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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Climate-KIC Australia


    Blacktown, New South Wales

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    12 November 2018

    End date

    26 September 2022

  • Project Partners
    Presync, Frasers, New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, University of Technology Sydney, Curtin University, Wattwatchers, Green Building Council of Australia
    This renewables project was completed on 26 September 2022.


The Residential Heat Pump Study is a three-year study on the commercial-scale demonstration of renewable (thermal energy) ground source heat pumps (GSHPs). Based in the Fairwater master-planned residential community in Western Sydney, the project seeks to establish the business case for industry-wide adoption of using GSHPs to provide residential heating and cooling in greenfield developments.

Key results

The study demonstrated a number of benefits associated with the integration of ground source heat pumps, including:

  • reduced peak demand and total consumption for grid energy
  • improved energy performance
  • economic benefits to the developer, residents, and the distribution network service providers
  • improved urban heat island outcomes.
  • The project delivered a technical and commercial evidence base to show the potential for reduction in electricity network augmentation and the commercial merits of industry-wide adoption of GSHP technologies and systems approaches in residential precinct developments.
  • The study findings emphasise the importance of thermally efficient climate responsive building design, a better understanding of occupant behaviour and energy consequences, precinct-based approaches that encompass technology innovation for a decarbonised future as well as well-designed infrastructure to support the health, well-being and resilience of the residents.

How the project works

The Residential Heat Pump Study by Climate-KIC recognises that heating and cooling forms the largest component of energy consumption in the average Australian home. Unfortunately, many developers and builders are incentivised to build a property that is as large as possible for the least cost with minimal consideration of operational efficiency or cost of living. Therefore, purchasers end up with homes that are expensive to run and dependent on energy-intensive heating and cooling systems to maintain a comfortable home environment. As land and energy costs increase, the impact of these inefficient systems become more apparent.

Area of innovation

Geothermal ground source heat pump systems are being installed for each unit in the entire greenfield residential development. This heating and cooling technology will be coupled with real time energy consumption monitoring and, in some instances, residential rooftop solar and eventually batteries.


This Residential Heat Pump Study will collect real-time household energy consumption data to determine whether building energy efficient homes with advanced technology involves a substantial increase in price, while offering the occupants a more comfortable and less expensive place to call home.

The energy and carbon efficiency of the ground source heat pumps will also be tested. The network impact will be examined to quantify the effect on peak demand and overall electricity demand on local distribution infrastructure.

Last updated 11 November 2022


Geothermal heat pumps at western Sydney estate

An old technology is proving its potential at a new Sydney housing estate.

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