Bretton Avenue, Derby

The Energy Savings Trust states that in a typical UK household, more than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. As fuel costs rise, having an efficient and cost effective heating system is vital. It’s also one of the main steps you can take to reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.

Bretton Avenue, Derby consists of elderly and vulnerable residents who relied on expensive and inefficient storage heaters to heat their properties. In conjunction with Derby Homes, National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutions (NGAWS) investigated the possibility of bringing gas to the estate and was able to commit £115.5k amount of funding to the project by applying the National Grid Fuel Poor Voucher to enable the construction of a new gas infrastructure to be built at no cost to Derby Homes or the homeowners.

In June 2014 NGAWS commenced works to lay circa 1,000m of new low pressure gas main and the installation of 95 new services to existing prefabricated two bedroom bungalows.

One of the key challenges of the project involved closing Bretton Avenue which is a main road. We worked closely with Derby Council Highways department and local residents to ensure that their needs and requirements were met during the road closure including identifying any particularly vulnerable residents who may require assistance from emergency services. We also ensured that the bus stop on Bretton Avenue was relocated to a suitable agreed location.

On completion of the external works we liaised with Derby Homes on the programme to install new gas heating systems to their homes. Within the community we identified 23 private households who without financial support would be unable to install new gas heating systems. In the absence of any third party support for these households NGAWS agreed to fully fund the install programme to a cost of circa £90,000. NGAWS installer partner, Warm Energy Ltd who faced challenges around the construction of the prefabricated properties built over 50 years ago. Designs had to accommodate the presence of ACMs (Asbestos Containing Materials) and the unique nature of construction.

The new systems based around an Ideal Logic Boiler, Stelrad Radiators and Siemens controls were designed to allow for a single day installation, reducing the inconvenience to the householders. Many residents had never used gas central heating before, so whilst the installation had to incorporate lots of energy efficient features, the systems had to be easy to operate. Mrs C commented that she couldn’t tell that the workers had been as they had left her house very clean and tidy and also said she is now very warm and cosy.

Potential average CO2 emissions show a decrease of 5,123 (kg/yr) and potential average running costs indicate a reduction of £659 (£/yr) per home.

Kendal Hodder, Energy efficiency Officer from Derby homes commented “This project has enabled our tenants to benefit from a heating system that they can afford to use and is easy to control. The street was one of only a handful in the city that did not have a gas supply, tenants also have a greater choice for cooking appliances, everyone on the street is very happy with the project”.

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of NGAWS commented “This project shows the importance of true partnership working and how obstacles can be overcome. I am also delighted NGAWS are able to provide the funding for heating systems to private householders who otherwise would be left living in cold homes”.