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Vaillant helps Derby Homes reduce tenant bills and increase efficiency

In a bid to achieve greater efficiency for 54 off-gas flats, Derby Homes Limited recently turned to Vaillant to specify a renewable and cost-effective solution that would reduce heating bills for its tenants.

Derby Homes is a non-profit organisation that improves, manages and maintains council housing on behalf of Derby City Council. As part of an ongoing initiative to reduce levels of fuel poverty and improve Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) ratings across its portfolio, Derby Homes decided to explore the use of renewable heating technology at its Rivermead House complex.

In order to provide a more economical and sustainable alternative to the tenants than electric storage heaters, Vaillant discussed various heat source options with Derby Homes, including running a micro-district heat pump using energy from the ground or local river. However, this was deemed too costly for Derby Homes at over £13,500 per flat and Vaillant worked with the team at Derby Homes to find a more cost-effective solution. Ultimately, Vaillant suggested the aroTHERM air source heat pump.

Ideally suited to off-gas areas such as the Rivermead House complex, aroTHERM proved to be an optimal solution; offering excellent energy efficiency and allowing tenants to have total control over their heating. As a further benefit, by situating the aroTHERM on tenant balconies, disruption was kept to a minimum with no sacrifice to living space.

In order to gain the tenants’ full support of the project, Vaillant brought its renewable show trailer on site, demonstrating to residents exactly how the aroTHERM works and showcasing its Quiet Mark approved low noise levels. Furthermore, Derby Homes fitted three pilot installations of the aroTHERM, which highlighted the impact that the heat pumps could have on tenant heating bills.

As a non-profit organisation, cost was a significant consideration for Derby Homes. To minimise expenditure, Vaillant suggested that, with its support, Derby Homes’ gas engineers could fit the renewable systems themselves, providing full training on the aroTHERM heat pumps at Vaillant headquarters in Belper. Following this training, Vaillant’s technical staff were on site at least once a week throughout the project to provide ongoing support and assistance.

Dave Pickering from Derby Homes said: “Vaillant has been brilliant. The team provided comprehensive support from start to finish, working with us on elements such as heat loss calculations to determine the size of the heat pump required and how this impacted on radiator specification throughout the property. Once the heat pumps were installed, Vaillant even helped us to attain the MCS certificates required to claim RHI – at every point throughout the project, the team have been available to provide advice and assistance.”

Craig Dolan, Product Manager for Renewable Systems UK at Vaillant Group commented: “By harnessing the heat from the air outside, the aroTHERM provides a renewable heating source that saves money on fuel bills and reduces carbon use. The heat pump is also zero emission at point of use which helps improve air quality in the local area, especially in cities. With these benefits in mind, we knew that the aroTHERM would provide the perfect solution for the Rivermead House complex, and we are delighted that this project has proved to be such a success.”

The success of this collaboration has led to Vaillant renewable heating solutions being the first choice for Derby Homes in any area, both on and off-gas.