Lewis Carroll Lodge showcases benefits of ground source heat pump technology

Alex Chalk MP recently visited Churchill Retirement Living’s Lewis Carroll Lodge in Cheltenham to see the retirement developer’s pioneering use of ground source renewable heat pump technology, which cuts its CO₂ emissions by as much as 75% and reduces energy bills for the apartment owners. 

Designed and installed by sustainable energy company The Renewable Design Company – which also happens to be based in Cheltenham – the ground source heat pump system at the Churchill Retirement Living development extracts heat directly from the earth to provide heating and hot water to residents. The heat extracted from the earth is four times greater than the energy used by the process making it the most efficient heating solution for both cost and carbon emissions.

At Lewis Carroll Lodge, the ground source heat pumps produce 33 tonnes of CO₂ per year to heat residents’ apartments and to supply hot water compared to 134 tonnes of CO₂ per year generated by an electric heating system – a 75% reduction in CO₂ emissions. 

Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk is thoroughly behind the heating solution, as a passionate campaigner for a greener Britain. In April 2019 he proposed a bill mandating that the UK  reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, which passed in June 2019, and recently secured a commitment from Boris Johnson directly during Prime Minister’s Questions for the continued support of the Renewable Heating sector. 

Alex said: “I’m proud to be supporting local renewable initiatives, such as the heating system at Lewis Carroll Lodge for a greener environment and better future. The ground source heat pump they have installed is a great example of sustainable, low carbon, development. The Government will continue to support the renewables sector, to help us hit our Net Zero emissions targets.”

Churchill’s Chairman & CEO Spencer J McCarthy said: “Churchill Retirement Living is committed to installing heat pump technology in all the new apartments we build, and Lewis Carroll Lodge is an excellent example of the benefits this approach can bring.

Each apartment and all the communal areas at the Lodge have heating and hot water provided via the communal ground source heat pump. This means apartment owners benefit from lower running costs, while at the same time ensuring a highly efficient and sustainable system that reduces the development’s carbon footprint. It’s a win-win.

Alastair Murray, Managing Director at The Renewable Design Company commented: “Investment in low carbon technologies, like heat pumps, is a private investment for a public benefit. Without Alex’s support pushing through funding schemes such as the Renewable Heat Incentive, sustainable installations such as this may not be possible, so we’d like to personally thank Alex for all his support for the industry and Churchill Retirement Living for supporting low carbon heating in their developments.”

Alastair added: “Compared to direct electric underfloor heating or electric radiators, which many new build retirement homes are currently installing, ground source heat pumps are almost four times more efficient. A new build retirement development heated using ground source heat pump will cost approximately 75% less than the equivalent direct electric system, a significant saving for the residents.”

Apartment owners John and Doreen Pitt have been enjoying the benefits of a warm and cosy environment since moving to Lewis Carroll Lodge last year. “We think it’s absolutely marvellous,” said John. “The whole building is so nice and warm all the time that we’ve hardly had to use the heating inside our apartment. When we do turn it up a notch or two it’s nice to know we don’t have to worry about the cost or the environmental impact, as it’s all so energy efficient and covered within our annual service charge.”