Renewable technology scheme with Tai Ceredigion

""E.ON's Sustainable Energy business has started work on a new carbon heating system to serve off the grid properties in Ceredigion, mid Wales. 

The project, which is being carried out in partnership with Tai Ceredigion, will save residents a total of nearly £4,000 annually1 and create a carbon saving of 67.44 tonnes - the equivalent of taking 35 cars off the road for a year2.

The new heating system involves the installation of Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP)3 at 41 properties, with the first installations to be completed before the end of March 2011. 

Alongside the GSHPs, E.ON will also be installing wet radiator internal heating systems and solar PV panels to the properties. This integrated approach, combining solar PV and heat pumps, ensures a renewable heat source, and sets a high standard in energy efficiency. Overall installation at the properties, which are in Ponterwyd and Pontrhydfendigaid is proposed to be completed by April 2011. 

The project is part of a wider scheme managed by Tai Ceredigion to provide low carbon heating to its homes in the region. 

E.ON's Sustainable Energy business has already completed the installation of Air Source Heat Pumps4 and Solar Thermal Systems5 to 15 houses in Pontrhydygroes and is developing further proposals with Tai Ceredigion to further extend the project. 

Llyr Edwards, Director of Property Services at Tai Ceredigion, said; 

"Our object as the local not-for-profit housing association is to bring all of the 2,229 properties in Ceredigion up to the Welsh Quality Housing Standard. This low carbon heating project is a key part of a £40m investment programme in the region and will bring much need improvement to tenant's homes, as well as giving a boost to the economic future of communities within Ceredigion."

Thomas Buss, Head of Microgeneration at E.ON Sustainable Energy, said;

"As these properties are off the gas mains, the majority are inefficient to heat and residents are currently relying on either coal fires or old storage heaters to stay warm. This new system will bring more affordable and sustainable heating to Ceredigion residents, bringing carbon emissions down by 57 per cent and, importantly for residents, saving approximately 30 per cent on annual energy bills."

Fig. 1 Chart to show carbon and cost savings for Ceredigion heating project

1 Figures based on an annual saving of £3,917
2 Percentage saving based on calculation from that a Ford Ka with an average annual mileage of 8,700 miles emits 1.92 tonnes of carbon per year 

3 Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) extract heat from the ground to provide heating and hot water for every type of building. While they may rely on electricity from the grid to power them, GSHPs can provide up to 3 to 5 times as much heat as the energy they consume and are much more efficient than traditional heating systems. 

4 Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) work in a similar way to GSHPs, extracting heat from an external air source, operating even at lower temperatures. 

5 Solar thermal for heat – Two correctly sized solar thermal panels can typically supply up to 60% of a family home’s hot water needs. A solar thermal system for a family home can achieve a reduction in carbon emissions of around 2 tonnes every year. When combined with a traditional gas central heating system, heat and hot water are generated all year round at considerable cost savings. In order for the system to work effectively, buildings require an unshaded south facing roof that receives sunlight for the main part of the day. 

6 Percentages based on statistics in Fig. 1