Residents in the East Midlands who have had a new alternative heating system fitted in their homes say they are ‘delighted’ with the difference it has made.

As part of a £1.5m project by Jigsaw Homes Midlands to tackle climate change and improve energy efficiency of its homes in the region, 83 bungalows and houses are being fitted with Air Source Heat Pumps.

So far, almost 50 properties on Foxhill Road, Rushchliffe Avenue and Emerys Road in Carlton have had the heat pumps successfully installed, along with new radiators and a hot water cylinder to replace outdated storage heaters. A smart system to control the pumps is also in place – and residents say they could not be happier.

Lillian and Trevor Hallan of Foxhill Road (pictured) were one of the first to have their heat pump fitted. “We couldn’t wait to have this new system fitted” said Lillian.

“It used to be freezing in the house in winter and I got to the point where I actually wanted to move because I couldn’t stand the thought of another winter and being cold. It has been brilliant so far and it only took a day and a half for them to come and fit everything. Everything is set for us, we don’t need to do anything with it. I don’t need to put the fire on – or a hoody – anymore. It’s brilliant and we are really happy.”

The ASHPs, from manufacturer Vaillant, are one of the most economical and eco-friendly heating solutions currently available. They work by extracting thermal energy (heat) from the outside air and converting this into heating and hot water.

They are designed to work in cold temperatures and are suitable for all homes but need to be located outside a property. They need electricity to run, but 75% of the energy is generated from outside air, meaning only 25% is required from electricity. Crucially, they safeguard homeowners against fluctuations in energy prices.

The pumps help to reduce emissions and CO2 impact on Jigsaw’s properties, but will save residents money on fuel bills too.

Before work started on the installation, residents were invited to attend a special demonstrator roadshow at the Rushcliffe Avenue Community Centre. They got to see how the Air Source Heat Pumps work and to meet the team, including from sustainable refurbishment, building and maintenance specialists J Tomlinson Ltd who are carrying out the installation work.

The homes were identified as being suitable for the heat pumps during an energy efficiency improvement survey by Jigsaw Homes which included a range of measures including loft, cavity wall or external wall insulation, replacement of older windows or doors.

And now, residents at all 83 properties will also be offered a 6kw solar panel system to be fitted on the roof of their homes following a successful bid by Jigsaw Homes Midlands from the ECO innovation fund.

Danny Wyre, Head of Asset Management at Jigsaw Homes Midlands said: “We know that many of our residents are keen to do more for the environment and we want to help them save money on fuel bills where possible.

“The day-to-day running of some of our homes was creating more carbon emissions than we would like and we wanted to work with our residents to improve on this – but it has to be right for them as well.

“That’s why it’s great to hear that so many who have had the new system installed are so pleased with it and how it has made such a difference to their lives – and pockets. With the addition of the solar roof panels, this will make their homes even more energy efficient.”

Jigsaw Homes Midlands has worked with J Tomlinson Ltd’s Resident Liaison Officer who will continue to be on hand to keep residents informed on the installation process and use of the heat pumps.

Ant Newton, Regeneration Director at J Tomlinson said: “We have worked closely with Jigsaw to help identify and deliver low carbon and sustainable energy solutions to future proof homes. We want to make sure that residents are informed and happy and that we can support Jigsaw’s aim of reducing their carbon emissions and environmental impact.”

The work to install all 83 Air Source Heat Pumps is expected to be completed by mid December.

It is part of a wider £4.5million Jigsaw Homes Group-wide programme to provide energy improvements to thousands of its 34,000 homes across the North West and East Midlands.

It comes as the organisation has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 and to make sure all its properties reach at least Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Level C by 2030, as part of its recently launched Sustainability Strategy.  To read about this and more, please visit our Be Zero page.