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A little bit of magic in Welford

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Mary and Alan Bushell have lived in their home in Welford for just over four years. And they love almost everything about it. The condition of the house, the location, their neighbours – are all great. The only slight downside was having storage heaters. However, the recent installation of an air source heat pump and solar panels means no more storage heaters!

Mary explained just what a difference it’s made to them both:

“The best thing about the new heating system is just how lovely and warm our home is ALL THE TIME. I’m a cold person, and normally need an extra layer on, but not anymore! And we’ve got a panel heater in the bathroom that we’d always put on, but we’ve not needed to use it since the air source heat pump was installed because the bathroom is always warm now.

“We’ve always loved our house, and living in this the street, but this new system has made us even happier. Alan lives with Parkinson’s and having a warm, comfortable home really helps him.

“I was worried before the work started, about the upheaval and mess. And, yes, there was some mess, but only for a couple of days. The whole process only took three days, and the guys that came from Aarons to install the system were great. They were friendly, cleaned up every day before they finished, and at the end left the house exactly as they found it.

“We haven’t had to touch the system and if I’m honest I still don’t really understand how it works – the radiators are not boiling hot, yet the house is a perfect temperature. I asked Adam at Northamptonshire Rural Housing about it, and I think his explanation  sums it up…

“…It’s a little bit of magic!”

Why have only some homes had these upgrades?

In April 2023, we secured over £740,000 from the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF). This money, plus an equal amount invested by Northamptonshire Rural Housing, is enabling us to improve the energy efficiency of our homes. We’re aiming for all our homes to have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of Band C by 2030.

The improvements include:

  • replacing inefficient heating systems with air source heat pumps
  • installing solar panels which have battery-powered storage
  • and increasing loft insulation and cavity wall insulation (if needed).

These improvements will make homes warmer, lower energy bills and improve the comfort, health and wellbeing of residents.

Which homes are included?

The homes with the lowest energy performance ratings are bring upgraded first.
Between April 2023 and March 2024 we completed these upgrades on 29 houses. And in the next financial year will compete a further 27, bringing the total to 56 homes.

We will bid for more of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund money to support our ongoing programme of upgrades. We will continue to upgrade homes with the lowest EPC rating first.

Published: 25.03.24