A rural home has ditched coal after almost 100 years to become a shining example of renewable energy.
The terraced house in Rookhope, upper Weardale, has been burning fossil fuels for heat and hot water since it was built at the time when the village was at the centre of the lead mining industry. But now the outdated fires have been replaced by an air source heat pump system thanks to County Durham-based believe housing.
The two-bedroom stone-built house in Hogarth Terrace has been upgraded with the latest technology as part of the housing association’s commitment to reducing emissions and tackling climate change. believe housing, is the first organisation in the sector to achieve the Carbon Neutral International Standard.
The work has included the removal of fireplaces alongside the installation of the new air source heat pump equipment. It was carried out by Willington-based sustainable heating experts Buston and Maughan. The switch took around four days and was carried out as the home was prepared for a new tenant. This home is the first to use the latest air source equipment and it could become a model for low-carbon technology in remote areas.
Rookhope, high up in the North Pennines, is not connected to mains gas. Residents in the remote area are used to being self-sufficient but that will be made even easier with the new air source heat pump made by leading heating and hot water technology manufacturer, Vaillant.
It is estimated that approximately 5 tons of carbon will be saved each year thanks to this switch from coal. Upgrading existing homes to reduce their carbon emissions and energy efficiency is a key part of believe housing’s ‘green plan.’
Andrew Graham, Team Lead at believe housing, said: “Rookhope has never had mains gas, so solid fuel and oil are still a major part of heating in the area. It means that homes in the area are much more difficult to adapt to low-carbon technology, but this air source heat pump could be the perfect solution. It’s the latest technology in the field, we’ve been working closely with Vaillant on this scheme and hope it could be the model for other homes in rural areas.
“Upper Weardale is a beautiful part of the world, so it’s great that we’re able to take steps like this to protect it from carbon emissions.”
Mick Buston, of Buston and Maughan, said: “We were really pleased to have the opportunity to use our expertise on this project after recently achieving accreditation in micro generation. It’s been great to work in partnership with believe housing, especially as the properties are local to our business.”
“Vaillant are pleased to be able to support believe housing’s drive to utilise low carbon technology,” said Paul Satow, Regional Business manager for Vaillant.