Trent & Dove Housing – Ground Source Heat Pumps

Trent and Dove Housing are a Midlands based Registered Provider offering affordable housing for rent and part (shared) ownership across East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire. Trent and Dove required a partner to deliver ground source heat pumps to 133 of their rural, off gas properties.


Remove electric storage heaters & install GSHP, associated wet heating system & controls


Trent & Dove Housing




22 May 2015

Services Provided by J Tomlinson

Installation & commissioning
2 yrs. Defect period cover

Project Background

The housing stock retrofitted includes 1-2 bed bungalows, typically occupied by vulnerable, elderly residents and heated by inefficient night storage heaters.

J Tomlinson, who have been working with Trent & Dove Housing for over 10 years on various other schemes, were appointed to install the GSHPs across 15 sites around the Burton upon Trent area.

The housing association have been working to try and combat fuel poverty through retrofit heating upgrades featuring ground source heat pumps (GSHP).

GSHPs provide an excellent alternative to electric storage heaters in rural, off gas properties. A well designed GSHP system provides the lowest running cost of any heating system – because it uses a small amount of electricity to transfer a large amount of naturally occurring heat from the ground.

J Tomlinson Solution

A GSHP system consists of three elements;

• A ground heat exchanger, which collects heat from the ground.

• A water-to-water or water-to-air heat pump, which raises the heat collected to a useful temperature and transfers it to the house.

• A heat distribution system which provides the heat to the house for example underfloor heating.

The ground heat exchanger loop (the network of pipes pumping the water underground) can be fitted horizontally or vertically.

Horizontal systems are laid in a shallow trench over a wider surface area, whereas a vertical system buries the pipes in a borehole that – depending on the size of the system – could be anywhere between 15 and 100 metres deep. The vertical system is used on all properties on this contract, minimising the inconvenience to residents.

J Tomlinson is employed to supply and fit all materials for the heat distribution system, in this case a full wet central heating system.

We attend each property to complete a full survey, identifying the specific requirements of each home, we then complete the design of the heating system to be installed. Prior to installation we also complete the full strip out of any existing system and making good all existing wall surfaces.


J Tomlinson is an MCS accredited installer meaning these works also qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Project Achievements

Featuring a micro heat network that feeds individual Ground Source Heat Pump systems in each bungalow, Trent & Dove’s project is a blueprint for housing providers to access the non-Domestic stream of the Renewable Heat Incentive and upfront funding via the ECO2.

The “ground source heat network” design sees an ultra-quiet Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pump and new radiator based heating system installed inside each dwelling and connected to a network of communal ground arrays on each site, typically with every pair of bungalows sharing a communal borehole.

The Ground Source Heat Pump system installed within each property’s airing cupboard provide 100% of the heating and domestic hot water requirements, and are expected to halve the tenants’ heating costs compared with the electric heating systems that are to be replaced.

Within three months of the first install residents’ energy bills have halved, CO2 emissions have halved and the housing association reports that resident health and well-being has improved.

Key Achievements

£1.8 million – Client investment

£2.2 million – ECO & RHI Income

Only 5% VAT payable on the whole project

95,000kwh expected annual electricity savings

Residents savings per annum = £350 – £500 annual fuel savings reported by residents

49t CO2 annual fuel savings reported by residents

Tackle fuel poverty- reduces fuel bills in off gas stock and reduces excess winter deaths