Warmer Homes Scotland - first annual review

Annual review of our Warmer Homes Scotland scheme, looking at delivery from September 2015 to March 2016.

3.0 Potential measures

3.1 Overview

As part of our brief we were asked to recommend any further potential measures that could be recommended for the scheme. Following our analysis in section 2, there are a number of measures that have not yet been recommended due to the reasons explained. On this basis it has been a complex process to identify further new measures that can be included in the scheme. Below are some additional recommendations that could be included into the scheme to assist with the uptake of measures, including minor amendments to current measures that could also be considered.

3.2 Measure 1 - Biomass Stove

Biomass stoves differ from biomass boilers as stoves are used to heat a single room and are not connected to a central heating and hot water system that can provide heating and hot water for the whole of the property.

Stoves can be installed with a back boiler which can provide water heating for the property, but this depends on the customers' heating demands as well as the current heating fuel source used by the property. This is because they are generally fitted in conjunction with a full heating system within the property. It is necessary that a chimney or a flue is present in the room that the stove is being installed. Stoves operate at a higher efficiency to boilers as they spread the heat produced through convection rather than the traditional method of radiation, this means that the room is heated more evenly and efficiently using a fan attached to the stove. The average cost of an automated stove ranging from 5-7kW output varies from £2,000-£4,000, plus the price of fuel.

This measure is a different and cheaper option from the biomass boiler as there are different variations available as well as the possibility of a back boiler being fitted alongside the stove and the cost implications are not as high as a biomass boiler.

3.3 Measure 2 - Enabling fund for Asbestos Removal

During our discussions and research with Warmworks it was discovered that a number of recommended measures were being cancelled due to asbestos being present at the property. The cost implications of removing the asbestos to allow the measure to be installed are currently too high therefore the measures are being cancelled.

It was discussed that if an enabling fund was made available for asbestos removal then there would be a higher uptake of measures. The implications with asbestos removal are quite significant to the customers as in some cases it requires floors being totally stripped and lofts emptied so customers are cancelling on these grounds. The actual cost of asbestos removal itself is quite high; the cost of removal is implemented by the amount that is present at the property.

We feel it would be beneficial to the scheme if an enabling fund for asbestos removal was introduced. This may then increase the uptake of recommended measures, as funding will assist with the removal of any asbestos in a property and allow the recommended measure to be installed.

3.4 Measure 3 - Energy Efficient Bulbs

During our time with Warmworks it was made clear that the measure available for energy efficient lighting did not include the supply of energy efficient light bulbs. Warmworks will only fit and supply the correct fittings that will accommodate energy efficient light bulbs, but then it is down to the customer to purchase the bulbs. We feel it necessary to include the supply of bulbs along with the fittings with this measure.

This measure is a common recommendation following an EPC survey so there will be a high uptake of this measure as it not intrusive to have light fittings installed and a supply of energy efficient bulbs. In some cases energy efficient lighting systems are installed which may include further works that are more disruptive to the customer however the install will be completed if bulbs are being supplied at the end of the works.

3.5 Measure 4 - Ground Source Heat Pumps ( GSHP)

Ground Source Heat Pumps are a recommended measure currently on the scheme; however they are grouped as part of the air source heat pump measure recommendation.

There are greater benefits to a ground source heat pump than an air source heat pump as they are buried in the ground and are not visible like an air source heat pump that is installed to the outside of the property. Air source heat pumps are reliant on air flow to work to a high efficiency whereas ground source heat pumps extract heat from the ground. Typically the instalment of a system will cost between £13,000-20,000, running costs depend on the size and type of property the system is serving as well as how well the property is insulated.

This measure is a good alternative to recommend separately aside from air source heat pumps. This system also works excellently with under floor heating systems, which are a current recommended measure on the programme. They are also a good replacement for properties that have old electric or coal heating systems that require replacement.

3.6 Measure 5 - Oil Tanks & Connections

There are a large number of properties targeted in this scheme that use LPG & Oil tanks. Gas connections, tanks and bases can be quite a significant cost to customers. From our meeting with Warmworks it was discussed that the current supply chain for oil tanks and bases has significant cost implications and has caused an increase in the number of cancelled installs. We recommend that Warmworks review the current supply chain for oil tanks, bases, LPG tanks and gas connections further to see if there are any additional offers that may benefit the customers and potentially increase the number of installs. We also recommend that the Scottish Government explore a possible contribution and/or enabling fund to allow there to be more installs of these types of measures. This is due to the current cost of installations and in the case of LPG tanks, Warmworks stated that the gas tank provider would offer a free tank to the customer on the provision that they signed up to an 18 month contract with them.


Back to top