A scheme to install 100 fully-funded air-source heat pumps in eligible homes in County Durham is being carried out by Houghton-based appliance repair company, 0800 Repair.

Part of the Pacifica Group, 0800 Repair has partnered with Durham County Council and the Warm Homes Fund (WHF) to create a scheme offering eligible residents, who are not connected to the gas network a fully installed renewable energy central heating system free of charge.

One hundred of the systems, which use air source heat pumps to extract warmth from the air to heat the home, have been made available free to eligible County Durham homeowners.

Properties that are eligible are ones not connected to the gas network, who had previously had to rely on solid fuel such as coal or logs, electricity or LPG for heating and hot water.

0800 Repair has already started to install the systems in properties, with one of the first installations taking place at Hurbuck Bank, Lanchester.

Property owner Charlotte Wilson, who previously had to rely on expensive and inefficient solid fuels to heat her home, is now looking forward to a warmer winter with her new air source heat pump thanks to the scheme.

The Warm Homes Fund (WHF), a £150million fund provided by the National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS) across England, Scotland and Wales, is designed to incentivise the installation of affordable heating solutions for eligible homeowners and tenants in homes that do not have mains gas or central heating systems.

Erik Coates, energy services director of 0800 Repair, said: “The air source heat pump systems are fantastic new technology, which present immediate cost savings for homeowners and tenants wnomay be living in cold homes.

“ASHP systems are very efficient and clean heating systems, and can reduce energy bills by up to 40% for those who have had to rely on solid fuel in the past.

2We are working hard to get all 100 of the systems installed as quickly as possible, which will also help us to achieve a cleaner environment in County Durham.”

Coun Kevin Shaw, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for strategic housing and assets, said: “I am delighted 100 more households are set to benefit from the installation of a free renewable energy central heating system. As we head into autumn and winter, it is incredibly important people can heat their homes in an affordable and efficient way.

“However, the benefits do not stop there.

2As well as helping to tackle fuel poverty, our Warm Homes Campaign is making a positive difference to the environment and helping us in our quest to ensure County Durham is carbon neutral by 2050.”

Charlotte Wilson, recipient of one of the first systems said: “I was very impressed with the whole process, it was very straightforward to apply, and I was fully informed of what was going to happen at every stage of the way.

“Having had to rely on expensive and inefficient solid fuels in the past, I have already noticed a big difference in heat from the new clean energy system, which is not only more environmentally friendly, it is also much more cost-effective.”



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