Family slashes heating bills to pay for dream holiday

Mark and Hayley Pearce and their two children Amber, eight, and James, 10, with the outdoor section of the heat pump

Mark and Hayley Pearce and their two children Amber, eight, and James, 10, with the outdoor section of the heat pump Buy this photo

First published in News by

SAVINGS from a family’s heating bills funded a dream holiday in Spain thanks to a new renewable energy system.

The Pearce family, of Enstone, near Chipping Norton, took a £950 holiday paid for with savings made on their energy bills after having a new energy-saving air pump system installed.

The environmentally-friendly device uses naturally occuring heat from the air to warm the home and provide hot water.

The equipment, called an air source heat pump, has dramatically lowered the cost of heating the family’s three-bedroom home and meant Mark and Hayley Pearce could repay their outstanding electricity bills.

Mr and Mrs Pearce were also able to take their two children, Amber, eight, and James, 10, to Torremolinos in Spain.

Mrs Pearce, 38, said: “This is the first trip abroad that we’ve been able to take as a family and the kids were thrilled to bits.”

Two years ago, the Cottsway Housing Association tenants had accumulated a £1,000 bill with Southern Electric.

The couple then had the new heating system installed by Cottsway to replace the old electric storage heaters and solid fuel open fire in the lounge.

Before the new heating system, they spent £1,137 a year on electricity bills and solid fuel.

The house is not on the gas network and the storage heaters and coal fire gave it a carbon footprint of nine tonnes of CO2 a year.

Costs are now down to £384 for the heating and the carbon footprint has dropped to 3.2 tonnes.

The housing association has installed air source heat pumps to replace storage and convector heaters and solid fuel fires in some of its houses.

Cottsway spokesman Gary Salter said: “We knew we would see a cut in fuel bills for our tenants but this has even surprised us.”

The ‘Ecodan’ air source heat pump operates on a small amount of electricity. It works effectively in temperatures below -15C.

Thousands of homes in Scandinavia have similar technology and it is being promoted and bought by UK energy suppliers.

Mr Salter added: “It’s very simple to install and operate, and will work with conventional radiators like those in most homes heated by gas central heating.

“We are delighted with the results from all of the Ecodan systems we have installed to date.”

Mr Pearce, 35, said: “No one relishes paying a large bill for heating and hot water. But you do want a reliable system to provide heat when you need it.

“We love it, and since it relies on a neat box outside the home it even takes up less space than a boiler or storage heaters.”

Renewable energy specialists Ecovision, based in Gloucestershire, said the devices were increasingly being installed by housing associations and developers. For an average two-three bedroom house, they cost £5,000 to £6,000 to buy and install.

Comments (9)

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11:08am Tue 13 Jul 10

newcy says...

A nice deal -if someone else is paying for your new energy system to be installed! The poor uptake of fuel-eeficient and renewable energy heating systems is because only housing associations and a small handful of well-off private owners can afford to fit them.
A nice deal -if someone else is paying for your new energy system to be installed! The poor uptake of fuel-eeficient and renewable energy heating systems is because only housing associations and a small handful of well-off private owners can afford to fit them. newcy
  • Score: 0

11:26am Tue 13 Jul 10

LadyPenelope says...

At £6000 to buy and install, it would take around 10 years to break even on a 3 bed home, so not really a feasible option for your average home owner...
At £6000 to buy and install, it would take around 10 years to break even on a 3 bed home, so not really a feasible option for your average home owner... LadyPenelope
  • Score: 0

11:59am Tue 13 Jul 10

Andrew:Oxford says...

LadyPenelope wrote:
At £6000 to buy and install, it would take around 10 years to break even on a 3 bed home, so not really a feasible option for your average home owner...
Unless you were looking to install a brand new heating system anyway - which would cost approx £3k (minimum) for a 3 bed house. In which case the payback time on the differential would be quite tolerable. I, would choose to have one of these or a ground source heat pump should I need to replace my gas boiler. An eco-minded council should demand air-source or ground-source heat pumps in new homes to balance off a parking space.
[quote][p][bold]LadyPenelope[/bold] wrote: At £6000 to buy and install, it would take around 10 years to break even on a 3 bed home, so not really a feasible option for your average home owner...[/p][/quote]Unless you were looking to install a brand new heating system anyway - which would cost approx £3k (minimum) for a 3 bed house. In which case the payback time on the differential would be quite tolerable. I, would choose to have one of these or a ground source heat pump should I need to replace my gas boiler. An eco-minded council should demand air-source or ground-source heat pumps in new homes to balance off a parking space. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Tue 13 Jul 10

rowdy says...

So they saved money at someone else,s exspence ............!!!!!!!!
!!!!!
So they saved money at someone else,s exspence ............!!!!!!!! !!!!! rowdy
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Tue 13 Jul 10

Mickey_d says...

