In July 2018, Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS), Cadent and project partner Happy Energy commenced the gas mains extension scheme in Warfield Park, Bracknell. The £1.4million scheme connected 482 park homes to the gas network, the largest community scheme of its kind in Cadents North London Network.
The Park is one of Britain’s longest established residential park home estates, where LPG heating systems were being used in all homes resulting in many residents struggling to afford to keep their homes warm. However, under OFGEM’s Fuel Poor Network Extension Scheme, AWS were able to deliver new gas connections providing a cheaper, more affordable, source of heating to all residents.
The works, which started last summer and were completed earlier this year, were undertaken by AWS and their approved contractor T&K Gallagher in eight phases of 50-60 homes each.
AWS Managing Director, Jeremy Nesbitt commented, “this was a complex scheme that delivered ahead of schedule and I’m grateful for the support of Warfield Park residents for their cooperation during the construction of new mains and services”, he added “safety is always our number one priority and credit must go to our contract partners T&K Gallagher together with our own operations team who ensured compliance”.
All resident appliances needed a small amount of work to be converted from LPG to use natural gas, which was completed as the connections were installed. Many residents also received new boilers. Project partner Happy Energy installed or converted homes to new energy efficient gas central heating systems, all at no extra cost to the resident.
“This is a significant investment in the Park’s infrastructure,” said Barry Sumner, Managing Director of Warfield Park. “This is a perfect example of Cadent, AWS, T&K Gallagher, Happy Energy, Bracknell Forest Council and Warfield Park all working together for the benefit of the entire community. The new natural gas main will give residents full access to the competitive gas market. They will be able to shop around for the best gas supply deal instead of being tied to just one supplier, allowing them to make significant savings on their energy bills. Some residents who connected early in the programme are reporting savings of 50 per cent on their gas bills. In addition, residents will now have access to many more qualified engineers, a growing problem with the continuing use of LPG.”
The leader and deputy leader of Bracknell Forest Council visited Warfield Park on 22 March 2019 to mark the completion of one of the largest gas retrofit installation projects currently in the UK. Leader Cllr Paul Bettison OBE and Cllr Dorothy Hayes MBE executive member for the Environment, had a tour of the site, reviewed the works and spoke to residents.
Cllr Paul Bettison said: “The council has worked closely with Warfield Park to bring this impressive project forward. This impressive investment has provided residents access to natural gas and the wider gas market.
“This will help many residents to save significant amounts money and, at the same time, use the fuel more efficiently through new more efficient boilers.”
Workshops co-ordinated by National Energy Action (NEA) are scheduled offering Park Home owners tariff advice, energy efficiency advice, savings, bill assistance etc.
If you would like further information on this successful scheme or would like to discuss any potential projects, please contact Lizzie Monksfield, Business Support Officer, on 07496 509 440.