Local MPs visit Berkshire site to see one of the country’s biggest gas retrofit installation projects…
The leader and deputy leader of Bracknell Forest Council visited Warfield Park on 22 March to mark the completion of one of the largest gas retrofit installation projects currently in the UK.
Gas Distribution Network Company, Cadent and their delivery partner Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS) has invested a £1.6 million in Warfield Park to connect all 500 park homes to a new natural gas main across the entire park, replacing LPG which has served the site for some 20 years.
Leader Cllr Paul Bettison OBE and Cllr Dorothy Hayes MBE executive member for the Environment, had a tour of the site, reviewed the works and spoke to residents.
‘This is a significant investment in the Park’s infrastructure,’ said Barry Sumner, managing director of Warfield Park. ‘This is a perfect example of Cadent, AWS, T&K Gallagher, Happy Energy, Bracknell Forest Council and Warfield Park all working together for the benefit of the entire community. The new natural gas main will give residents full access to the competitive gas market. They will be able to shop around for the best gas supply deal instead of being tied to just one supplier, allowing them to make significant savings on their energy bills.’
The works, which started last summer and were completed earlier this year, were undertaken by AWS and their approved contractor T & K Gallagher in eight phases of 50 to 60 homes each. AWS
Managing director, Jeremy Nesbitt commented: ‘This was a complex scheme that delivered ahead of schedule and I’m grateful for the support of Warfield Park residents for their cooperation during the construction of new mains and services,’ he added. ‘Safety is always our number one priority and credit must go to our contract partners T&K Gallagher together with our own operations team who ensured compliance.’
All resident appliances needed a small amount of work to be converted from LPG to use natural gas, which was completed as the connections were installed. Many residents also received new boilers hobs and ovens.
Bracknell Forest Council facilitated initial funding under the ECO2 scheme for boiler upgrades, which were installed by Happy Energy. Additionally, the investment made by Cadent under the Ofgem Fuel Poverty Extension Scheme, delivered by AWS, enabled the delivery of the network and provide mains gas to all residents on the park.
‘Some residents who connected early in the programme are reporting savings of 50 per cent on their gas bills,’ added Barry Sumner. ‘In addition, residents will now have access to many more qualified engineers, a growing problem with the continuing use of LPG.’
Cllr Paul Bettison said: ‘The council has worked closely with Warfield Park to bring this impressive project forward. This impressive investment has provided residents access to natural gas and the wider gas market.
‘This will help many residents to save significant amounts money and, at the same time, use the fuel more efficiently through new more efficient boilers.’
‘This has been a complex project to undertake,’ continued Barry Sumner. ‘All involved have worked diligently to deliver this, and well ahead of the programme and within budget. Our gratitude goes to Happy Energy, Bracknell Council for facilitating the project, and to Cadent for the funding.
‘A special mention goes to AWS and their contractors T&K Gallagher for their commitment and ability for us to link in to the national gas grid so that residents could reap the substantial benefits that entails.’
Warfield Park is set in some 90 acres of parkland. It is one of the largest parks of its kind in the UK with just over 500 homes, the majority privately-owned. There are 92,000 existing park homes in around 2,000 licensed sites across the country.
For more information on the park, please visit www.warfieldpark.co.uk.