Harrogate Borough Council is working with Better Homes Yorkshire, eight Local Authorities, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership to tackle fuel poverty. One of the latest pieces of work has been the installation of 6 gas central heating systems in the Harrogate Borough using funding from the Government’s Central Heating Fund.
The property was identified as being potentially eligible for assistance through the Central Heating Fund by the Harrogate Home Improvement Agency.
Situated in Ripon, the property is a three bedroom semi-detached house built with cavity walls, and which was heated by a single on-peak electric fire with hot water being supplied by a gas water heater in the kitchen. The cavity walls have previously been insulated. The house is occupied by an older couple who were suffering from ill health and preferred to keep their living room at a cosy 21oC. An estimate of the Energy Performance Rating* gave the property a rating of F, where A is the best and G is the worst, and estimated the energy costs of heating the property adequately at £2,150 per year.
Better Homes and Harrogate Borough Council provided help through the Government’s Central Heating Fund as part of their work to improve living conditions in private sector homes.
Following checks on the resident’s qualification for the programme, asbestos and technical surveys were carried out by Better Homes whilst British Gas installed a Smart Meter. With these in place Better Homes installed full gas central heating and hot water systems providing the resident with a more affordable and controllable way to heat his home. The house now has a gas central heating system controlled by a timer, room thermostat, hot water thermostat, and thermostatic radiator valves.
There are multiple benefits from this work: The residents will be able to keep warmer through the winter; condensation and the associated mould will be reduced; and heating bills can be controlled and kept affordable. The Smart Meters have a display inside the house showing how much gas has been used and how much it has cost; it also removes estimated meter readings because it provides regular consumption details direct to the supplier.
The resident said of the scheme: “The gas central heating has transformed our home. It used to be really cold through the winter and expensive to heat, but now we’re looking forward to having a much cosier and healthy winter this year. The job was first class and very quick”
Councillor Mike Chambers, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities said: “Using funding from the Government’s Central Heating Fund has given us an opportunity to improve the lives and wellbeing of some of our most vulnerable households. We are committed to reducing fuel poverty and this project has been a milestone in our relationship with Better Homes as we move forward towards that aim.”
Stephen Batty, Head of Sustainability at Better Homes partner Keepmoat said: “We have worked hard to provide a positive customer experience whilst we have installed central heating for the first time in over 200 homes across the Leeds City Region. Harrogate Borough Council and residents have all worked together with us to achieve these warmer and more affordable homes.”
* Estimated from registered Energy Performance Certificates and Energy Saving Trust Home Energy Check