A PIONEERING green energy scheme in Huddersfield has won national recognition.

The project in the Fernside area of Almondbury won the public sector project of the year award and was runner up in the domestic installation category at the National Heat Pump Awards.

The project involved Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) replacing inefficient electric storage heaters in 180 flats and bungalows with ground source heat pumps. The scheme is one of the biggest of its kind in the UK and a major way that KNH is supporting Kirklees Council’s carbon reduction and fuel poverty targets.

Ground source heat pumps work by using the earth as a heat source to provide both heating and hot water. Bore holes were drilled down 80 metres below the Almondbury houses to capture this heat, where the temperature stays constant year round. The concentrated heat is distributed through the home via traditional radiators and hot water cylinders.

Contractors Eon and Kirklees Building Services worked closely with KNH, representatives from the Almondbury South Tenants and Residents Association, tenants and ward councillors to help bring the project to fruition.

The heat pumps are already paying off. as last winter, one of the coldest on record, residents saw their energy use fall by between a third and a half.

Clr Peter McBride, Cabinet member for Investment and Housing, said: "This project is an important addition to the way we use renewable energy in Kirklees and provides a model for others to follow. I’m very pleased that the project has received this recognition.

"The work of partners like KNH is vital to helping the council reduce its carbon footprint and tackle fuel poverty. Working together, we can make a real difference."