EHPA shines a light on Kensa’s ‘Heat the Streets’

Kensa Utilities has won this year’s Lighthouse Heat Pump Award at the 2023 Heat Pump Awards by the European Heat Pump Association for their groundbreaking project ‘Heat the Streets’.

Kensa Utilities' 'Heat the Streets' project has clinched the Lighthouse Heat Pump Award at the 2023 Heat Pump Awards. This innovative project is transforming Cornwall's residential heating, cutting carbon emissions and providing sustainable warmth.

The Heat Pump Awards recognises exceptional heat pump projects and attracts entries from Europe. The Lighthouse Heat Pump category spotlights unique heat pump projects that excel in creative problem-solving. 

This award highlights how a large-scale, street-by-street rollout of ground source heat pumps can be achieved through an innovative, networked heat pump solution.

‘Heat the Streets’ has decarbonised residential heating in both new and existing homes across Cornwall by connecting Kensa’s highly efficient ground source heat pumps to shared ground borehole arrays drilled into the roads, a first in the UK. 

European-wide leadership in decarbonisation approaches

Lisa Treseder, director of business development, collected the award at the ceremony in Brussels. She said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award and for ‘Heat the Streets’ to receive such amazing recognition. This achievement is a testament to the incredible innovation within Kensa, and we are proud to demonstrate European-wide leadership in our approaches to decarbonise heat.”   

Now in operation, these visually unobtrusive boreholes provide homes with a reliable heat source year-round, with a lifespan exceeding 100 years. The ground source heat pumps meet 100% of each property’s heating and hot water needs, eliminating residents’ use of carbon-intensive oil or LPG fossil fuels. 

This project successfully demonstrates the scalability and viability of ground source heat pumps connected to in-road infrastructure as a cost-effective and innovative solution for rapidly reducing carbon emissions. 

Heat pumps are in pole position

Wouter Thijssen, managing director of Kensa Utilities, comments:  “Heating and cooling is the biggest source of emissions across Europe, and heat pumps are naturally in pole position to help address this issue. Especially for streets not quite dense enough for district heating but too dense for individual heat pumps, our ‘Heat the Streets’ project shows a pathway to replicate the gas arrangements people living in these streets are familiar with. 

“In the UK, this accounts for around 50% of homes (terraced homes and flats); a similar share is true for other European countries. What we’ve demonstrated in Cornwall could be the blueprint for flats and terraced-like housing across Europe, and we’re really pleased this is recognised through this award.”