Project Description

Boiler replacement programme

Research into the impact and value of our planned investment programme indicates that whilst all components of the programme are important in maintaining the quality and standard of the home, measures to improve energy efficiency can have the most impact on customers.

Alongside our money advice services and advice and information on using heating systems effectively, this can help towards lifting customers out of fuel poverty.

A major focus on affordable warmth is just one of the new things that we are doing to ensure we provide every customer with a quality home that they really can use as a springboard to achieve their aspirations.

To improve energy efficiency, we have further invested in our boiler replacement programme to bring all of our homes up to a SAP D Rating by 2018, exceeding the government target of SAP rating E by 2018. Part of that programme is to replace older, less efficient boilers with new A-rated energy efficient models.

During 2015/16 we installed 1,873 new boilers, the majority of which were condensing combi boilers, at an average cost of £1,895: a total spend of more than £3.5m.

We are also developing a range of services to be tested through our affordable warmth programme and aim to report on the outcomes of these tests later in 2016.

When it’s no longer cost effective to improve an existing home, when it has become a barrier rather than a springboard, we will consider it for disposal or redevelopment. The decision is not purely an economic one; other factors including local demand are also considered as part of the decision making process.

The benefits of new, energy efficient boilers are multiple:

They reduce the cost of keeping a home warm, something particularly important to customers on low incomes. Installation of a condensing boiler provides an estimated fuel bill saving of up to £225 per year per household.

They can improve physical health, with benefits for both the customer and society. Cold housing can affect specific conditions, such as cardio-vascular or respiratory diseases (CVD). The average cost of a hospital admission requiring a surgical procedure due to CVD is £4,614 and around a third of all excess winter deaths are caused by CVD.

In total Age UK estimates that deaths arising from cold homes cost the NHS £1.3 billion per year and the Building Research Establishment estimate that the average cost to the NHS of excess cold in a home is circa £20,000.

Damp, cold homes can affect mental health and increase the likelihood of depression and anxiety. In more general terms if someone is unable to keep themselves warm it is simply impossible to imagine them feeling in good health overall; good overall health carries a HACT wellbeing value of £20,141 indicating the significance of its impact.

Taking just the potential energy cost savings, new boilers can pay for themselves within eight years. If new boilers prevent serious cold and damp related NHS admissions in even 1% of installations, the NHS savings would outweigh the cost of the programme in under 10 years. If 10% of customers were to experience improved physical health as a result, then wellbeing values would exceed new boiler costs in year one alone.

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