Case Study Park Home Development — Folly Park, Bedfordshire
Folly Park is a site comprised of approximately 100 residential caravans. Historically it has been extremely difficult to secure funding for in-house measures for park homes as they don’t qualify for support from traditional Government or Energy Supplier schemes such as Warm Front, CESP or the Warm Homes Discount.
Residents of this privately owned ‘Off-Gas grid’ site were reliant on more expensive fuels such as individual bottled LPG. This increasingly was proving difficult to maintain for the aging residents.
Construction of gas feeds at Folly Park residential site
AWS approached the park owner and in an effort to gain community engagement we held several ‘open evenings’ to help homeowners understand how to better afford warmer homes.
During the open evenings it became apparent that the householders were concerned with the potential disruption to ‘normal life’, particularly as many customers had mobility issues. We worked closely with the park owners and our approved contractors, J. Murphy and Sons Ltd and GASS Ltd to develop a construction and installation programme that minimised any inconvenience.
The roads within the park were narrow and it was important that where possible access to properties was maintained, where access was disrupted we ensured the homeowners had prior notice and an opportunity to make alternative arrangements. The emergency services were also notified of our work programme and contingency arrangements were put in place for dealing with such occurrences. Fortunately we did not have to revert to such arrangements but it highlighted to us and our contractors the importance of careful planning and communication.
A property at Folly Park
A particular challenge was the negotiation of easements to construct a new gas network across third party owned land. An innovative approach to overcome this challenge resulted in changes to the layout of the park enabling new gas infrastructure and connection to the upstream gas network.
In addition to the new gas network we fully funded the installation or conversion of heating systems, cookers and combined CO and smoke detector alarms to the value of £150,000. Work was completed prior to the recent winter.
Following the winter period, a further customer initiative saw us partner with leading Fuel Poverty charity, National Energy Action, to lead surgeries to help residents better understand how to use their new boilers and controls, how to switch tariff and how to save energy. To help support this initiative AWS also provided ‘dehumidifiers’ to overcome the historical issue of condensation in these types of homes.