Festival HousingOn behalf of Festival Housing Group (FHG), National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutions (NGAWS) developed a proposal to design and construct new gas infrastructure to 25 homes owned by FHG. The 25 properties (2 bedroom flats) in Knapp Way were heated by inefficient and expensive to run electric storage heaters. On average the storage heaters were costing residents in excess of £750 per year to run with some households limiting their use because of rising energy bills.

Following a desktop analysis it was identified that Knapp Way properties were not in the top 20% most deprived area in the country, which initially precluded these properties from the accessing the National Grid Fuel Poor Voucher (FPV). However, following an NGAWS Home Energy Assessment it was found that a number of residents were on qualifying income related benefits or aged 70 or over, which enabled NGAWS to apply the fuel poor voucher to 84% of the properties. In monetary terms this resulted in funding of some £35,000 being available from National Grid for investment into the network.

NGAWS approved contractors Sustainable Energy Connections (SEC) commenced work on the 16th August 2010 and connections were completed by mid September. A feature of NGAWS’ project management skills enabled gas meters and new gas central heating systems to be installed as soon as properties were connected to the mains gas supply. This was a major benefit for residents which meant the least possible disruption and enabled them to realise the benefits of gas central heating far earlier than anticipated. The electric storage heaters which were expensive to run were replaced with high efficiency Worcester Greenstar 30 si Combination Boilers (sedbuk rating of 90.1).

In addition to the lifetime energy savings of some £35,000, the environmental benefit of the scheme shows lifetime tCO2 savings totalling 907.241 tonnes.

Festival Housing FemaleResults from NGAWS Customer Satisfaction surveys showed 80% of customers gave a score of 10 out of 10 for satisfaction for the overall service. One resident remarked that “work was done quickly, very happy, brilliant!”

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director for National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutions commented that “I am pleased that we were able to assist Festival Housing in connecting their properties to the mains gas network, this has considerable benefit to residents in lowering their fuel bills but also has an impact on the environment in the reduction of harmful tCO2 emissions ”.

Comment from Simon Williams, Festival Housing Group:

“National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutions provided an extremely professional service from initial project conception through to the final installation on site. They kept us fully informed of project progress and ensured the new gas supplies were installed within the timescales originally stated. This allowed the planned property refurbishments to commence immediately after the supplies were live ensuring both minimal disturbance for the residents and that the properties received new efficient heating systems before the winter season. These properties were upgraded in line with the Groups affordable warmth and fuel poverty strategies and the savings provided by National Grid will ultimately allow further homes to be improved”.

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