NIBE and Orkney Housing Association awarded for heat pump project

NIBE and Orkney Housing Association awarded for heat pump project

Orkney Housing Association (OHAL) has won a national award for Best Practice in Involving Customers at the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) National Good Practice Awards.

The award was picked up by the Association’s Energy Officer, Robert Leslie, for a project to devise easy-to-use heat pump guides for its residents.

Judges were looking for evidence of listening to individuals or groups of customers and responding with services that better matched their needs. The Energy Ideas Fund Heat Pump Project, which was run in partnership with Aberdeen’s James Hutton Institute and heat pump manufacturer NIBE, won the trophy.

Mr Leslie, who collected the award on the Association’s behalf at the TPAS Gala Awards ceremony in St Andrews, said: “This was a major team effort within OHAL and with our partners at the James Hutton Institute and NIBE. As part of the project, residents were sent questionnaires, which were analysed by the James Hutton Institute researchers, and several homes were monitored for energy usage, temperature and humidity. Technical experts from NIBE also visited Orkney to host workshops for residents and local contractors to ensure the requirements of residents were central to development of the guides.”

The finished guides, which were designed and printed by iDesign Orkney, were sent to 281 OHAL properties that have NIBE exhaust air heat pumps, which provide heating and hot water for households, as well as ventilating properties to prevent condensation and dampness.

Phil Hurley, Managing Director at NIBE, said: “The Energy Ideas Fund Heat Pump Project is an incredibly important initiative to help Orkney Housing Association’s residents get the most out of their heat pump systems, and it couldn’t be more deserving of this award. At NIBE, we’re truly proud to have played a key part in bringing the project to fruition.

“As Orkney Housing Association has proven, exhaust air heat pumps offer a cost-effective, sustainable heating solution for developers looking to balance high heat demands with stringent efficiency standards in smaller, new-build flats and houses. However, as a renewable technology, they do work differently to the traditional boilers that people are familiar with, so it’s crucial that tenants and homeowners are shown how to operate them correctly for best results. That’s why at NIBE, we’re huge advocates of end user training – and we highly commend the association for its award-winning efforts in this area.”

Robert continued: “We are also grateful to NIBE UK for running the workshops for residents and contractors. It was a challenging project but, from feedback from residents, one that has had real benefits. Immediately after the guides were sent out we experienced much higher engagement, understanding and positive feedback from residents in the maintenance, operation and efficient running of the systems.”

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