Southampton Healthy Homes: Jaspreet’s Story

About the client
Jaspreet and her husband live in their own home in Southampton. Her husband suffers from a neurological health condition that began a few years ago and, as a result, lost his job. The family receives benefits but lives paycheque to paycheque. Jaspreet is her husband’s carer although she is in constant pain from her fibromyalgia. The couple also live with their oldest son, his pregnant wife and young children.

What did Jaspreet need help with?
Jaspreet was speaking to Citizens Advice and mentioned that she was having problems with her boilers. Her hot water boiler was turned off years ago by an engineer when he deemed it unsafe to use after a leak. The family had been boiling kettles of water and using an electric shower to bathe the kids, as they couldn’t afford a new boiler. Citizens Advice signposted Jaspreet to our services. She phoned us soon after to ask us about boiler grants. An advisor assessed her eligibility over the phone and booked a home visit to begin the application process.

How we were able to help Jaspreet
At the home visit, Jaspreet filled out the relevant paperwork and her advisor helped her apply to the electricity network’s Priority Services Register. The advisor also searched for local Buy With Confidence gas engineers and posted a list to her so she could start gathering quotes. When the quotes came back by email, Jaspreet was experiencing problems with her service provider and couldn’t access the documents. Her advisor reviewed the quotes with Jaspreet over the phone and explained the differences between them, like boiler size, location, warranty and price. After that discussion, Jaspreet decided to locate the boiler in her bedroom with a carbon monoxide alarm so as to minimise disruption to the rest of the house.

The grant application was successful and covered the full cost of the new boiler. After the boiler was installed, the advisor met with Jaspreet to have her sign off on the work. They discussed the first annual boiler service and boiler servicing plans as well as her water bills. Jaspreet’s husband uses a lot of water due to his medical condition, so her advisor recommended calling the water company about its WaterSure tariff. Jaspreet was unsure if she was already on a Southern Water tariff but agreed to look into it. She also elaborated on the family’s benefits situation, which suggested that she could be entitled to her own disability benefits and/or carers allowance. Jaspreet planned to get back in touch with Citizens Advice at their Library Outreach for a benefits check.

A final visit was arranged to conduct an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) survey by our in-house assessor. This was to measure improvement to the home’s energy efficiency and carbon savings as a result of the new boiler.

Savings and outcomes

  • Southampton Healthy Homes secured a £4,105 grant to fully fund a new condensing combi boiler.
  • The property’s EPC rating increased from C69 to C73; this equates to savings of just over £100/year as a result.
  • Jaspreet says her new boiler is quieter than the previous one.
  • The newest addition to the family will grow up with the convenience of hot water from the tap.
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    “The grandkids love the hot water. We were having to boil water in a kettle for 4 years. The kids never used to like to wash their hands, but now we can’t them out of the bathroom. To run hot water out of the tap and give the kids a bath, words can’t explain what that means.”

    Get in touch
    If you know someone who has broken heating and/or hot water and cannot afford to fix or replace their system, please call the Southampton Healthy Homes team for help on Freephone 0800 804 8601 or email keepwarm@environmentcentre.com.

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