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Major Kensa social housing retrofit project scoops Business Green award

TRURO, UNITED KINGDOM / AGILITYPR.NEWS / June 13, 2024 / 13 June 2024 - At last night’s Business Green awards in London, Kensa’s multi-award-winning retrofit project for Thurrock Council, which saw Networked Heat Pumps installed in 273 high-rise social housing flats, bagged another accolade by securing the Business Green Renewable Energy Project of the Year.  

Part-funded by Wave 1 of the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF), the flagship project, delivered by Kensa Contracting and Thurrock Council, saw ageing electric storage heaters across three tower blocks in Thurrock, Essex, replaced with highly efficient, low-carbon networked ground source heat pumps.

Since completion, the project has lowered residents' energy bills by as much as 66%, lifting many out of fuel poverty and enabling them to heat their homes properly. Replacing electric storage heaters, which cost some residents thousands of pounds a year to run, with Kensa’s compact Shoebox heat pumps is also expected to reduce carbon emissions by 70%.

Networked Heat Pumps consist of ground source heat pumps installed in individual properties, whether flats, terraced streets, or new-build homes, connected to a shared network of underground pipework. This provides each property with low-cost, renewable heating, hot water, and cooling.

Installing this solution in 273 Thurrock flats set a blueprint for using SHDF funding to replace inefficient heating in social housing with Networked Heat Pumps. From creating new green local jobs to providing the Council with a long-lasting renewable heating system, the project delivered multiple benefits across the community.

With £1.2bn available this summer through SHDF Wave 3, social housing providers can apply for funding to make energy efficiency improvements in their properties, including replacing inefficient heating systems.

Speaking about the heating system, Thurrock resident Diane Barr said:

“The heat pump is much warmer, and the hot water is so fast compared to the old system. Plus it’s so cheap – I pay around £21 a week, and that’s with doing the washing, using the tumble-drier and dehumidifier. With the storage heaters, it cost around £70 a week, and I only used to have the heating on in three rooms, and the hot water ran out pretty quickly, so we couldn’t have a shower.”

After receiving the award, Sustainability Director at Kensa Contracting, Ieman Barmaki, said:

“It’s brilliant for this project to receive the Business Green Renewable Energy Project of the Year award. We’re incredibly proud of this installation; it’s made a huge improvement to people’s lives, it’s lowered energy bills and given residents a heating system they can afford to use.

“Networked heat pumps present an ideal solution to decarbonise complex properties like high-rise tower blocks. We’ve delivered this renewable heating system to over 1,700 high-rise social housing flats, giving long-lasting benefits for the housing providers, the residents, the community and the environment.”


  • Full list of winners from last night’s Business Green awards: UK Green Business Awards 2024 – And the winner is… | BusinessGreen News
  • Full case study for the Thurrock project: Chadwell St Mary’s, Thurrock Council - Kensa Contracting
  • Further information on the project: Social housing residents bills slashed by 66% for heating and hot water - Kensa Contracting
  • Based in Cornwall, Kensa is the UK’s leading provider of Ground Source Heat Pump solutions.
  • Kensa has a long track record of working with Social Housing providers to decarbonise their stock, delivering close to 4,000 heat pumps to various property types.
  • With £70m in investment from Legal & General and Octopus Energy, Kensa is working with communities and businesses across the UK to deliver its heat decarbonisation solution: Networked Heat Pumps.
  • Powered by the wider adoption of Networked Heat Pumps, Kensa expects to contribute significantly to this figure, ramping up heat pump production to 70,000 a year by the end of the decade and creating over 7,000 green UK manufacturing jobs in the process.
  • Ground source heat pumps absorb 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.


Oliver Kirby

PR Manager


The Kensa Group Ltd

Phone: 07904199853