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PHP scoops national energy award 

Old Farm Road award

PHP’s work to help Poole residents reduce their energy consumption and cut their fuel bills has been recognised for delivering “positive operational and financial results” at an awards ceremony which also celebrated the achievements of national brands Sainsbury’s, Barclays and EDF Energy.

PHP won the ‘Public Sector’ prize at the inaugural Energy Innovation Awards – an event organised by independent energy research firm Verdantix – following the completion of two new family homes, at Old Farm Road, Oakdale, in 2015.

Both three-bedroom family homes, built by Dorset-based independent builder C. G. Fry & Son and featuring the innovative Minus7 heating system, were among the first new council homes to be built in Poole for 20 years.

The Minus7 system reduces reliance on fossil fuels and enables residents to monitor their energy use via a user-friendly display panel. Big savings on energy bills have been reported as a result, including a family of four seeing their heating and electricity bills go down from £80 to just £17 a month!

Mike Harrison, Director of Technical Services, PHP, said: “It’s testament to the high standard of Poole’s new council homes that this award-winning project was celebrated in the company of big brands like Sainsbury’s and EDF Energy. Our objective was for residents to be able to save energy and money, so we’re delighted that the Minus7 system has helped them achieve both. Our success has inspired us to implement the system in our next new build schemes, which are due to be completed by the end of this year.”

Unique in the UK and designed for our climate, the Minus7 system absorbs ambient heat at night during the winter months, and can draw in heat from the atmosphere down to temperatures as low as -7oC. Heat from the roofs is processed by exchangers and stored in hot and cold storage tanks. The system also houses a heat pump which upgrades the available heat in the cold store before transferring it to the hot store. 

Both houses at Old Farm Road benefit from a mini-district heating system of ground floor underfloor heating and fan-assisted radiators, on the first floor. The combination of these technologies ensures the homes meet Code Level 4 of the government’s national standard for sustainable design and construction.

Other Energy Innovation Awards were won by Sainsbury’s (for implementing CO2 refrigeration systems and recovering lost heat in 200 stores), Barclays (for reducing its global energy consumption by 30% over 32 months) and EDF Energy (for its energy-efficient retro-fit of the Grade II-listed Cannington Court in Somerset).

Hamish Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Minus7, said: “We are delighted that Minus7 was recognised as key technology provider to the public sector winner, PHP, and the Energy Innovation Awards is a great opportunity to showcase our technology. Residents now have consistent heating and hot water for less than £200 a year. PHP has been so impressed with the system they have now agreed to another development which will start later this year.

Kevin Murch, Construction Manager, C.G. Fry & Son, said: “It was a pleasure to be involved with this scheme and to see how this new technology is now helping the end-user see benefits in the savings in their electricity usage.”

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