Refurbishment work pays off as heating bills drop
Published by Becki Ord for IPB Communications in Housing and also in Communities
Philomena Noone gives the thumbs up to the newly improved Engels.
RESIDENTS are already reaping the benefits of a multi-million pound refurbishment to an Eccles tower block – as they see their heating bills drop by up to 60%.
During their first month at home in April 2012, residents living at Engels in BartonVillagehave reported spending on average just £6 heating their homes, representing a saving of £9. (1)
This staggering saving is thanks to the innovativesolutionsCityWest Housing Trust has installed at the high rise to tackle fuel poverty, including the EcoPod Heating system which uses solar power to cut fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions.
The heavily insulated exterior cladding and double glazed windows are also helping to keep the heat in, making sure homes are kept warm for less.
Energy use is monitored through a Building Management System and a heat control panel means tenants will only use heat and domestic hot water when they need it.
As temperatures slowly begin to heat up and we head for summer, many residents will find they do not even have to turn their heating on – only using the new system to heat hot water.
Resident Colin Fagan, 52, who has lived at Engels for eight years, said: “There are many advantages to the newly refurbished Engels, the first is the fantastic heating system, warmth when I want it and totally controllable by me.
“The cladding is doing a fantastic job at keeping that heat in. Not only is the heating far more efficient and controllable, the radiators look much more appealing than the old storage heaters.
“The whole apartment feels warm and comfortable. We even have constantly aired towels in the bathroom – a luxury which five star hotels boast.”
Another resident who has noticed a huge change is 91-year-old Philomena Noone, who moved into Engels when it was first built in 1960. She said: “I’m very happy in my new home. I love the balcony and the new heating system.”
Now Engels is complete, the next block of flats atBartonVillageto be completely refurbished to the same high standard isEnfield, where work is already underway. Work on Cawdor is scheduled for January 2013 and Wade for November 2013.
Colette McKune, Director of Asset Management for City West Housing Trust, said: “We are delighted that our residents are able to benefit immediately from the improvements we have made to Engels.
“We used the EcoPod as an innovative solution to help our residents out of fuel poverty and if these early figures are anything to go by we will succeed in making these customers’ homes a lot warmer for less.
“As summer finally approaches the new enclosed balconies create a sun room that tenants can enjoy.”
1) The comparative figures for domestic heating were taken from October 2011 (prior to work starting) and April 2012 (the first full month tenants were back in their homes once the work was complete). According to Met Office climate figures the average temperature in the North of England in October 2011 was 11.3 degrees centigrade compared to 6.3 degrees centigrade in April 2012.