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Ed Miliband picks air source heat pumps for Warm Front

Ed Miliband, the secretary of state for the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced the inclusion of air source heat pumps and solar thermal heating initially as pilots in the Warm Front scheme.
Ed Miliband picks air source heat pumps for Warm Front
The UK fuel poverty charity National Energy Action which campaigns for warmer homes for the vulnerable, has been working with DECC testing/piloting solar thermal heating and air source heat pumps in homes around the country.

A spokesman for NEA said 'The pilot results will be reported back to DECC on completion and, dependant on success, the rollout of these measure will begin immediately. The intermediate report has been sent and will be accessible by the summer.

She added: 'We think both these technologies could be vital tools in the fight against fuel poverty - a problem that blights the lives of more than 5.4m households across the UK'.

In his announcement on April 23, Ed Miliband also announced extra funding for its Warm Front scheme. The maximum Warm Front grants are also set to rise from £2,700 to £3,500 for homes with a gas network supply and from £4,000 to £6,000 for off-gas network homes.

The increased grant will apply to all Warm Front work completed following applications made from April 23.

Ed Miliband said: 'The planned changes to Warm Front will enable renewable or low carbon heating systems (including air source heat pumps) as well as solid wall insulation, to come within the scope of the upper grant maximum.

He added: 'In the 2008 Pre Budget Report (PBR), the government announced an additional £100m for Warm Front. The government has allocated more than £950m over 3 years (for the 2008-11 period). The current maximum grants were set in 2005 and there have been significant increases in both the cost of materials and labour since then'.

It is hoped the rise in grants will eliminate the need for households to pay a top up to the current grant to enable work to be completed when the work done exceeds that of the grant.

The NEA spokesman added: 'The NEA has been lobbying for some time for an increase in grant levels. The NEA is increasingly concerned about the impact of fuel poverty in rural areas - some 2.7m households in England alone have no access to gas network and often rely on expensive oil-based systems for heating'.

The government's Warm Front scheme to fight fuel poverty in the private housing sector in England offers grants to pay for heating, insulation and other energy efficiency measures to low-income households.
24 April 2009


By Bruce Boucher
24 April 2009 01:01:00
Solar Thermal YES
Heat Pumps will be a disaster!!!!!!
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