Installation of air source heat pump “works a treat” for District Council tenant in Norwell

Posted on: Monday, November 6, 2023

District Council tenants in Newark and Sherwood are starting to reap the benefits of carbon neutral heating systems following the introduction of a scheme to replace oil boilers.

One tenant who lives in a semi-detached bungalow in Norwell had an air source heat pump installed last summer. This replaced an old oil-fired boiler – a carbon intensive fossil fuel system – which was condemned after an inspection.

The property already had solar panels fitted on the roof and the District Council arranged for a new electric air source heat pump and new radiators to be installed.

The tenant said: “The whole installation only took two days. It’s taken a big weight off my mind not having to worry about ordering oil and my electricity bills are not much higher than before. With no big oil bills to pay for upfront, I would really recommend it.”

“The new room thermostat works a treat,” said Ms G. “My home stays warm without the radiators getting red hot which means I can’t burn myself on them, like I could with the old oil system.  I’ve also got plenty of hot water without the need for me to do anything.  I love it!”

Removing the oil-fired heating and hot water system has also made more space in the tenant’s garden because the redundant oil storage tank has now been removed.

“I used to have to close the back door in the summer because of the smell from the old oil tank.  Now I can sit outside and enjoy my garden. The air source heat pump is so quiet I don’t even notice it’s there.  I’m really pleased with it and my neighbours are looking forward to getting new heat pumps too,” continued the tenant.

As part of the move towards net zero carbon emissions, Newark and Sherwood District Council recently secured a government grant of up to £1.3m, which the council will match fund to deliver a £2.6m social housing decarbonisation programme over two years.

The programme will target at least 102 eligible households across the district that use oil or LPG heating systems. The plan is to replace these carbon intensive fossil fuel systems with carbon neutral alternatives, using air source heat pumps to make them green and solar panels and battery storage to make them cheaper to run.

This will mean that tenants living in these off-gas homes will no longer need to buy oil in bulk, allowing for better budgeting during the Cost of Living crisis. The aim is to reduce energy bills for tenants, deliver carbon savings while also providing safe, warm homes that are free from damp and mould.

The grant forms part of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF Wave 2.1), administered by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero.

Letters have been sent to eligible households and tenants will need to respond to benefit from the scheme. Homes will be surveyed and, if suitable, will have the new systems installed. At the same time, insulation levels will also be assessed to ensure the benefits of the new systems are maximised.

Councillor Lee Brazier, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer this   scheme to eligible tenants in our district, as not only does it involve using greener, carbon neutral technologies to help the district move towards net zero, but it will also deliver real benefits by reducing household energy bills when combined with solar panels.

“Every small step towards reducing our carbon footprint is great news for the climate, our environment and making sure the world is being looked after for generations to come.”

In addition, at October’s Cabinet meeting, Councillors approved plans to introduce a range of decarbonisation measures to a further 38 social housing homes. This is in addition to the 102 council-owned homes that have already identified. As a result of this approval, an additional 38 homes will benefit from greener heating or lower costs and energy usage from the installation of solar panels – keeping homes warm and cheaper to run.

The additional £583,000 of funding to deliver this project was granted from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as part of the preparation for the East Midlands Combined Authority.

Support is also available for residents who own their own home. For anyone who would like to see if they are eligible for a grant, they can contact Nottingham Energy Partnership (NEP) on 0115 947 2207.

As an established climate change and fuel poverty charity for over 25 years, Nottingham Energy Partnership have been improving the energy efficiency of homes by providing home improvement measures which have reduced gas use, carbon emissions and saved households money on their energy bills.