A blog by Neil Hope, Head of Installer Development at NIBE Energy Systems
Much has been said by world leaders and the Government over the past few months about the need for communities to reach net zero, but less perhaps on how to actually achieve it. We are delighted to be part of a tangible solution for the University of West London (UWL), which is transforming its energy usage and saving 500 tCO2e annually through the introduction of low-emission heating and ventilation systems.
UWL’s ambitious retrofit across its four sites includes the replacement of old gas boilers with ground source heat pumps, upgrading to low-energy lighting, and installing solar PVT panels. At the heart of the transformation is the St Mary’s Road Campus, which features 580 NIBE rooftop solar PVT panels. The PVT collector system works innovatively with NIBE GSHPs, harvesting solar energy from the sun to generate electricity while extracting aerothermal heat energy to drive the heat pump process. In short, combining these low carbon technologies showcases how existing technologies can be matched to ensure maximum energy efficiency, and a minimum carbon footprint.
This project highlights what can be achieved across the built environment for a community within a relatively short period of time, and with funding support from the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. The University is now capable of generating enough energy to heat an estimated 70 homes every year, and the removal of gas boilers and their harmful nitrogen oxide pollution will help improve air quality around UWL’s main sites in Ealing and Brentford.
None of this would be possible without expert installers such as JKN Renewables, who have been trained to install heat pumps and PVT solutions specifically. There has been anxiety in the press recently in regards to a possible onslaught of poorly installed heat pumps following the Government’s official deployment targets for the next decade - it is crucial that we as an industry limit this from happening wherever possible.
Through our partnership scheme NIBE Pro, installers can receive quality training and support when making the transition to low carbon technologies. The scheme offers a streamlined, personalised route for plumbing and heating installers to become an MCS Certified heat pump installer, giving you an industry recognised mark of quality and your customers the confidence to join the energy revolution. Better still, training costs towards becoming a NIBE Pro are fully redeemable through the NIBE Pro cashback voucher scheme.