In one of the biggest projects of it's kind in the country, a housing provider is using £2m of grant funding to improve the lives of its elderly residents by installing 200 air source heat pumps across a range of its properties in south Somerset.
The air source heat pumps which extract heat from the surrounding air are replacing expensive and inefficient electric storage heaters by providing highly efficient, reliable and importantly, cost-effective, renewable energy heating.
The first phase of air source installations has been completed in the village of Curry Rivel where residents are benefitting from the 33 units supplied by Ice Energy so far. Below are just some of their comments.
Mr. Mason's air source heat pump was installed at the end of October and he could not have been happier with the installation service provided by Ice Energy engineers.
"The installers wee very cooperative and worked around me so as not to cause me any inconvenience. The area which houses my heat pump had some shrubs in it and they were a bit too much for me to manage removing, but they moved those for me as well.
"I really didn't think much of the storage heaters. By the late afternoon all the heat had gone and I had to use a portable convection heater to try and stay warm.
"Since they put the heat pump in though I haven't had to use the heater at all. The heating is excellent in every room f the house and the hot water is lovely. I can now get the hot water as and when I need it whereas before I had issues with it running out."
So what in Mr. Mason's view are the benefits of heat pumps? "It's constantly warm from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed which is a massive change. I used to have issues before in that the kitchen never got warm at all but now all my rooms are lovely and warm all of the time. It;s a welcome change from my old storage heaters and I couldn't be happier."
Mr. Parker is another resident benefitting from the heat pumps. "I'm highly delighted and the workmanship was absolutely first class" he said.
"The installation only took about a week and in fact mine was the first house to have the heat pumps put in. The workmen were very obliging and polite.
"Initially I was worried about the hot water side of things but it's red hot and plentiful so we have all we need. There are no cold spots in the house either.
"Over all it was an excellent job and I'm glad our social housing provider has put them in. I would definitely recommend heat pumps to anyone."
Jean Cullen is also full of praise for the project which she feels is already making an extremely positive impact on her property. "I've no need for electric fires any more which I had to rely on when the storage heaters ran out in the evening. The workmen were very accommodating during the installation process about where they could position my new radiators so I got the rooms looking how I wanted rather than just having to accept where they fitted.
"My house is now nice and warm and the thing is it's not a dry heat so it's much easier to breathe compared to the old heating; I would say it's a much more comfortable heat. It's also much cleaner as there's hardly any dust. I'm really, really pleased with it."
If you would like to find out more about how heat pumps work and the benefits they provide, please call the Housing Team on 01865 884994.