Centrica is to install heat pumps and other low carbon technology at 78 homes in East Devon over the next month.
The energy firm has partnered East Devon District Council for the scheme, which is being delivered as part of the Green Homes Grant scheme with added investment from the council.
Between now and the end of March, 78 houses and bungalows in Lyme Regis, Exeter and Axminister will have the installs, which consist of air source heat pumps, solar PV, new radiators, upgraded insulation and a new intelligent heating control system.
The heat pump is to be a Vailliant aroTHERM air-source heat pump, while Mixergy – a firm Centrica has invested in and partnered with – is to provide an unvented heat pump cylinder with built-in solar PV modulating diverter.
An application for the second phase of the project has been submitted, with this targeting a further 75 properties in the area. The aim is to bring these properties from an ECP rating E or below to a minimum of a C, although most are expected to reach B or above.
Ian Mather, business development manager at P H Jones, Centrica’s specialist social housing division, said: “Now that the first units are in, early indicators and tenant feedback suggest that the project will over-deliver against the targets we’ve set – in terms of its environmental benefits, and by making residents’ homes warmer and more comfortable, for less."
The Green Homes Grant is targeting green home improvements, issuing vouchers for technology such as heat pumps as well as solar thermal and insulation. However, it has been beset with problems and delays, with the Environmental Audit Committee warning that at the current rate, it will take ten years to meet the government’s target, with only 20,000 vouchers issued out of a total of 600,000 on offer.
And last week, it was announced that any unspent funding of the £2 billion scheme would not be rolled over into 2021/22.