It’s great to hear that Helena Partnerships’ Ratcliffe Park regeneration project – in which Zenex Technologies played a part – has been awarded the prestigious Building for Life Gold Award, a national standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods led by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and the Home Builders Federation.
We’ve been talking to Martin Roughley, the Sustainability and Innovation Manager at Helena Partnerships, for a while now and he’s a firm believer in the proven energy saving benefits of the Zenex GasSaver. So much so that you’ll find our GasSaver in every one of the 135 new build houses in this popular new development.
“Energy efficient heating is an essential part of the requirement of Code 3, which is the level to which all these houses have been designed and built,” Martin explained. “Initially I looked at the possibility of using solar technology to provide hot water for the new build properties,” he continued. “I soon realised, however, that using Zenex’s GasSaver with a high efficiency boiler was not only by far the more cost-effective option but would also require less maintenance.”
Ratcliffe Park – or Warburton Hey as the existing housing estate was known – was an area at high risk of fuel poverty with high unemployment to boot, so it was a prime location for economic regeneration. Of course, it’s not the only UK region to be at risk of fuel poverty. Around 4.1m households in England alone will be in fuel poverty this year, a statistic that was highlighted by Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, in a speech given at the Ecobuild Conference in March to promote the importance of improving energy efficiency in the UK. As Greg Barker also mentioned, passive flue gas heat recovery systems are eligible for finance under the Green Deal. This is a British technology that delivers proven financial, carbon and water savings.
A key objective of the Ratcliffe Park project was to create energy efficient homes in which people wanted to live, hence the inclusion of a high efficiency boiler and GasSaver. Fitted above the boiler, the GasSaver works by trapping energy that would normally be wasted. This energy can then be used to pre-heat hot water or to drive additional radiators or underfloor heating circuits. So it reduces water wastage too as warm water arrives sooner at the tap, which is why it is recognised by Waterwise. For the householder, the benefits are immediate and significant: in a typical “average” home, fitting a GasSaver could save in excess of £100 on gas and water bills and 200kg of carbon per home per year. That adds up to a lot of money and can be the difference between being in fuel poverty or not.
Ratcliffe Park has brought an entirely new look and feel to an area that was at high risk of fuel poverty and in urgent need of economic regeneration. The energy saving Zenex GasSaver has played a crucial role in this, helping eliminate the risk of fuel poverty by significantly reducing fuel bills and carbon emissions by radically reducing energy waste. And as Martin Roughley pointed out, it was the cost-effective solution, too.
Adopting low carbon heat technologies such as the GasSaver – with its proven substantial financial and carbon savings – is vital for decarbonisation and the long term energy future of the UK. On a personal level it can quite simply mean the difference between having enough money to heat your house or not. And that’s something that really hits home even on a scorching hot day like this.
We must not forget, either the fuel poor, the large percentage of households who are worried about how they will pay their energy bills next winter. They too will fall into the fuel poverty category if we don’t act now. It’s time to make this technology compulsory in every household, as part of every new boiler installation. Just think how much comfort we could bring to our neighbours and how much long term benefit we can bring the nation. And maybe let your MP know how you feel too…