This is exactly the sort of project that our 'green taxes' should be used to heavily subsidise. Instead they just get thrown in the pot and used to fund bank bail-outs and firtility treatment for fifty-year-olds on the NHS.

I have not met anyone yet who would fundamentaly disagree with paying these taxes *if* the money was then directly used to subsidise energy saving products and technology.

That will never happen because green taxes were never about changing peoples habits and attitudes, it has always just been another stealth tax!

Mickey
This is exactly the sort of project that our 'green taxes' should be used to heavily subsidise. Instead they just get thrown in the pot and used to fund bank bail-outs and firtility treatment for fifty-year-olds on the NHS. I have not met anyone yet who would fundamentaly disagree with paying these taxes *if* the money was then directly used to subsidise energy saving products and technology. That will never happen because green taxes were never about changing peoples habits and attitudes, it has always just been another stealth tax! Mickey Mickey_d
  • Score: 0

2:56pm Tue 13 Jul 10

digdog says...

rowdy wrote:
So they saved money at someone else,s exspence ............!!!!!!!! !!!!!
Presumably they pay rent so the expense will be paid by them over time.
[quote][p][bold]rowdy[/bold] wrote: So they saved money at someone else,s exspence ............!!!!!!!! !!!!![/p][/quote]Presumably they pay rent so the expense will be paid by them over time. digdog
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Tue 13 Jul 10

Captain Birdseye says...

So we now have GREEN PROPAGANDA masquerading as news stories. I pity kids growing up now as they will have no carefree childhood, only one filled with messages of doom and gloom. "mum I can't have a bath because it is killing the Earth, I only want a 2 minute shower, Mum why do you drive a car, Mum why etc, thank god I will be gone in 30 years. I hate to imagine the GREENIE world dictatorship we live in then.
So we now have GREEN PROPAGANDA masquerading as news stories. I pity kids growing up now as they will have no carefree childhood, only one filled with messages of doom and gloom. "mum I can't have a bath because it is killing the Earth, I only want a 2 minute shower, Mum why do you drive a car, Mum why etc, thank god I will be gone in 30 years. I hate to imagine the GREENIE world dictatorship we live in then. Captain Birdseye
  • Score: 0

11:24pm Tue 13 Jul 10

Andrew:Oxford says...

Captain Birdseye wrote:
So we now have GREEN PROPAGANDA masquerading as news stories. I pity kids growing up now as they will have no carefree childhood, only one filled with messages of doom and gloom. "mum I can't have a bath because it is killing the Earth, I only want a 2 minute shower, Mum why do you drive a car, Mum why etc, thank god I will be gone in 30 years. I hate to imagine the GREENIE world dictatorship we live in then.
Perhaps. I'm not entirely sure how suggesting a family can get on a plane for a holiday in Spain using the money they saved by their housing association installing an ASHP is green propaganda. Greenies usually hate planes. (But otherwise I'd agree, it's a miserable world when people are manipulated into being "terrified", "frightened" or "scared" by the green mafia)
[quote][p][bold]Captain Birdseye[/bold] wrote: So we now have GREEN PROPAGANDA masquerading as news stories. I pity kids growing up now as they will have no carefree childhood, only one filled with messages of doom and gloom. "mum I can't have a bath because it is killing the Earth, I only want a 2 minute shower, Mum why do you drive a car, Mum why etc, thank god I will be gone in 30 years. I hate to imagine the GREENIE world dictatorship we live in then.[/p][/quote]Perhaps. I'm not entirely sure how suggesting a family can get on a plane for a holiday in Spain using the money they saved by their housing association installing an ASHP is green propaganda. Greenies usually hate planes. (But otherwise I'd agree, it's a miserable world when people are manipulated into being "terrified", "frightened" or "scared" by the green mafia) Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Tue 27 Jul 10

Bicester retired says...

I may be wrong but I think that the heat pump has been around for more than 3 decades and operates on the reverse as refrigeration. The savings seem to come from replacing the old inefficient system with a more efficient one, like replacing our old refrigerators with modern ones, so nothing to be excited about. I think that the housing association should have acted much earlier to save the tenants from paying unnecessarily for years excessive bills due to the outdated and inefficient system. The Pearce family is very much entitled to their holidays as they are in fact victims due to the slow (or no) action by the housing association over the past years.
I may be wrong but I think that the heat pump has been around for more than 3 decades and operates on the reverse as refrigeration. The savings seem to come from replacing the old inefficient system with a more efficient one, like replacing our old refrigerators with modern ones, so nothing to be excited about. I think that the housing association should have acted much earlier to save the tenants from paying unnecessarily for years excessive bills due to the outdated and inefficient system. The Pearce family is very much entitled to their holidays as they are in fact victims due to the slow (or no) action by the housing association over the past years. Bicester retired
  • Score: 0

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