Gateshead Council reaching new heights to reduce heating costs for residents

More than 600 homes in Gateshead are benefiting from cheaper heating bills thanks to a pioneering project from Gateshead Council.

The Gateshead HEIGHTs project - which stands for High-rise Energy Infrastructure for Gateshead Housing Tenants - has installed low-carbon heat and power generation systems in seven high rise blocks in Gateshead town centre and Harlow Green to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs for residents.

Already, tenants in Regent, Ripley, Barford, Stretford, Willerby, Acomb and Bedale Courts are benefiting from savings of between 10-20% on their heating bills, thanks to the Council replacing their old, costly electric storage heaters with the new modern systems. The Council has also installed new windows, facades and upgraded roof insulation, to also further reduce heat loss from all homes.

The £22m project has been funded by the Council's Housing Revenue Account, supported by a £4.5m grant from the European Regional Development Fund and has three key aims:

·         Help to alleviate fuel poverty for residents, by providing lower cost heat

·         Reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions of homes and public buildings in the borough

·         Operate on a not-for-profit basis, where incomes from selling heat to residents are only used to cover running costs and the Council's investment.

The project has been connecting customers since summer 2018, and saw its final home connected to the new heat network in December 2018, before the works are to officially complete on time in February 2019.

While residents have only had the new scheme for a few months, the impact is already being felt.

Harlow Green resident Ray Burns said: "The new heating system and windows are absolutely amazing. I've lived here for 20 years and this is the most significant improvement that has been done.

"It's early days in terms of how much we have saved but I have been monitoring it and it's probably as cheap to heat the whole home now as it was for two storage heaters. The flat is very comfortable and has improved the quality of life considerably."

Council Leader Martin Gannon said:

"The advantages of this scheme are clear - not only do our residents benefit from lower heating and electricity bills but a modernised heating system will contribute to the health and wellbeing of our tenants.

"The scheme also plays a crucial part in helping the Council achieve its commitment to reducing domestic carbon emissions in Gateshead by reducing energy consumption and replacing existing heating systems with low carbon alternatives."

05 February 2019

More than 600 homes in Gateshead are benefiting from cheaper heating bills thanks to a pioneering project from Gateshead Council.

The Gateshead HEIGHTs project - which stands for High-rise Energy Infrastructure for Gateshead Housing Tenants - has installed low-carbon heat and power generation systems in seven high rise blocks in Gateshead town centre and Harlow Green to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs for residents.

Already, tenants in Regent, Ripley, Barford, Stretford, Willerby, Acomb and Bedale Courts are benefiting from savings of between 10-20% on their heating bills, thanks to the Council replacing their old, costly electric storage heaters with the new modern systems. The Council has also installed new windows, facades and upgraded roof insulation, to also further reduce heat loss from all homes.

The £22m project has been funded by the Council's Housing Revenue Account, supported by a £4.5m grant from the European Regional Development Fund and has three key aims:

·         Help to alleviate fuel poverty for residents, by providing lower cost heat

·         Reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions of homes and public buildings in the borough

·         Operate on a not-for-profit basis, where incomes from selling heat to residents are only used to cover running costs and the Council's investment.

The project has been connecting customers since summer 2018, and saw its final home connected to the new heat network in December 2018, before the works are to officially complete on time in February 2019.

While residents have only had the new scheme for a few months, the impact is already being felt.

Harlow Green resident Ray Burns said: "The new heating system and windows are absolutely amazing. I've lived here for 20 years and this is the most significant improvement that has been done.

"It's early days in terms of how much we have saved but I have been monitoring it and it's probably as cheap to heat the whole home now as it was for two storage heaters. The flat is very comfortable and has improved the quality of life considerably."

Council Leader Martin Gannon said:

"The advantages of this scheme are clear - not only do our residents benefit from lower heating and electricity bills but a modernised heating system will contribute to the health and wellbeing of our tenants.

"The scheme also plays a crucial part in helping the Council achieve its commitment to reducing domestic carbon emissions in Gateshead by reducing energy consumption and replacing existing heating systems with low carbon alternatives."

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