Osprey Housing harnesses key low carbon grant to replace electric storage heaters

Osprey’s Development Officer Allan Liddle with delighted Burghhead tenant Martha Bailey

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OSPREY Housing has been awarded £340,000 by the Scottish Government to help replace electric storage heaters in 61 properties with more sustainable air source heat pumps.

The grant has been made under the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme’s Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund and is the largest sum the registered social landlord has been awarded for energy efficiency and sustainability works.

Osprey — which currently owns and manages more than 1,800 properties across Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, and Moray — is working with local contractors to complete the project.

The properties being converted are in Burghead, Garmouth, Keith, and Aberchirder, and together represent around 20% of Osprey’s ‘off-gas’ homes.

Osprey Housing Sustainability Officer Jane McWhirr said: ‘This funding comprises around half the total cost involved in switching these homes from electric storage heaters.

‘We are working with local contractors on this project, and we also have a good relationship with Mitsubishi which manufactures the air source heat pumps we are using in Scotland.’

She added that some of the funding has been used to involve REAP — the Rural Environmental Action Project — which is providing Osprey tenants with information about their new heating systems as well as advice on helping them switch tariffs.

‘We anticipate our tenants will quickly find their homes are warmer and more comfortable round the clock, as these heat pumps are not constrained by having to use off-peak electricity tariffs.’ 

Air source heat pumps — classed as a low-carbon technology — take heat from the air and boost it to a higher temperature using a compressor. They then transfer the heat to the property’s heating system, working a little like refrigerators in reverse.

Ms McWhirr added: ‘I am really excited to see how these systems perform in their first winter and will be checking in with our tenants regularly to monitor performance.’

Osprey Housing has in place a corporate sustainability policy committed to ensuring the group’s impact on the environment is kept to a minimum, risks are mitigated, carbon emissions are reduced, and that the team will continually improve performance as regards environmental sustainability.


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