Oxford To Trial Neighbourhood Heat Pump Scheme In Rose Hill

Rose Hill in Oxford is to trial a neighbourhood heat pump scheme, aiming to connect local communities to local installers, helping to remove the barriers and costs from the current heat pump installation process.

The trial has been created by a consortium consisting of Samsung, Oxford City Council, University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Oxfordshire County Council, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), GenGame, Passiv UK, and Alto Energy.

The consortium has been awarded £3.2 million through the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) for the ‘Clean Heat Streets’ project, which is part of the Government’s Heat Pump Ready funding programme, and aims to install around 150 air source heat pumps in homes across Rose Hill.

The Clean Heat Streets project will explore whether heat pump installations would be quicker, cheaper, and easier for both suppliers and residents if approached on a street-by-street basis using a more streamlined approach. It will also test how a large number of heat pumps can be installed within a particular area without causing problems to the electricity network – such as challenges from peaks in demand on winter evenings.

The project has identified two electrical substations in Rose Hill at Courtland road, and Fiennes road which will connect to the proposed new heat pumps in the area. Electrical substations are a key part of heat pump operation and help provide electricity to homes and businesses.

The innovative project ultimately aims to create a more streamlined approach to installations through establishing a network of skilled installers, as well as saving time, money, and resources – all of which are key barriers when trying to install heat pump technology.

The project builds upon the work of a six-month feasibility study which developed an innovative local area energy mapping approach to identify suitable homes for installing heat pumps and explored the key barriers to heat pump uptake in Rose Hill.

Clean Heat Streets

The Energy Saving Trust has found that heat pumps are around 3-4 times more efficient than boilers and generate between ¼ to 1/3 of the emissions of a gas boiler for every unit of heat supplied into the home. Running costs of heat pumps are also usually lower than a gas boiler, and significant savings are possible depending on the efficiency of the boiler being replaced, and the insulation standards of the building.

A typical heat pump installation can cost between £7000 and £13,000. The reason behind the cost for heat pump installation is often due to the expertise, time, and complexity of installing heat pumps, especially on an individual home basis.

As part of the project, local heat pump experts, Alto Energy, together with Samsung which is supplying the heat pumps, have designed a customer journey and a supply chain that will drive these costs down.

By working to address many of these barriers, the Clean Heat Streets project will be able to offer its lowest cost heat pumps for approximately £7,600– roughly 2/3 of the typical installation cost. All forms of housing tenure will be targeted – owned, private-rented and social housing.

This cost will be reduced even further to £2,600 per heat pump, as the project will provide a £5,000 subsidy for each air source heat pump installation – equal to the discount currently available through the Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

The project is working closely with SSEN to ensure smoothed connection processes and avoid any network management issues. This should further reduce installation costs and any potential fees for local network reinforcement.

Neighbourhood heat pump scheme is aiming to lower carbon emissions in Oxford
Neighbourhood heat pump scheme is aiming to lower carbon emissions in Oxford

Achieving a Zero Carbon Oxford

Oxford has an ambition to become a net zero carbon city by 2040 – ten years ahead of the Government’s targets. In order to achieve this, tackling Oxford’s building emissions is key – with buildings responsible for roughly 60% emissions.

In order to achieve this target, it has been identified that over 30,000 air-source heat pumps need to be installed across the city by 2040.

The Clean Heat Streets project aims to explore how key barriers to heat pump uptake can be overcome by exploring solutions on a street-by-street basis, rather than an individual home approach.

Take Part

The Clean Heat Streets project is looking for households from Rose Hill to take part in the trial, in particular on the following streets: Courtland Road,  Annesley Road, West View Tree Lane, Sheepway Court, Bears Hedge, Hunsdon Road, Abberbury Avenue, Rowney Place, Abberbury Road, Spencer Crescent, Dashwood Road, Ashhurst Way, Fiennes Road, Jersey Road, St. Martins Road and Asquith Road.

Residents are being encouraged to register their interest to take part in the trial. Expressions of interest are welcome from any type of tenure, including homeowners, private rented tenants or landlords, and social housing tenants or landlords.

Residents can find out more, and express their interest at: www.cleanheatstreets.com

“It is great news that we have been given the go-ahead today to trial the Clean Heat Streets project in Rose Hill. We will work with partners to help tackle some financial and practical barriers to getting heat pumps installed which will not only help us meet our aims to be a net zero carbon city by 2040 but will also help local residents.

“In order to reach our net zero carbon goals we need to drastically reduce emissions from buildings. This is an exciting project to help us achieve this, and this street approach is one that we hope to scale up across Oxford and share our learning with other cities.”

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council