One of Kensa's heat pumps.

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Heat pump designer, manufacturer and installer Kensa Heat Pumps have increased turnover by 400 per cent and become market leaders since working with the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI).

Kensa expanded their product range and developed new patented technology since ESI intervention mentor Dr Mark Scibor-Rylski joined their board as a non-executive director.

Richard Freeborn and Guy Cashmore founded Kensa in 1999 to sell their innovative ground source heat pumps, which provide inexpensive, clean and green heat using geothermal sources. However, their product was ahead of its time, launching in an era when there was relatively little knowledge of renewables or concern around carbon emissions, meaning its market was slow to develop.

Dr Scibor-Rylski began working with Kensa in 2007 and quickly pointed out how they could move forward, saying:  “Kensa had a niche product, and one with a great deal of potential for the UK market for which it had been designed, but they needed to make the product suitable for retrofit, for social housing, for smart buildings and for export.“

In addition to recommending the appointment of a new managing director, Dr Scibor-Rylski also began providing business mentoring services, helping to launch a number of beneficial strategic initiatives.

By adding patented features to enable the retrofitting of Kensa’s pumps, the company accessed new markets and bought in more business, ending a reliance on new- and self-build projects.

A student placement helped develop the software for the next generation of programmable heat pumps, which allow Kensa to collect and transmit data, thus ensuring their pumps are run at optimal levels.

Managing Director Simon Lomax felt the ESI’s support was vital to the company’s growth, saying:  “We aim to make products of the highest calibre in this sector. To help us achieve this, we greatly value the ESI’s advice, support and experience, whether it takes the form of board level support or access to technology.”

Kensa’s success was recognised in 2013 when the company had a double win at the H&V (Heating and Ventilation) News Awards, where it won both Retrofit Project of the Year and Renewable Project of the Year.