Working single mum Lisa Hart, from Ashford in Kent, received funding towards a gas connection and full central heating system to replace her coal hungry Rayburn heater.
With coal proving expensive, Lisa’s mum suggested the Southern Gas Networks (SGN) Help to Heat scheme which provides gas connection grants to eligible residents.
Lisa applied without any expectations that she’d get any help and to her amazement she met the schemes criteria after YES Energy Solutions validated her application.
The gas connection was fully funded and what’s more over £4,000 was granted towards the installation of a Worcester boiler and five radiators installed in her home.
“I was absolutely amazed, gob smacked! I never really apply for things and I could not believe how much help was actually available for people.
“It was incredible, I couldn’t believe it, I was just so grateful.”
Previously, Lisa’s home had no central heating or radiators. She explained:
“This winter has been a completely different experience to every other winter!
“I always hated getting coal, and it was always mucky. But now with gas central heating I just feel like I’m so up with new technology, by just having a button to press to turn the system on or off. I’ve never experienced it before, so it’s been an absolute pleasure.
“Before when I came home and if the Rayburn had run out it was such a rigmarole, you have to empty it, relight it, then you’ve got to wait for the house to warm up. Now it’s just a push of a button and in ten minutes the house is warm, it’s fantastic”
Living with her 13-year-old daughter, two cats and a Basset Hound, Lisa says that everyone is loving the new central heating, even the pets.
The SGN Help to Heat scheme helps residents in Scotland and South East England, allowing qualifying householders at risk of fuel poverty to connect to the gas network for little or no cost.
YES Energy Solutions was appointed by SGN to validate residents for gas connection funding from 2012 - July 2018 and supported Lisa’s installation by securing ECO funding and validating her for a gas connection grant.
With Lisa working part-time and receiving tax credits, she was eligible for funding.
The installation of Lisa’s central heating system was completed in July 2018, causing very little disruption.
“There wasn’t anywhere to really move the furniture because it’s a really tiny house. I don’t even know how they did it to be honest but the end result was great.
“They managed to just lift carpets and, not only that, they managed to take out the water tank, which I thought was another good thing.”
Lisa is now saving money with her new central heating system, with combined gas and electric bills at around £100 a month, contrasting to the cost of coal, which a £13 bag only lasted the family two days in winter.
“I have even been a little bit naughty in that I kept turning the heating on whereas before I’d be worried about the cost of coal.
“I’m 50, I’ve never had central heating in my life, so this has really been fantastic and I would really recommend this scheme to anyone.”
There are almost 4 million homes in the UK that are not connected to the mains gas network.
If you use electric heaters, bottle gas or solid fuel to heat your home, you could be wasting hundreds of pounds a year on your energy bills.