The ‘greening of Green Street’ recommends that the only way to install 600,000 heat pumps each year and hit net zero is to replace the UK’s gas grid.
The inner-city street has been brought to life using augmented reality to show how networked ground source heat pumps that mimic the current gas network are the cheapest way to decarbonise heat and could save the UK an estimated £1bn a year to 2050.
Shifting responsibility from the consumer
The solution shifts responsibility from consumers getting rid of their gas boilers and installing individual infrastructure for ground source heat pumps on an ad-hoc house-by-house basis, to the pre-installation of utility-scale underground infrastructure that allows consumers to easily and cheaply change to ground source heat pumps when they’re ready.
The infrastructure is funded, owned and maintained by an energy or water company, local authority or private investor removing the cost from consumers who pay a standing charge similar to gas.
Simon Lomax, CEO of Kensa, manufacturer of ground source heat pumps, said: “To really kick-start the transition to heat pumps, the government needs to work with the energy industry and suppliers to popularise a networked ground source heat pump where the cost of infrastructure is divorced from the heat pump in a split-ownership approach.
“Running costs and carbon emissions will be far lower than any other heating choice. Pre-installation of the infrastructure means whole communities such as tower blocks can switch to individual networked heat pumps simultaneously, as well as enabling households to easily and affordably make the transition from their gas boiler to a heat pump when they’re ready to change, with minimal disruption.”
Welcome to Green Street – launched at COP26
Kensa’s ‘Welcome to Green Street’ launched at COP26, and produced with Emmy award winners Alchemy Immersive, proves how a whole systems approach to decarbonising how we heat our homes can unlock benefits across communities, and compliment and balance the electricity network as we come to rely more heavily on it with heating and electric vehicles.
Anthony Geffen, creative director and CEO of Alchemy Immersive said: “Green Street is our way of setting out a virtual street map that proves any street can be a Green Street, by showing how the ground beneath our feet can transform how we heat and power our homes and accelerate progress on climate change through the lowest carbon, cost and electrical grid impact solution.
“By utilising waste heat and low-temperature ambient loop systems our solution connects homes and businesses to deliver sustainable heating and cooling that’s highly efficient, low carbon and low cost for all stakeholders and enables the balance of energy supply and demand.”
Thenue Housing which has homes in Green Street, said it welcomed innovative and trailblazing solutions to the global climate emergency including those which relate to domestic energy consumption.
Eleanor Derbyshire, head of property services at Thenue Housing, said: “Thenue Housing is delighted that one of the streets, where we have our housing stock, should be showcased in this way as the way forward in terms of energy consumption and conservation. We recently invested in our on-site heating so while we are currently not planning to make energy-related changes to our homes in Green Street, we think there is no better-named street anywhere in the city to highlight this work.”