Pensioners look forward to the warmest winter they’ve had in years
Published by Diana Maccarthy for Frank Haslam Milan in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
Bill Findlay and Phyllis Williamson with FHM Resident Liaison Officer Lynne Thatcher
A PAIR of Aspley pensioners are looking forward to enjoying the warmest winter they’ve had in years – thanks to an eco-makeover of their home.
Phyllis Williamson, aged 96, had the walls of the home she shares with her carer Bill Findlay, internally insulated thanks to an innovative thermal technique.
Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) is carrying out the Aspley Super Warm Zone initiative to fit solid wall insulation to more than 800 properties on behalf of Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham City Council. The project is being part-funded by the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), which is being rolled out nationally to benefit 90,000 homes acrossEngland,ScotlandandWales.
The Nottingham Energy Partnership (NEP) is managing the landmark pilot project and says that by retaining heat through solid wall insulation, heating can be turned down, saving up to 25% off an annual fuel bill. Funding for the programme has been provided by Scottish Southern Energy.
Following the recent National Customer Service Week (3-9 October) the pair praised FHM for the way they carried out the work on their home, which showed respect for their property and belongings and flexibility around their personal wishes.
Phyllis has lived at her Nottingham City Homes’ property since 1966. Bill, aged 80, moved in 30 years ago to care for Phyllis after they were both widowed. When Bill was married to wife Eve and Phyllis married to husband George, the four had all been friends.
Bill, a former labourer, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the workmanship carried out by FHM and we very much praise their approach to customer service. They did major work to our home and showed both us and it, respect at every step.
“The house feels a lot warmer already. Previous winters have felt very cold but this year we’re going to be a lot warmer and I’m sure we’ll notice a significant difference in our household bills. Over the years we’ve noticed that they’ve shot up, and we’ve had to worry about money in a way that you didn’t have to years ago. We’ve also become more environmentally aware as nobody really had to think about protecting the environment in our generation.”
Insulated thermal plaster boards have been fitted to the inside of external walls of every room in the property, which will dramatically prevent heat loss in the winter and reduce heat gain in the summer, saving up to £300 per year on fuel bills according to the NEP.
FHM is also one of seven contractors working with Nottingham City Homes to upgrade 29,000 homes owned by Nottingham City Council over a five year period through their Decent Homes project – Secure, Warm, Modern.
The pair didn’t hesitate to undergo the major renovation work on their home, which took six weeks to complete and included a new kitchen and bathroom facilities along with the solid wall insulation.
Installing the solid wall insulation, which involves work in most rooms of a property, does cause disruption understandably. During such improvements, and Decent Homes work, residents are assigned an FHM Resident Liaison Officer, to make sure they experience minimal disruption during the process and that their everyday needs are catered for.
Bill added: “We were delighted with the process from start to finish as Frank Haslam Milan made sure we weren’t put out too much. We asked whether they could do our lounge last and they agreed, which we were very pleased about.”
Paul Senior, Contracts Director from Frank Haslam Milan, said: “Good customer service is at the core of our principles. When we work with organisations such as Nottingham City Homes we understand that carrying out improvements to their tenants’ homes can be disruptive and that we must work in partnership showing both flexibility and respect.”
Steve Hale, Assistant Director for Asset Management at Nottingham City Homes, said: “The impact this work has already had for Phyllis and Bill is exactly why schemes like the Community Energy Saving Programme were developed.
“These homes needed the extra insulation to not only make properties warmer, but to stop them leaking heat and costing tenants unnecessarily high energy bills. This is a change in quality of life and I hope this really makes a difference this winter to all those that have had work done as part of the scheme.
“We are committed to working with all our contractors to make sure customer service is at the heart of all the work we do on our estates, and FHM have proven in this case just what a difference it makes.”