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Tackling fuel poverty in Woodhouse homes

Posted onPosted on 9th Aug
Tackling fuel poverty in Woodhouse homes

Cheaper, cleaner gas central heating is in the pipeline for residents in Mansfield Woodhouse, thanks to a project to connect more than 100 homes to the gas network.

Mansfield District Council, local gas network Cadent and community interest company AWS joined forces to replace ageing coal-fired heating with modern gas central heating.

Cadent and AWS have begun work on the £175,000 project to lay new gas pipes to homes in Newcastle Street, Newhaven Avenue, Sherwood Street and Cross Street.

The work is being funded by Cadent as part of its commitment to tackle the underlying issues of fuel poverty.

With the pipes in the ground, Mansfield District Council will schedule the installation of new gas heating systems in people’s homes this winter and then decommission the ageing coal-fired boiler house.

In an ongoing programme since 2011, the council has been upgrading its tenants’ heating systems.

Cadent has funded the installation of mains gas pipes to almost 1,500 council properties through its partnership with AWS, with the council spending around £3,500 on each council home to convert the domestic heating and make good any repairs.

Mansfield MP Ben Bradley got a first-hand insight into the project on a tour of the works by Coun Barry Answer, Mansfield District Council portfolio holder for housing, and AWS managing director Jeremy Nesbitt.

Ben said: “It is positive to see this investment, particularly for deprived communities in Mansfield.

“This project ensures residents are benefiting from modern, efficient, 21st Century heating systems, saving money for both them and council tax payers.”

Explaining the benefits of the project, Coun Answer said: “The new gas-fired central heating will provide tenants with more control over their own heating and save them money — on average about £200 a year.

“Two residents who have previously benefitted from the same upgrade have each seen savings of about £600 a year. These are significant savings and will make a real difference.

“There are lots of benefits including a reduction in CO2 emissions, a reduced cost to the council for maintenance and operation of the system, as well as better control and a more modern, efficient and reliable system for tenants.”

Leigh Page, Cadent’s commercial services manager, added: “We’re very proud to be working with Mansfield District Council and AWS to benefit those who need our help most in Mansfield.

“Since 2008, through Ofgem’s Fuel Poverty Network Extension Scheme, we’ve connected 39,000 households across the country to the gas network.”

Jeremy Nesbitt said: “We were delighted to show Mr Bradley the benefits of this project. AWS has a long and positive working relationship with Mansfield District Council — this is the fifth time we have worked together to install new gas infrastructure and heating systems to keep residents safe and warm.”

Since 2011, Mansfield District Council has been replacing its coal and gas-fired communal district heating systems with modern gas-fired central heating systems in its tenants’ homes. Out of a total of 2,200 properties, 1,850 have already been disconnected from communal heating and connected to an individual gas supply.

The council will offer to install the new heating to private home owners attached to the district heating scheme, which they can pay for with a zero percent interest loan.

The cost of the heating upgrade is then paid back to the council when the property is sold.

Pictured, from left, are Coun Barry Answer, Ben Bradley and Jeremy Nesbitt.