79 retirement homes get modern heating in fuel poverty scheme


OVER half-a-million pounds is being invested to connect 79 retirement homes in Burnley to the gas grid and provide modern, efficient heating systems at no cost to the residents.

Existing old, inefficient electric heaters are set to be a thing of the past as properties in Barnes Court become the latest to benefit from a national scheme to tackle fuel poverty.

Cadent is investing £130,000 to install, via its partner Affordable Warmth Solutions, a new underground gas main and connect each home to gas for the first time.

Jenny Moten, Director of Cadent’s North West Network, commented on the scheme: “Those of us connected to the gas grid generally take it for granted that we are, enjoying the benefits of reliable, affordable heating.

“Having a home that’s warm, and reliably so, and without it costing an absolute fortune, makes such a huge difference in financial terms, but also to your health and wellbeing.

“Since 2013, we’ve helped support many thousands of fuel poor homes, in many cases having a life-changing impact on the people who live in them.

“Our investment here in Barnes Court is fantastically supported with considerable investment too by Housing 21. It all means that the residents will soon be able to enjoy modern, safe, reliable, efficient heating, all year round.”

Housing 21, which manages the homes, is investing £50,000 towards that work, plus £354,000 to fund energy-efficient boilers, radiators and associated internal pipework.

The work to install the new main started on Monday 6 January and will take around six weeks to complete.

Housing 21 will then work with the residents to programme the installation of each home’s new gas heating systems.

This is all part of a scheme delivered by Affordable Warmth Solutions for Cadent, as part of the gas network’s commitment to support the connection of thousands of homes classed as fuel poor.

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Cadent and Housing 21 to deliver this exciting scheme for the residents of Barnes Court.

“Replacing old, outdated electric heating systems with an efficient and economic gas one will really make a positive difference to the lives of the residents.”

Eighty-one similar projects helped support 4,608 homes in 2018/2019 alone, through a total of £5.1m invested by Cadent and a further £13m by partner organisations, such as local authorities and housing associations.

Chris Priestley, Building Surveyor at Housing 21, added: “As an organisation we are committed to providing quality homes for our residents.

“Investing over £400,000 in energy-efficient boilers and radiators at Barnes Court concludes the programme of the gas switching works, which has seen electric storage heating replaced by gas central heating in over 55 courts nationally.

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to reduce our carbon footprint, improve energy ratings in our properties and reduce fuel costs for our residents.”