aerona air source heat pumps across the Western Isles of Scotland. Replacing existing solid fuel systems with this low carbon form of heating is literally transforming the life of tenants in this unique part of Scotland where fuel poverty is at its highest as 82% of homes have no access to gas. Figures from January-May 2012 confirm that the total weekly fuel cost of a typical Western Isles property has been reduced by 38% (from £42 to £26). Under Phase 1 of the scheme the Hebridean Housing Partnership was awarded £175,000 to install 28 air source heat pumps. Further funding awarded in Phase 2 of this social landlord competition to install low carbon heating systems in the homes of social housing tenants will see further installations completed by the end of the this year.

Using basic thermodynamic principles to extract heat from the outside air (even at temperatures as low as -15°C ), the Grant Aerona air source heat pumps from off-gas specialists Grant UK release the captured energy into a water circuit which heats the properties via convection radiators. Available with outputs from 6.5kW – 13kW, Grant Aerona air source heat pumps are fitted with a 3kW immersion back-up which is designed to operate if the stated output is exceeded during long periods of extreme cold weather. In addition, a base tray heating element prevents ice formation and a factory fitted weather compensating device with dual temperature control allows the unit to perform more efficiently.

To store the hot water produced by the air source heat pump, Grant DuoWave cylinders were also installed. Designed specifically for heating systems that combine a renewable heat source they feature high efficiency corrugated heating coils to maximise the transfer of energy. Grant DuoWave cylinders are available in a range of sizes from 170 – 500 litres.

The funding will also enabled the Hebridean Housing Partnership to install energy display devices which enables Air Source Heat Pump and electricity usage to be monitored separately and compared with historical data. Tenants also have a remote heating controller which allows the central heating to be controlled around the clock thereby eliminating any heat wastage. This not only puts the tenants in control but has the added benefit of reducing any incidents of mis-use with the main heat pump unit. As air source heat pumps need little maintenance it is therefore no wonder they are referred to as ‘fit and forget’ technology.

Commenting on the installation of Grant Aerona Air Source Heat Pumps, Peter O’Donnell, Investment Manager of the Hebridean Housing Partnership said: “We decided to install air source heat pumps in our properties because we know they work and would therefore help to combat the significant challenge of fuel poverty in the Western Isles.

The Grant Aerona air source heat pumps installed under the first phase of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme have taken these tenants out of fuel poverty and made a considerable difference to their lives”

Peter O’Donnell went on to add: “The installation of energy display devices made possible by the funding will provide invaluable information as we install further renewable heating systems in our properties.”

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