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Heat pumps: energy-saving and good for the climate

It was the biggest SOS Children’s Villages project in the history of the Vaillant Group in France. Fifteen large family homes split between two villages were in need of a heating system that conserved as much energy as possible. “There hadn’t been a project like it before,” explains Alexandra Deschamps, who liaises with SOS Children’s Villages on behalf of the Vaillant Group in France.

“Since launching our partnership in 2013, we have provided almost 70 gas-fired boilers, which were installed by our partners. With the new SOS Children’s Villages in Beauvais-sur-Matha and Gémozac, the technical effort was much greater. This time, the idea was to generate heating and hot water using heat pumps.”

Heat pumps from Saunier Duval’s Genia Air range were chosen for the project. Fifteen units in total. The heat pumps take their energy from the air and use it to heat the building.

And there is a huge need for hot water in the large family houses. They are home to up to six children, an SOS mother and a family assistant. The experts responsible for technical planning on-site therefore decided to fit each of the heating systems with an additional Magna Aqua hot-water heat pump.

By the end of the project, technology worth over half a million euros had been installed. “With such a large project, it was important to us to equip the SOS Children’s Villages with heating technology based on renewable energies,” explains Alexandra Deschamps. Heat pumps have long been the go-to choice in the new-build sector in France; the market here is one of the largest in Europe. The new children’s villages should also benefit from everything the heat pumps have to offer.

The technology certainly comes with real advantages for the children’s charity. “It is environmentally friendly and conserves resources. The money we save by using this efficient heating technology can then be used elsewhere for the children,” comments Emilie Fontaine from SOS Children’s Villages France.

A local installation company specialising in heat pumps was commissioned to install the 15 systems. The extensive work was carried out from April to December 2018.

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Because every child needs a new home

The Vaillant Group’s partnership with “SOS Children’s Villages worldwide” has been a success story for more than five years. It is about environmentally friendly heating technology, but also about ideas, commitment and joy – about warmth in many facets.

A better future for children and families

In 2018, the Vaillant Group and “SOS Children’s Villages worldwide” agreed to continue their existing partnership. Petra Horn, Managing Director of “SOS Children’s Villages worldwide”, and Dr Jens Wichtermann, Director Corporate Communications, Sustainability & Politics at the Vaillant Group, have jointly reflected on the past and attempt to forecast the future.

Renewable energy for SOS

In 2018, two new SOS Children’s Villages were opened in quick succession in western France. They now offer around 70 children a warm and cosy home. Saunier Duval kitted out the houses – 15 in total – with modern heating technology.