What the judges said: “For its pragmatic approach to ensuring that renewable energy makes a real practical difference to people’s lives.

And: “Actually doing it on retrofitting houses … will have major impact.”

And: “A great example of combining technology and outreach to have applied impacts.”

The district of Bassetlaw is situated in North Nottinghamshire, it has two main market towns, Worksop and Retford as well as numerous rural villages.

A1 Housing manages more than 7,000 properties that remain in the ownership of Bassetlaw District Council.

A1 Housing has recently embarked on a major programme of upgrading the sustainability of its housing stock and also investing heavily in renewable energy.

As part of its Energy Strategy, 140 properties will have ground source heating in 2009/10.

Ground source heating takes advantage of naturally stored energy in the ground, making it a cost-effective and environmentally friendly heating solution.

Solar energy in the ground is extracted from a borehole, usually about 70m deep. Heat is extracted by cooling a fluid mixture of water and antifreeze, which is pumped around a closed-circuit ground heat exchanger.

The stored solar heat is pumped to the surface to an electronically driven heat pump and the heat generated provides hot water for the property and wet heating system.
The ground source technology is much cheaper to run than electric, coal, or oil-fired heating systems.

It massively reduces CO2 emissions compared with any conventional heating system the unit lasts for about 20 years compared to 10 to 15 for a normal boiler, pipes in the ground last for about 50 years.

The unit can be installed in an outhouse, so taking less space indoors, there is no need to store coal, oil, or gas cylinders, and no need for a flue, the system is also low-maintenance.

A Wind Turbine is to be installed at its Carlton Forest site, the turbine is 18m high, generating on average 21kW/hour of electricity, which equates to about 25% of the electricity required to power this site.

The property will be super insulated, fitted with Air Source Heating, Heat recovery ventilation and Photovoltaic solar energy.

This property will be 1 of 100 UK wide, connected on the Energy saving trust website to monitor performance.

According to A1 the exercise will enable the social housing sector to identify the most cost effective solutions to roll forward to the 2050 target of 80% reduction in CO2.

Shortlisted projects in no particular order

University of York and Arup’s sustainable energy and utilities strategy

Fernbrook Bio’s Rothwell Lodge Farm Anaerobic Digestion Plant

Esholt Wastewater Treatment Works

Imtech Process’s UK’s largest AD plant for Anglian Water

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