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Eaga heat pump tenants seek compensation

Slapped with a quarterly electricity bill of up to £900, low income residents of eight new homes are demanding compensation following an alleged fault in the design and installation of the heat pump system.
The eight new homes in Scotland (four two-bedroom bungalows and four three-bedroom houses) were designed and installed with air source heat pump technology by Eaga. In April 2009, tenants moved into the new homes supplied by Moray Housing Partnership (MHP) but they are now seeking compensation from the social housing provider.

Seven months after tenants moved in, they reported problems with the heating system (November 2009) with some experiencing sweltering heat and others getting not enough during the winter months. Following tenants complaints to MHP, the NIBE 360 units were looked at by MHP's maintenance provider Heatcare and third party firm Ecoliving was brought on board. Ecoliving fixed the problem on March 11, 2010. MHP says it believes the problem lies with the design and installation of the units.

With the heat pump installed and signed off by Eaga on April 9, 2009, tenants were told they could expect to pay no more than £180 every three months. However, most of the tenants have been hit with electricity bills for the last quarter of between £600 and £900.

A number of residents are now withholding their rent until their bills are paid and they receive compensation. MHP has said no compensation would be paid to the residents. MHP has offered to pay the costs incurred as a result of the fault (the difference between the actual bill and the projected bill).

'MHP sympathises greatly with the stress caused to residents by the faulty heating system at Sigurd Way,' said Clare Bradley, chief executive of MHP.

She added:'When we allocated these properties we were assured by the contractor that it had been installed correctly and was fully operational. We had received all the relevant certificates to confirm this'.

'We're still trying to establish what has happened,'said Jed Shirley, Eaga Scotland business development manager.

Shirley added: 'As far as we're concerned this could be down to tenant education, installation or design. We are sending our engineers to the homes to check the system. This product has been installed in numerous housing associations and this is the first severe issue that we've had'.
13 April 2010


By George Cossey
13 April 2010 01:03:00
The heat pump manufacturer in this case is a reputable company, most problems are caused by assuming that heat pumps can operate efficiently at high output temperatures. They work most efficiently at a flow temperature of 35C and at this temperature the cop can be 3.5 to 4. Any competent engineer can check and prove the truth of this.
By Pat McCorley
13 April 2010 01:02:00
At last we are finding out the claims by these heat pump manufactures and installers is the load of nonsense most competent engineers already believed it was.
By Michael Tyas
13 April 2010 01:01:00
These units are special and their installation need to be designed correctly. It seems to be another case where sales have been done without proper technical support by the manufacturers.
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