New Eco Houses Will Help Address Fuel Poverty
SOCIAL Development Minister Nelson McCausland has handed over keys to new residents of an innovative pilot housing scheme at Lisnahull Terrace in Dungannon.
The energy efficient demonstrator of five family homes has been built by Oaklee Homes Group and is the first social housing scheme in Northern Ireland to be built to ‘passive house’ standard. The Department for Social Development is responsible for tackling fuel poverty and the new eco scheme will be used to provide practical learning for future social housing developments.
The ‘passive house’ concept is based on minimizing heat loss and maximizing heat gain with much reduced traditional heating and cooling systems. In the three and four bedroom properties, a heat exchanger re-circulates warm air throughout the building and is supplemented by heating from a total of only three conventional radiators. The result will be much reduced energy costs for tenants.
Minister McCausland said: “Northern Ireland suffers from the highest level of fuel poverty in the United Kingdom with households here spending significantly more of their disposable income on energy costs. My department is committed to reducing energy inefficiency as one way of driving down on fuel poverty. For social housing tenants, in particular, rising energy costs can have a disproportionately devastating effect and I want to do all I can to make sure that people do not have to make the hard choice between eating and heating.
“Social housing here is already at a high standard, but I want to ensure that we are concentrating on those elements that will make the most impact on energy efficiency. This latest initiative will provide valuable learning as we look to make the best choices for social housing going forward.”
The Minister continued: “The performance of this exemplar will be closely monitored in conjunction with the tenants involved and ongoing results will inform the decision making process. Oaklee Homes Group and the Housing Executive are to be congratulated for embracing this challenge which will benefit tenants both immediately and into the future.”
Oaklee Homes Group Chairperson Sylvia Doran commented: “It is our vision that everyone has the right to affordable, quality housing. I would like to acknowledge the strong working relationship between Oaklee Homes Group, the Department for Social Development and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive which made Lisnahull Terrace possible. The design of these new properties passes on all the benefits of comfort and cheaper costs to the tenants, and we all wish the tenants every happiness in their new homes.”
During a tour of the scheme the Minister handed over keys to new tenant Ms Grainne Hamill.
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Weather for Dungannon
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 6 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North