New heating technology to beat winter chill

Margaret Quilietti is looking forward to her warmest winter in years as she enjoys the benefits of a state-of-the-art air source heat pump fitted into her bungalow.

The new Logic Air Heat Pump fitted into her North Northumberland home with a new cylinder hot water tank and new radiators in every room, replaces old and ineffective electric night storage heaters.

The new heating system in Margaret’s Bernicia bungalow in Norham – just yards from the Scottish Border – means she will have controllable, reliable heat and hot water when she needs it at the touch of a new control panel in her lounge.

For years she has battled with electric storage heaters pre-set by her energy company meaning she struggled to heat her home properly.

Margaret and seven neighbours in the village are all having their homes fitted with new air source heat pumps and better outside wall insulation by renewable energy specialist 0800 Repair – part of a £7m two-year Bernicia retrofit programme of 865 homes across the North East.

The work includes loft, cavity wall, underfloor and external wall insulation, as well as some properties being fitted with renewable technologies such as photovoltaic panels, air source heat pumps, low energy lighting and digital heating controls – moving homes away from polluting fossil fuels for heating.

Margaret said: “The new heating is already 100% better, it took ages for the old heaters to heat up and these work straight away.

“I’m absolutely sure it will make a big difference this winter. The heating we had you couldn’t control it.

“You’d wake up and it would be cold in the house all day. I cheered when the lads took the old heating out.

“I put the tap on now and the water is hot. I’ve had absolutely excellent service from the lads, I couldn’t fault the lads at all – they have been here to answer anything that I’ve asked.”

The new air source heat pump draws heat energy from the outside to generate low carbon heat inside Margaret’s home, powering the new radiators and cylinder hot water tank.

Air source heat pumps are three times more energy efficient than the old electric systems they replace, heating homes for three times longer for every hour they are used.

James O’Connor, 0800 Repair Contracts Manager said: “It makes our team feel proud to see Margaret and other Bernicia tenants happy with the work we are carrying out.

“It’s reassuring for us to know that she will have a better winter through the work we are completing.”

Sharon Brookes, Bernicia Head of Assets and Retrofit, said: “This work is great news for our tenants. It builds upon our continued investment in measures which improve the energy and environmental performance of our tenants’ homes, helping keep them warmer while better managing their bills and reducing carbon emissions.”

Daniel Curran, of heat pump manufacturer Ideal Heating, said: “’We are delighted to be involved in such an exciting project. We have worked with 0800 Repair and Bernicia for many years and as we transition to a Net Zero future, it’s even more exciting to be supplying the new Ideal Heating Logic Air Heat Pump along with our pre-plumbed and pre-wired cylinder and Halo Air room thermostat.”

Bernicia is a consortium member of the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub. Together with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero as part of the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Wave 2.1, they are investing £7m of an £80.6m project improving 5,000 homes across the North East and Yorkshire. None of this work will cost tenants a penny or affect their rent.

Bernicia is aiming to achieve SAP C energy ratings – the Government’s measure to assess a home’s energy and environmental performance – for at least 90% of its homes by 2025/26, making them more energy efficient.

Margaret is pictured with James and fellow 0800 Repair Contracts Manager Richard Johnson with the new air source heat pump at her home.