Heating bills halved by gas central heating project for vulnerable York households
City of York Council is working with Better Homes Yorkshire to help to tackle fuel poverty by installing 17 gas central heating systems in the city thanks to the Government’s Central Heating Fund. One home has already halved its estimated heating costs from the project.
York and eight other Local Authorities, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership are taking a similar approach by identifying residents on a low income living in energy inefficient homes.
One of the 17 York households benefitting from this, is a 46-year-old disabled woman living alone in her own home. Her mobility is such that it makes the safe and regular use of her only form of heating, an open coal fire, impossible. Her water was heated by an electric immersion boiler. A community occupational therapist referred the resident to Better Homes Yorkshire and City of York Council’s scheme.
The council assessed the resident’s eligibility for the programme while asbestos and technical surveys were carried out by Better Homes Yorkshire. Once they were complete, Northern Gas Networks installed her home to mains gas for the first time, and British Gas installed a Smart Meter. With these in place Better HomesYorkshire arranged the installation of a full gas central heating and hot water system.
The home is now heated more efficiently, conveniently and affordably thanks to timers, room and hot water thermostats, and thermostatic radiator valves providing a whole-house heating solution.
There are multiple benefits from this work. The resident can keep warm through the winter despite her restricted mobility, the risk of respiratory infections during cold periods could be restricted, heating bills can be controlled and kept affordable as the Smart Meter displays the actual cost of gas used.
It is estimated that the heating improvements have increased the energy performance of the house from a G Rating to a D Rating. The estimated cost of heating the property was £2,770 per year, however the gas central heating has reduced this by 47%*.
The resident said: “I now have the boiler and radiators in situ and working with hot water on tap and heating when needed. Hopefully I will be able to ward off chest infections and so forth this coming winter. Many thanks to all involved in getting me this; I am very grateful.”
Councillor David Carr, the Leader of City of York Council and Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods said: “This is exactly the kind of life-changing outcome that we hoped for from the Central Heating Fund. We’ve managed to install more heating systems than we were initially funded for, and they’re improving peoples’ quality of life.”
Councillor Andrew Waller, the Portfolio Holder for Environment said:”Whilst still a fossil fuel, natural gas is preferable to coal because it can be burned more efficiently, easily and with reduced emissions. To be able to improve residents’ lives whilst reducing their impact on the planet is a key element of One Planet York and our commitment to more sustainable ways of living.”
Better Homes Yorkshire’s Mark Pheasey said: “The Central Heating Fund has been a great success, and reached some of the most vulnerable households in time for the winter.”
*Calculated using the Energy Saving Trust Home Energy Check 2016