Ecodan® Helps Student Home Rise up the EPC Rankings

The installation of an Ecodan® air source heat pump in newly converted student accommodation in Manchester has helped the owner achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A – dramatically raising its energy saving performance from an initial G grade.

The 9-bed property was converted by Beech Properties of Manchester, which is the first carbon-neutral student landlord in the country. The company has achieved a CarbonNeutral® company certification and specialises in student accommodation – marketing them on their green credentials.

The home in Denmark Road, Rusholme – built in the early 1900’s – is now 100 per cent carbon neutral thanks to the 14kW Ecodan, working in tandem with a 4kW Photovoltaic array on the roof and a heat recovery ventilation system, providing fresh, energy-saving ventilation all year round.

The location is adjacent to Whitworth Park, a few minutes’ walk from the University and the city centre. Not only will the technology help satisfy the green demands of the occupants, it will also help them concentrate on their studies as all utility bills are included in the rent. The property will now accommodate nine students and will earn the landlord an income of £40,000 a year.

“The property was let as soon as it came on the market,” says Stephen Beech, proprietor of Beech Properties. “Such is the demand for energy conscious accommodation that I could have let it ten times over.”

Since October 2008, all landlords in England need to make an EPC available to prospective tenants of self-contained properties. The energy performance scheme is important because nearly 50 per cent of the UK's energy consumption and carbon emissions arise from the way we light, heat and use buildings.

The Certificate looks at the overall environmental impact of the property and gives it an energy efficiency rating, estimating energy use, emissions and fuel costs. Buildings are graded from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G the least. The average rating for homes in the UK is currently D.

The 14kW Ecodan unit, which is installed on an exterior first floor wall of the house, provides all the heating and hot water that the students require. Air source heat pumps are classified as renewable technology because they harvest energy from the outdoor air so that for every 1kW of electricity they consume, at least 3 – 4 kW of heating energy is supplied to the home.

The heat pump’s electricity consumption is also supplemented by the power generated by the PV Array on the roof and when the students are out during the day, Beech Properties can earn an income by selling this electricity to the grid under the Government’s Feed In Tariff.

“The Ecodan was straightforward to install and requires little maintenance other than an annual check, which is important for me as a landlord,” adds Beech. “Unlike gas, it doesn’t require a safety certificate and I know that in choosing a brand like Mitsubishi Electric, it will work reliably for years to come.”

For more information on Beech Properties, call 0161 249 2888 or visit the website www.beechproperties.co.uk. Further details on Ecodan are available by visiting www.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/domesticheating.

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