An innovative green energy project is hoping to have the first terraced homes in Rossendale on ground source heat pumps by the end of 2024.

Rossendale Valley Energy was set up a year ago as a community benefit organisation led by directors including Kate Gilmartin and Tricia Brindle, with the aim of helping residents to make their homes warmer and Rossendale to become more self-sufficient in energy.

11 years ago, Kate worked on a project to connect homes in Manchester to boreholes as a heat source and there is a town in Cornwall where a similar project connects houses to boreholes.

Kate said: “We are confident in the technology, know how we can finance the Net Zero Terrace Street project and how we can deliver it.

“Our aim is to provide affordable low carbon energy, so residents have warm homes at no up-front cost to householders.

“We are looking at less intrusive ways of heating homes in the future by using heat pumps which will be connected to a network of boreholes, sunk 150m below ground, and we have funding to do three house demonstrators.

“Our proposals have been outlined to around 30 people from three community groups and only two people said they were not interested in getting involved with the scheme.

“We are seeking backing from the UK Infrastructure Bank and Pension Funds to provide the network of connections to the boreholes and the heat pumps for participating houses.

“Householders will pay a daily standing to connect to the borehole and for their energy usage.”

The Local Energy Advice Demonstrator project is led by Jenny Duthie who will have two energy advisors working in the area from next month.

Jenny said: “We want to help people to reduce their bills and make their houses warmer by working with the Centre for Energy Equality and helping residents to use an app called Fairer Warmth.

“The app will see what grants are available to help the householder save energy, make their houses more efficient.”

The organisation has received financial backing from the Government and Electricity Northwest.

Businesses will be approached to install solar panels with the energy created being put back into the local grid to offset the cost of heating for residents in the net zero terraces.

As well as retrofit insulation, solar panels will also be offered and external wall cladding if needed to help residents make their homes as energy efficient as possible.

The team recently won a Community Energy England award for Advancing Innovation.