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Eco home resident had to keep warm in car

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By Donald Turvill
Dumfries and West
Eco home resident had to keep warm in car

A NEW Abbey resident who was forced to keep warm in his car after his eco home plunged to sub-zero temperatures has slammed the local housing association responsible for maintaining the property.

On February 9 it dropped to -3 in Nick Todd’s bungalow, owned by Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP).

He said that the air source heat pump installed in the house – an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional boilers – has repeatedly failed him since he moved in a year ago.

“To date I’ve had engineers out six times to this heating system, and they all say the same it’s running at its maximum capacity,” Nick said. “The radiators are on the highest possible setting and take seven minutes to melt an ice cube.”

Nick added that on the most baltic nights, he’s resorted to wearing his coat inside, spending a lot of time in bed, and even sitting in his car with the heater on “as it’s warmer than my house”.

He continued: “My bills are coming in at over £200 for 28 days—I used to live in a three bedroom house and my bills were 70 quid per month and it was red hot.

“It’s so bad a heating system that I can hold onto the hot pipe outlet on the boiler forever. If this was a gas boiler I would get third degree burns. I’ve never lived in a small bungalow so cold in my life.”

Nick said he is being forced out because of the issue, adding: “Identical properties to mine in the area are warm and cozy, but they have bigger radiators and a radiator in the kitchen.

“I really don’t want to move but my health is getting worse because of the damp and cold. I just want to be warm.

“If air source heating is the future, may God help us.”

A DGHP spokeswoman said: “We are very sorry that our customer is having difficulties with their heating system.

“We have been working really hard to try and resolve this and have been giving our customer all the support we can. This week we have a specialist going out to carry out a full review of how the system is working.

“Once we have the report from the specialist we will carry out any work identified, operating within government guidelines to make sure everyone is safe.

“The home is also due for investment works which include new windows, loft insulation and an energy storing device. This will bring further savings on energy bills and helps achieve better energy efficiency.”