A Quantum improvement
With a housing stock that dates from the 1900s to present day, Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust provides affordable housing for more than 17,000 people living and working in Aylesbury and the surrounding villages of the Vale.
Over the past 10 years, the Trust has invested more than £120m upgrading older housing stock, bringing all properties in line to meet the ‘Decent Homes Standard’. However, the rural location of Aylesbury has presented the Trust with an on-going challenge of delivering adequate and affordable heating for tenants.
Until recently, the Trust fitted LPG systems in homes in need of an upgrade. However, upon review, it was decided that a more cost effective, less disruptive (at installation stage) and easy to use alternative needed to be considered. Whilst air source heat pumps were an option, this solution would not have been practical for all of the homes.
In a bid to achieve its ‘Homes for Living’ vision, the Trust turned to Dimplex Quantum heaters to deliver an efficient, user-friendly solution that would help to put tenants on the right track towards overcoming fuel poverty.
After a successful, no risk, no obligation trial, it was clear that the Dimplex Quantum off-peak heater was a fitting choice for the Trust’s varying housing stock - delivering controllable heat on demand.
Delivering advances in insulation technology and control, the Dimplex Quantum system allows users to maximise the heat stored during off-peak periods and enables them to use it only when they need it, throughout the day.
Independent assessment of the system using SAP2012 shows that Quantum heaters can reduce running costs by up 27 percent when compared with a standard storage heater system – an ideal solution for housing associations seeking money saving benefits for tenants.
Keen to test out the usability and efficiencies of the Quantum, the Trust took advantage of Dimplex’s free trial offer with 91 year old tenant - Mrs. Dumpleton - in the summer of 2016. Mrs. Dumpleton was finding it increasingly difficult to keep up the maintenance of her solid fuel system which urgently required an upgrade before the arrival of winter. Having lived in the same property since 1937, Mrs. Dumpleton reported that following the installation of Dimplex’s Quantum it was the first time she had, “felt warmth right the way through the whole house.”
With a positive report from tenants highlighting the ease of use and improved control of their heating, the Trust commenced a rolling programme of Dimplex Quantum installations across homes that were most in need of an upgrade.
With financial pressures on the sector rising and continued decreases in funding for housing associations, Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust was presented with the challenge of carrying out urgent, guaranteed upgrades within budget. Chris Goodyear, assistant operations business manager (electrical), Vale of Aylesbury Housing, said: “ Having been in the trade for 30 years now, Dimplex is a brand that I’ve used many times and its reliability and ease of installation was the key seller for me. And the option of a product trial to see the results for ourselves before embarking on a full upgrade was, of course, a welcome one.”
To-date, the Trust has installed 15 Quantum systems across its homes and is due to upgrade a further 58 flats at Rossiter House in Brackley. The long-term aim of the Trust is to upgrade any homes with conventional storage heating - or a combination of storage and panel heaters - to a Dimplex Quantum system.
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