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Retrofit NIBE air source heat pump project for Manchester City Council


Background to the project

Southway Housing Trust is a South Manchester based housing association managing 6,000 local homes.

Southway has pledged to be zero-carbon by 2038 and has identified switching its homes from gas to electric heating as crucial to achieving this target.

In 2022, a survey of Southway’s residents found that 88% were keen to reduce their impact on climate change, and Southway’s commitment to reducing carbon is in line with Manchester City Council’s net-zero ambitions.

The Arrowfield Low Carbon Living Project represents an early and ambitious retrofit of a south Manchester neighbourhood that will reduce the estate’s carbon footprint by as much as 50%.

Southway is replacing 396 of Arrowfield’s inefficient gas boilers in-line with long term government plans to electrify heat and will also improve the fabric of homes to make them more energy efficient.

The scale of the project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has made it one of the UK’s biggest home retrofit schemes.

NIBE products used:

NIBE F2040 Air Source Heat Pump

Key stats:

112 NIBE F2040 Air Source Heat Pumps installed

Contributes to project to remove 370 tonnes per annum of CO2 in Arrowfield

Installed by Rothwell Plumbing Group

Part of a project to retrofit 199 homes with air source heat pumps

The solution to the project

Arrowfield Low Carbon Living is a flagship scheme in Manchester, retrofitting 199 homes and 197 apartments with air source heat pumps. NIBE was chosen as one of two heat pump providers to bring low carbon, sustainable heating to residents living in the Arrowfield estate. NIBE’s high quality, reliable heat pump systems provide optimum savings and automatically adapt to each home’s output requirements.

Rothwell Plumbing Group (RPS) was chosen as the installation partner for the project, with a proven track record for delivering high quality heat pump systems, in both the public and private sectors. RPS are also MCS & Trustmark accredited, with the experience and technical ability to install NIBE systems to the highest of standards.

Southway’s aim is for the project to act as a learning process and blueprint for how it can scale up the retrofitting of its entire housing stock over the next 15 years.

Ahead of this ambitious project, a community engagement programme enabled greater awareness of heat pumps as a low carbon heating solution, whilst providing the opportunity to listen and respond to resident feedback.

The Arrowfield Hub, located in in a repurposed empty house on the estate, became a venue for regular engagement between the residents and the project team, creating an open forum for questions and comments on the proposed scheme.

The Hub was also heated by an air source heat pump, allowing residents to witness a live heat pump in operation and experience the warmth of the building.

Residents were also able to express their concerns surrounding the project, and these could be addressed accordingly. This regular and open engagement was key to keeping residents informed and more familiar with their soon-to-be new heating systems.

The Hub also allowed for the project team to dispel common myths and misconceptions about air source heat pumps and reassure residents that their homes would remain warm throughout the year

The Results

112 NIBE’s F2040 Air Source Heat Pumps have been providing heat and hot water to residents across the estate, adapting to the requirements of each and every home in the estate, whilst providing powerful output even down to outdoor temperatures as low as -20°C.

The systems will provide homes across the estate with optimised energy and cost savings, whilst supplying a supply line temperature of up to 58°C regardless of outdoor temperatures.


Matt Roberts, Strategic Director of Property and Development at Southway Housing, said:

"Community engagement for the Arrowfield Low Carbon Living Project was central to the project's aims. Foregrounding the needs of Arrowfield's residents as central to the project’s implementation, helped us to better convey the benefits of low carbon heating and address concerns and suggestions brought forward by homes set to benefit from the retrofit scheme.

Air source heat pumps are essential to Southway Housing Trust decarbonising our housing stock and achieving our net-zero goals. Working in partnership with NIBE is part of that process and has contributed to achieving carbon savings of 370 tonnes CO2 per annum on Arrowfield.”

About the installer

Rothwell Plumbing Services Group Ltd, formed in 1997, are a family run business specialising in delivering renewable solutions across the North of England. The company helped to ensure residents in Arrowfield Estate could access maximum energy savings and reduced energy bills.

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