Young family’s thanks to ‘life-changing’ fund

Miles Priestley and Jacob main pic
Miles Priestley with Jacob

A young family have expressed their delight after having free central heating installed thanks to the Warm Homes Fund.

Miles and Hannah Priestley were struggling to heat their Brixworth home with electric storage heaters, which left their house too hot during the day and too cold at night.

But the young couple and their 10-month-old son Jacob are now enjoying the benefit of an efficient gas central heating system, which was funded and installed entirely free-of-charge following a successful application to the Warm Homes Fund.

Miles said: “Our home was heated by 30-year-old electric storage heaters which were expensive to run and heated the house very poorly. It was too hot during the day, and freezing at night, which was no fun with a new born baby getting us up three times a night.

“We applied for the Fund online, and were very pleased to hear we had been successful. The central heating was installed by Plumb-Line, who were extremely competent and worked cleanly and efficiently.

“Having the central heating is an unbelievable relief. We are a new family, just starting out, and having just got on the housing market we have very little spare income to pay for heating. This really has been life-changing.”

The Northants Warm Homes partnership has secured nearly £4 million to provide fully-funded gas central heating for fuel poor homes across Northamptonshire that do not already have it.

Households eligible for the Warm Homes Fund are those most in need of support, including people on low incomes that have high energy bills, and those who are vulnerable to the cold because of health conditions. 

Both owner-occupiers and private tenants can apply, though tenants will need the permission of their landlord. The project aims to put ‘first-time’ gas central heating in homes, so properties with central heating powered by oil, or in villages which are off the gas network, are not eligible.

Nationally, the £150m Warm Homes Fund has been established by National Grid and is administered by Community Interest Company, Affordable Warmth Solutions. 

Within Northamptonshire, the Warm Homes Fund scheme will run until 2021 and is run by Surefire Management Services on behalf of local authorities in the county, including Daventry District Council.  

Councillor Daniel Cribbin, Environmental Health and Housing Portfolio Holder on Daventry District Council, said: “We’re very pleased to be a partner in this programme, which aims to help reduce fuel poverty and have a positive impact on people’s health.

“I’m delighted to hear about the difference having central heating will make to this young family, and I would urge anyone who thinks they might be eligible to visit the website or call the freephone number to find out more.”

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, said: “We’re delighted to be providing funding through the Warm Homes Fund programme and to be working with the partnership to provide solutions to the challenges associated with homes living in fuel poverty.”

To find out more, visit the Northants Warm Homes website or phone 0800 029 4542. 

Residents can also access advice and support to improve their home’s energy efficiency and reduce their bills with the Northamptonshire Energy Saving Service