Southampton Healthy Homes: Mary’s story

tEC image_radiator windowMary‘s daughter contacted us regarding her mother’s heating system. Mary is in her 80’s, living alone and had recently suffered from pneumonia. Her gas boiler had broken down and the heating engineer had made a temporary fix but it needed to be replaced. Mary was eligible for the national ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme, due to receiving pension credit and the Southampton Healthy Homes Advisors were looking to support her with any shortfall between the ECO grant and the full cost of the work.

Despite her eligibility for the ECO scheme, Mary’s application was eventually rejected due to the incompatibility of a new boiler with her current one-pipe heating system. This required the whole central heating system to be replaced instead of just the boiler, something that the national scheme couldn’t help with. Southampton Healthy Homes reassessed her application and offered Mary a grant to cover the majority of the cost for replacing the entire central heating system, and this was installed just before Christmas.

In addition to the heating system, during the initial home visit Southampton Healthy Homes Advisors noticed that Mary’s single glazed window in the living room had a rotten frame with a hole in it, which was allowing cold air in, and one of the bedroom windows had come out of the frame and needed to be replaced. Southampton Healthy Homes managed to secure funding for the replacement of both single glazed windows with double glazed ones, meaning that Mary will now be well insulated from the cold.

These energy efficiency works improved the property’s energy rating from an E45 to a D59, reducing the estimated annual energy costs of the home from £1,166 to £858, as shown on the EPC.

Southampton Healthy Homes Advisors also helped Mary apply for a discount through Southern Water, reducing her future water bills by 20%.

Mary’s daughter provided this feedback on the project,

“It was a long process from starting to find energy suppliers who would agree to a grant to them ultimately refusing the grant, through to Southampton Healthy Homes coming to the rescue. I must admit that had it not been for the Advisors calling me most Fridays to check on progress, I might well have given up before the end. We are very grateful not only for their approving the grant for both windows and the boiler and new radiators, but for their perseverance and help at each stage of the process, including their list of Buy with Confidence suppliers who have done a great job. Thank you.”

If you have a family member, friend or neighbor who could benefit from our help, please call the Environment Centre (tEC) on Freephone 0800 804 8601 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or email to speak to an advisor.