0800 Repair, part of Pacifica Group, has partnered with Durham County Council and the Warm Homes Fund (WHF) to create a scheme offering eligible residents, who are not connected to the gas network a fully installed renewable energy central heating system free of charge.
One hundred of the systems, which use air source heat pumps to extract warmth from the air to heat the home, have been made available free to eligible County Durham homeowners with properties not connected to the gas network, who had previously had to rely on solid fuel such as coal or logs, electricity or LPG for heating and hot water.
Houghton-Le-Spring-based 0800 Repair has started to install the systems in properties, with one of the first to installations taking place at Hurbuck Bank, Lanchester. Property owner Charlotte Wilson, who previously had to rely on expensive and inefficient solid fuels to heat her home, is now looking forward to a warmer winter with her new air sourced heat pumps thanks to the scheme.
The Warm Homes Fund (WHF), a £150million fund provided by the National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS) across England, Scotland and Wales, is designed to incentivise the installation of affordable heating solutions for eligible home owners and tenants in homes that do not have mains gas or central heating systems.
Erik Coates, Energy Services Director of 0800 Repair, said: “The air sourced heat pump systems are fantastic new technology, which present immediate cost savings for home owners and tenants that may be living in cold homes.
“ASHP systems are very efficient and clean heating systems, and can reduce energy bills by up to 40% for those who have had to rely on solid fuel in the past. We are working hard to get all 100 of the systems installed as quickly as possible, which will also help us to achieve a cleaner environment in County Durham.”
Cllr Kevin Shaw, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for strategic housing and assets, said: “I am delighted 100 more households are set to benefit from the installation of a free renewable energy central heating system. As we head into autumn and winter, it is incredibly important people can heat their homes in an affordable and efficient way.
“However, the benefits do not stop there. As well as helping to tackle fuel poverty, our Warm Homes Campaign is making a positive difference to the environment and helping us in our quest to ensure County Durham is carbon neutral by 2050.”
Charlotte Wilson, recipient of one of the first systems said: “I was very impressed with the whole process, it was very straight forward to apply, and I was fully informed of what was going to happen at every stage of the way.
“Having had to rely on expensive and inefficient solid fuels in the past, I have already noticed a big difference in heat from the new clean energy system, which is not only more environmentally friendly, it is also much more cost effective.”