Green Network for Social Housing


Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership in Dumfries and Galloway

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Many DGHP rural tenants tend to have the choice of coal, electric storage heating, bottled gas or kerosene (oil) central heating in their home which is becoming far too expensive due to rising energy prices. The requirement to use electricity for supplementary heating is increasing, and subsequently increases household energy bills. Coupled with this, some of the highest unemployment rates in Britain have ensured that many residents of Dumfries and Galloway suffer greatly from fuel poverty.

In order to combat this - and to offer alternative forms of fuel and heat generation to tenants – the Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership have been installing multiple forms of renewable energy systems in their properties since 2009, including air source and ground source heat pumps, biomass generators and solar thermal systems, as well as some solar PV installations. The inspiration for installing renewable technologies and energy efficiency measures were to do as follows:

• Reduce carbon emissions

• Address fuel poverty

• Enhance the fabric of the buildings 

• Reduce the use of fossil fuels

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership’s Project Engineer, Danny Queen, outlined the vision behind the scheme. “Our heating replacement contract started in 2009 and, since then, we’ve installed a wide variety of systems across the region, both renewable in non gas areas, and gas systems where there is a gas main. This has made a massive improvement to the quality of our tenants’ homes. We want our tenants to be warm and most importantly, ensure that their heating is affordable. Our renewable Central Heating systems are sustainable and environmentally friendly, and the savings our tenants are seeing are making inroads to dealing with Fuel Poverty”.

By December 2013, over 1,100 ‘Daikin’ Air Source Heat Pumps; 17 ‘Worcester’ Ground Source Heat Pumps; and 5 ‘Baxi’ Biomass central heating systems have been installed. The approximate number of other installations to date (December 2013) are as follows:

• 14 solar thermal installations

• 4 solar photovoltaic installations

• 90%+ homes have had loft insulation fitted

• 3 homes have had floor insulation fitted

• All appropriate homes have had cavity / solid wall insulation fitted

The EPC rating before the energy efficiency and heating system improvements ranged from G – E (19 – 50 RD SAP). This increased from to D – C after installation (58 – 63+). Though the target SAP rating was 63, most homes have achieved the pass rate of 63+.

Homes were insulated prior to the installation of central heating and renewable technologies, thus improving the overall efficiency of the heating systems. Many tenants are happy with the running costs, with a 35% reduction in heating kW usage being noted on a ‘before’ and ‘after’ basis.

Mrs Simonaitis of Old Bridge of Urr, Castle Douglas, has benefited from the installation of an air source heat pump heating system. She described the process as “so quick and simple” and acknowledged that it has “made a world of a difference” to her and her family. Mrs Simonaitis’ home was previously heated using inefficient electric storage heaters, plug-in secondary electric heaters, and an electric immersion for domestic hot water. Since having the air source heat pump installed, Mrs Simonaitis has noticed a big improvement in comparison, and is delighted with both the efficiency and responsiveness of the system: “It’s great having control over how warm I want the house to be. The best thing about the system is that I can turn it up or down whenever I like and the temperature change is so quick“.

The Commercial Director of Daikin, David Lacey, said: “we are very proud of our involvement in this successful project, and that our Daikin Altherma heat pumps are providing DGHP tenants with affordable and efficient heating utilising renewable and sustainable energy”.

Regarding the success of the scheme, Danny Queen added: “This investment in our tenants’ homes has led to a significant CO2 reduction and increased SAP ratings helping prepare us to meet SHQS standards for 2015. We are now less dependent on fossil fuels and - most importantly - this project has helped address fuel poverty and is saving our tenants money.”

Photograph shows (left to right): Stephen Thomson from Cool Heat Energy Systems; Alex Dingwall from British Gas; David Lacey, Commercial Director from Daikin; Mrs Sinclair, DGHP tenant; Danny Queen, Mechanical Engineer from DGHP and David McMillan, Chairman of DGHP.

1983 - 2002
Air source heat pump (all)Biomass log boilerGround source heat pumpSolar PVSolar water heating
Cavity wall insulationFloor insulationLoft Insulation

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