DAMHA invests in solar panel technology for older homes
Published by Neil Shaefer for Durham Aged Mineworkers' Homes Association in Housing and also in Communities
Hazel Whinn outside her solar powered home
Homes that are in some cases are over 70 years old are having energy saving solar panels fitted on their roofs as part of a housing association’s drive to reduce costs for its residents.
Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) has so retrofitted solar panels on 50 homes across the region, in an investment worth more than £250,000, with further installations to take place in 2013.
The Association already fit the panels, which use the sun’s energy to help to heat the water in the homes, in all its new-build properties, but it is keen to ensure that people living in older properties do not miss out on the same benefits.
DAMHA estimates that the panels could reduce residents’ gas bills by up to 15%.
Brian Stobbs, DAMHA’s Head of Asset Management, said: “All our new build properties come with the solar panels as standard, but we felt it was only fair to install the panels on as many of our older properties as possible.
“Unfortunately, we can’t provide them on every property due to factors such as where the houses are in location to the sun, but this is a still a significant investment, as well as demonstrating our commitment to the environment.”
Among the first people to get the solar panels fitted on their homes were people living in 32 colliery homes owned by DAMHA in Easington Colliery.
One of these residents, 69-year-old Hazel Whinn, who lives in Hopper Street, said: “It’s nice to know that even though you live in an older property that you can benefit from modern energy saving measures like this and we are now looking forward to hopefully seeing our heating costs go down.
“When the sun has been shining I have already noticed my water heats up much more quickly and it’s also nice to know that by having the panels we are all doing our own bit to help the environment.”