Southampton Healthy Homes: Gale’s Story

About the client

Gale’s daughter first called us when Southampton was experiencing a cold snap, having been given our number by Adult Services. Gale, who lives alone in her own home, has dementia and mobility issues that require help from carers with daily tasks, and she receives benefits to help pay for that care. A side effect of one of Gale’s physical disabilities has made it difficult for her to recognise and regulate her body temperature. She had a back boiler that kept her warm for over 20 years but, when a gas engineer came to service it, a leak was found and the engineer recommended replacing it. Although Gale had some savings, her daughter called us to see if there might be any grants available to help with the cost of replacing the old system.

What did Gale need help with?

Gale’s daughters became joint Powers of Attorney when their mother’s dementia got worse. They were in the midst of sorting through Gale’s finances when we became involved. While the family would have used all of Gale’s savings to pay for a new heating & hot water system, the home need to be redecorated after a water leak and years of wear-and-tear, so they were hoping to set some money aside for those repairs. We provided a list of Buy with Confidence contractors to Gale’s daughter over the phone and asked her to get quotes to start the process of finding grants in advance of our home visit.

“The home survey prior to work was carried out in a very caring, respectful and kind manner. Excellent.”

How we were able to help Gale

Gale’s Southampton Healthy Homes advisor and one of our Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessors visited her to fill out grant paperwork and to calculate the savings the household could make by upgrading the heating.

Gale’s daughter and son-in-law took charge of organising surveys and emailing us the quotes. Time was of the essence, so after comparing several quotes, the family chose an installer that could install the heating system weeks ahead of its competitors. Gale’s advisor was able to secure money from a carbon offset fund to pay for the majority of the cost of a new system, together with a client contribution. The grant award process and installation was able to get the new boiler up and running just three weeks after the old one had broken.

“The service received was prompt and extremely professional from start to finish and was expedited to meet our needs with lightning speed. Very very impressed.”

Savings and outcomes

  • Southampton Healthy Homes secured a grant of £5,292 to pay for over 80% of Gale’s new heating and hot water system.
  • The energy efficiency of Gale’s home has increased from an E46 to a D65, with predicted energy cost savings of £437 per year.
  • Gale has started cooking on her gas stove once again, which she sorely missed when the gas was shut off.
  • The temperature inside the home is now much easier to regulate with a wireless programmable thermostat.
  • The grant has helped free up money for other home repairs.

“The property has become a very cosy and comfortable place to live in. The heating balance throughout the house is now excellent. For someone of 90 years old it is probably the most important aspect of living in her own home. Once again very impressed.”

Get in touch

If you know someone who needs help replacing their old heating system, please call the Southampton Healthy Homes team on Freephone 0800 804 8601 or email: keepwarm@environmentcentre.com.

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