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Housing providers underline support for fuel poverty action

How To Tackle Fuel Poverty & Carbon Compliance Through Renewable Heat was the theme of an event organised by Warmer Energy Services, which was held at Haydock Park Racecourse on 24th February and attended by many northern housing associations.

How To Tackle Fuel Poverty & Carbon Compliance Through Renewable Heat was the theme of an event organised by Warmer Energy Services, which was held at Haydock Park Racecourse on 24th February and attended by many northern housing associations.

The event called on practical experiences to demonstrate how social housing providers can tackle fuel poverty and achieve carbon compliance in rural retrofit and new build homes with ground source heat pumps. 

Presentations were given by Kensa Heat Pumps, the National Housing Federation (NHF), Trent & Dove Housing Association and Shropshire Rural Housing, which demonstrated how ground source heat pumps are addressing fuel poverty and excess winter deaths by saving tenants up to 50% on heating bills.

The speakers relied on first hand experiences of projects featuring ground source heating technology, in particular Trent & Dove Housing and Shropshire Rural Housing, both of whom discussed recent schemes.

Property services director at Trent & Dove Housing, Steve Grocock (pictured right below), explained how ground source heat pumps have proved vital in improving the efficiency of his housing stock and ensuring tenant wellbeing.

He said: “The number of people in the UK who pass away each year as a result of not being able to properly heat their homes is shocking. We can combat this problem by providing tenants with more affordable and efficient heating systems like ground source heat pumps. I would strongly urge other housing associations to consider this as an effective way of providing affordable warmth to their most vulnerable tenants.”

Ian Richardson (pictured bottom right), ceo of Shropshire Rural Housing Association, spoke to delegates about why the decision was made to install ground source heat pumps into a recent rural new-build development following the success of a retrofit project that also utilised the technology.

In addition, Lord Matthew Taylor, recent chairman of the National Housing Federation (NHF) and chairman of Kensa Heat Pumps, advocated the key role that renewable heating technology like ground source heat pumps has to play in eradicating fuel poverty. 

Also presenting was Chloe McLaren Webb from the National Housing Federation, who confirmed the availability of extra funding to extend the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) until 2021; the government scheme designed to support the uptake of renewable heating technology.

Kensa Heat Pumps presented an innovative ‘micro ground source heat network’ solution to overcome financial and procurement barriers to implementing ground source technology, which allows ‘independent, affordable and controllable heating’ to the tenants, and access to the Non-Domestic strand of the RHI for both new build and existing housing stock, unlocking a 20 year revenue stream for the landlord.

Also last week National Energy Action (NEA) held its Nation’s Biggest Housewarming initiative, which is a nationally recognised day to promote the issue of fuel poverty and the importance of ensuring vulnerable people are warm in their homes. This coincided with Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on 26 February.

29 February 2016

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