Over the last 18 months, Better Homes Yorkshire has successfully installed over 180 new central heating systems across the region thanks to the Warm Homes Fund aiming to tackle fuel poverty and increase energy efficiency.
Mr Ward, 58, from Thurgoland in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, is one such customer and has been reaping the benefits of gas central heating after he successfully qualified for a new central heating system from Better Home Yorkshire.
Around 4 million homes in the UK are suffering from fuel poverty meaning they are unable to heat their home sufficiently to keep warm and healthy. Low incomes and old or inefficient heating systems result in the amount of money being spent on fuel becoming increasingly difficult to afford.
Mr Ward is retired and has lived at his property for 35 years where he previously relied on old and inefficient electric heaters to keep his home warm. Living on Economy 7, a tariff where electricity runs at a cheaper rate at night, Mr Ward had to use several storage heaters throughout his home to try and generate warmth.
Mr Ward said: “Electric heating was inconvenient and difficult to manage. The house never really got warm and if you were cold, it took a while for the heating to come on, so an alternative option was to put on your dressing gown. The storage heaters were expensive to replace so this was an additional cost I had to constantly bear in mind.”
Mr Ward always wanted gas central heating, but he couldn’t afford it: “Everyone was telling me about the benefits of gas, but I couldn’t even afford the connection cost. I saw a leaflet adverting the Warm Homes Fund through Barnsley Council, so I got in touch with them and after a few questions I was told I qualified for the funding.
“I was amazed that it only took the installers a day to put the new central heating system in along with 11 new radiators. I now have a radiator in every room, including all bedrooms and the bathroom which I’ve never had before. The following day you would never have known any work had been done, the grass has been reinstated and the road where the connection had been laid had been repaired.
“You don’t realise just how efficient gas central heating is until you see your first bill. My first bill has showed a saving of nearly 50 per cent and the house is so much warmer. Its brilliant to be able to control the heating at a touch of a button and have hot water readily available.”
Mr Ward had previously tried selling his house, but he had difficulty generating interest due to the heating being electric.
“I would highly recommend getting in touch with the Better Homes Yorkshire team just to see if you qualify for the funding, I never thought I would, and I now have a new central heating system where my home has never been warmer,” said Mr Ward.
In the past year alone, authorities working alongside Better Homes Yorkshire have received over £1m of funding to help target these issues and, with further funding allocated for another year, more homes across the region are set to benefit.
To see if you qualify for a new Central Heating System please contact the Better Homes Yorkshire Team on 0800 597 1500.