Family home in Georgeham heating up thanks to green energy loan

l-r Cllr Brian Moores, NDC Housing Officer Richard Squire and Chris Burrows

Posted on: 22 April 2016

A Georgeham family now has a green and affordable heating system, thanks to a home improvement loan through North Devon Council.

In December, the Burrows family from Georgeham applied to the council for help to replace their ‘warm air’ heating system, which was broken and no longer repairable. Mr Burrows wanted to install a ground source heat pump, which is an environmentally sustainable system using natural heat energy stored in the ground.

Following a property inspection, the council’s housing team concluded that Mr Burrows’ property qualified for the loan as there was no heating within the property.

The council referred the household to Wessex Resolutions CIC, which is a not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with the council to provide council subsidised loans. Wessex Resolutions carried out a financial assessment and approved a loan towards the installation of a ground source heat pump.

The heating system is now installed and as well as keeping the family warm, they will benefit from over £1,600 cash back a year for the next seven years, from the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), for providing green energy as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Brian Moores, says: “I’m very pleased that we were able to help the Burrows family to replace their heating system. Running a ground source heating system is not free – the system costs as much to run as mains gas central heating. However, with the property situated off the natural mains gas grid, it will probably be one of the cheapest heating systems in the village. Home Improvement Loans are available to help people with essential repairs. Each application is assessed and your loan will only be approved if Wessex Resolutions are confident you are able to meet your monthly repayments.”

Mr Chris Burrows says: “We needed to put in a new heating system and as there is no mains gas in Georgeham, we really wanted to move away from fossil fuels completely and do what we thought would be the right thing by installing a ground source heat pump. However, we would never have been able to afford it without some help from the council through the loan from Wessex Resolutions. We are very happy – this is a really green option which is really good value to run. The only stumbling block for us was the upfront cost. Although we have the loan to pay back, we receive money back from the government for producing green energy, so in the long run it will work out cheaper than installing a gas or oil system.”

Mel Richards, Development and Delivery Manager at Wessex Resolutions, says: “As a not for profit lender we work across rural communities in the South West to ensure homeowners have access to finance to make essential home repairs.  Having a working heating system is essential and I am thrilled that the Burrows family now have heating in their home”.

For more information about the council’s Home Improvement Loans and to see whether you qualify, call 01271 388870, email privatesectorhousing@northdevon.gov.uk or visit the council’s website.

Find out more about the government’s Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

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Posted in: Housing