0800 Repair, which is part of PHS Home Solutions, is helping a Hartlepool resident advance his ambition to become the town’s greenest home and take his 1930s property ‘off grid’.
Alongside an extensive collection of solar panels fitted to the property by Andrew Mitchell, he has also received funding to install several energy-saving measures through the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) scheme administered by Hartlepool Borough Council and installed by 0800 Repair.
Through the HUG scheme, the property, which does not have a gas connection, has been fitted with an air-source heat pump, as well as loft and cavity installation, double glazing and ventilation systems.
The air-source heat pump warms air extracted from outside to heat the home. The innovative pump is highly efficient, clean and can reduce energy bills by up to 40% for those who have had to rely on solid fuel in the past.
The electricity for the heat pump, along with the home’s other power requirements are provided by the solar panels fitted by Mr Mitchell. This enables him to reduce his reliance on electricity from an energy provider.
The Council was able to offer funding to Mr Mitchell through the HUG scheme which was a fund established by the government as part of their carbon reduction strategy. To qualify for a grant, eligible homes must have a low income, and have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating between D and G.
Mr Mitchell, an IT consultant and massage therapist, said: “I bought this house as a blank canvas, as it was built in the 1930s with no energy efficiency measures in mind.
“I wanted to go reduce my carbon footprint and go as green as possible, I was made aware that gas is responsible for 13% of all UK carbon emissions, so I decided to have the gas supply taken out.”
“I installed the solar panels myself, but gradually added to the house with the help of the government’s Home Upgrade Grant, which I didn’t know about until I chatted to a neighbour who also applied for funding.
“The eco-measures were taken before the energy crisis hit and I’m now in a lucky position where I generate more energy than I use. I hope this will help inform other people to take a similar approach in both saving money and being sustainable.”
Erik Coates, Energy Services Director at PHS Home Solutions, said: “We’re proud to have worked alongside Mr Mitchell and the council on this project.
“These grants can help people like Mr Mitchell to become more sustainable. What he is doing is commendable and forward-thinking.
“The installation of the air source heat pump together with the solar panels and other methods are an important step forward in ensuring his home will soon be off-grid and carbon neutral.”
Councillor Mike Young, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “Mr Mitchell’s dynamic approach to being energy efficient and saving money is an example for us all, but also highlights the Government’s and the council’s commitment to energy efficiency and proactive approach to tackling the causes of climate change.”