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Press release

‘Game-changing’ British heat pump unlocks gas-free home heating for the masses

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  • To reach Net Zero by 2050 up to 80% of UK homes could need a heat pump
  • Kensa’s Shoebox NX heat pump unlocks a viable solution to decarbonise heating for 60% of UK homes, from high-rise flats to terrace streets
  • The British-made Ground Source Heat Pump is compact, powerful, can heat and cool properties and is five times more energy efficient than a gas boiler
  • Small enough to fit in a cupboard and designed with Networked Ground Source Heat Pumps in mind, a system that replicates the gas network model

Low-carbon heating and cooling for every UK home is one step closer as Kensa breaks ground with the next generation of heating.

By 2050 millions of UK homes will need to decarbonise their heating and, with the launch of its new small and powerful Shoebox NX Ground Source Heat Pump, Kensa is unlocking a proven, Net-Zero-ready solution.

Kensa’s solution – Networked Ground Source Heat Pumps – replicates the familiarity and accessibility of gas networks and enables the mass rollout of heat pumps in the UK, bringing low-cost renewable heating and cooling to almost any type of home, whether that’s a new build, a 19th-century Victorian terrace, a tenement or a high-rise urban flat.

One-third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heat, and 6.5 million homes are estimated to be in fuel poverty. Kensa’s solution will boost heat pump installations, shielding millions from unpredictable energy costs by replacing imported gas with domestically produced renewable electricity.

Tamsin Lishman, Kensa Heat Pumps CEO, said:

“This is a game-changing heat pump designed for the UK. Until now, achieving mass heat pump rollout has been a complex challenge, but with the launch of our Shoebox NX, we’ve engineered a small, high-performance heat pump that’s ready to replace gas as the main home heating choice.

“When combined with our Networked Ground Source Heat Pumps solution, it unlocks cosy homes in the winter and cooler homes in the summer for almost anyone, and at low costs to the consumer.

“For 25 years Kensa has been pioneering Ground Source Heat Pump technology, and with the Shoebox NX we’re ready to deliver heat pumps for everyone, cut household carbon emissions and make green home heating a reality.”


Shoebox NX heat pump performance facts and figures:

  • Small and compact, but packs the power and efficiency of large heat pumps – making the most efficient and lowest carbon form of heating accessible to properties with limited space.
  • High efficiency, low electricity usage and low maintenance deliver long-term cost savings for consumers compared to air source heat pumps, and even gas boilers.*
  • Is five times more efficient than a gas boiler – Coefficient of Performance of 4.36** (gas boilers typically operate at 0.9).
  • Has an A+++ energy efficiency rating and a 25-year life expectancy.
  • Can heat water to over 60oC without the need for an immersion heater.
  • Can provide passive cooling to cool homes during the summer at a much lower cost than air-conditioning.
  • Designed to work in flats, apartments, terraced houses, tenements and new build properties.

 

Networked ground source heat pump findings:

  • Mimicking the gas network model, privately funded infrastructure lowers the upfront installation costs, with consumers paying a standing charge as part of their energy bill to connect to a shared ambient heat network, giving them access to low-cost, low-carbon heat.
  • Individual and independently controlled ground source heat pumps fitted inside each property are connected to the shared ambient heat network, a form of fifth-generation district heating.
  • Networked Ground Source Heat Pumps are up to 20% cheaper to run than air-source heat pumps, whilst upfront costs are 8% less when installed at scale as part of a funded heat network:
    • For a typical 3-bed Victorian terraced house, a networked ground source heat pump can cost £900 (8%) less than an air-source heat pump to install due to its smaller size and the lack of external installation work required.
    • Due to their higher efficiency, lower maintenance and longer life expectancy, the annual costs of running a networked ground source heat pump are up to 20% lower than an air-source heat pump.
  • Networked ground source heat pumps consume 40% less electricity to provide the same heat as air source equivalents, reducing peak strain on the grid.
  • Networked ground source heat pumps are the decarbonisation solution for 60% of UK homes.

Kensa’s Shoebox NX is the latest development in ground source heat pump technology and delivers the efficiency of a large heat pump, in one that’s small enough to fit in a cupboard.

Designed with mass heat pump rollout and ease of installation in mind, factory production of the NX can be readily scaled up to deliver 30,000 per year, with further expansion planned, and can be easily fitted by most heating and plumbing engineers without extensive training.

Networked ground source heat pumps are a proven, scalable solution, which have next to no above-ground presence and are already providing clean heating for new build homes and complex-to-decarbonise private and social retrofit properties.

Kensa’s model is designed to be as familiar and as accessible as the gas network and, once the infrastructure is deployed, allows households to connect at a time that suits them.

With the Future Homes Standard, which is set to effectively ban gas boilers in new build homes from 2025, and the Government’s target to deliver 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028, UK heat pump installations are set to rapidly increase.

Sources:

  • The Climate Change Committee projects that, to reach net zero, domestic heat pumps will be needed in at least half, but likely closer to 80%, of homes by 2050. (source)
  • In 2021 over ¾ of UK homes used fossil fuel heating. (source)
  • ⅓ of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heat. (source)
  • 5 million UK homes are estimated to be in fuel poverty. (source)
  • 17,000 premature deaths are linked to air pollution annually to which particulates from gas boilers contribute. (source)
  • *Current price of gas is 7.42p/kWh and gas boilers typically have a coefficient of performance of 0.9. The current electricity cap is 28.62p/kWh with the NX coefficient of performance of 4.36. This means the end user is spending 8.24p/kWh to heat their home with gas and could spend 6.56p/kWh to heat their home with a Kensa Shoebox NX, a 20% reduction. (Ofgem price cap)
  • **Shoebox Coefficient of Performance of 4.36 is at operating conditions of B0/W35 tested in accordance with EN14511. In usual conditions, the inlet temperature from the ground is much higher than 0oC, so even higher performance can be expected.
  • Networked ground source heat pump to air source heat pump comparisons. (source)

 

Notes to editors:

  • The Shoebox NX is the latest version of Kensa’s revolutionary Shoebox Heat Pump and collates 25 years of Ground Source Heat Pump expertise into a small and powerful box.
  • Ground source heat pumps extract renewable solar energy stored in the ground or water, compress it to a higher temperature and then transfer it to a property’s heating and hot water system.
  • Due to its heat source coming from beneath the ground, ground source heat pumps are discreet, invisible from the outside, and can be small enough to fit in an airing cupboard.
  • Information on how a Kensa Ground Source Heat Pump works can be found online.
  • Networked Heat Pumps mimic the traditional gas framework to supply multiple properties with a clean heating source.
  • Kensa’s Heat the Streets project demonstrated a sustainable pathway to net zero for UK housing.
  • Kensa’s vision for a green and Great Britain is available online.
  • Kensa Utilities funded offer is helping enable the mass adoption of networked ground source heat pumps.
  • Following investment from Legal & General and Octopus Energy, and off the back of the Shoebox NX launch, Kensa expects to deliver 70,000 heat pumps a year by 2030, creating over 7,000 British green manufacturing jobs in the process.

Media enquiries:

Contact: Oliver Kirby – Kensa Group PR Manager

Mob: 07904 199853

Email: oliver.kirby@thekensagroup.com

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