Homes in parts of New Wortley will soon be able to have a gas supply for the first time since they were built in the 1960s.
Even though they were built in the shadow of the New Wortley gas holder, the homes were never connected to the gas pipeline system. But all that is set to change thanks to a partnership between the region’s gas pipeline owner Northern Gas Networks, Leeds-based community interest group Community Energy Solutions (CES) and West North West Homes Leeds (WNWHL).
The partnership between the three organisations aims to see around 300 homes in New Wortley enjoying gas-fuelled heating and hot water systems. The initial work to lay new gas mains is expected to be completed by the end of October.
Many of the homes in New Wortley are managed by WNWHL and both these and privately owned homes will initially enjoy free gas connections. At the same time, CES are also providing ‘whole house’ energy efficiency measures, free benefits advice and energy efficiency advice for private and social properties. CES is a non-profit distributing organisation set up with core funding from Yorkshire Forward and the Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change.
In addition to the gas connections, CES will also offer each home a package of energy efficiency measures such as cavity wall and loft insulation and energy efficiency advice. Householders will also be offered free benefits advice to ensure they are claiming everything that they are entitled to.
“It is great to see work starting on this project and we hope it will be the first of many that we will be delivering in partnership with Community Energy Solutions across the region,” explained Basil Scarsella, Chief Executive of Northern Gas Networks.
“Bringing affordable warmth to communities such as New Wortley is something that we see as vital. Householders will now have access to clean and efficient heating systems in time for the coming winter.”
Ward councillor Alison Lowe welcomed the start of the work. She said: “This means a lot to people in the area. For them finally to have access to gas central heating and cooking is a tremendous boost.”
CES Chief Executive Chris Leek added: “Creating partnerships like this to be able to deliver real solutions for communities is exactly what Community Energy Solutions is about.
“It is great to celebrate the start of this project which will help combat fuel poverty while also significantly reducing carbon emissions.
Programme manager from West North West Homes Leeds Terry Lacy said: “This is a truly ground-breaking project and it’s great that the first project of its kind in the UK will be undertaken right here in the heart of Yorkshire.”
Chief Executive of Northern Gas Networks Basil Scarsella with Cllr Alison Lowe, Terry Lacy from WNWHL and Chris Leek of CES.