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Council supporting energy and technology companies to provide householders with low cost, low carbon energy – with plans for local skills academy and specialist training facility

Bridgend County Borough Council is supporting the work of energy and technology companies to provide householders with low cost, low carbon energy.

Following a pilot project in the county borough in 2018 which saw residents involved saving hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills, a smart hybrid heating system is now being commercially offered to people that have either oil or LPG boilers.

Called the B-Snug Smart Hybrid Heating System, it combines both renewable and conventional technology.

Ian Rose from PassivSystems, an MCS registered and RECC approved heating services provider supporting the BSnug proposition, said: “The hybrid heating system is designed to work best with off-gas grid properties with large heating bills.

“It offers customers a simple and affordable way to transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon energy source without the disruption of replacing their existing oil or LPG heating system.

“By installing a hybrid heat pump alongside their boilers, people can shift about 80 percent of their energy demand onto a heat pump.

“The system involves the installation of a Samsung air source heat pump alongside an LPG or oil boiler and an advanced smart control service from PassivSystems.

“The advanced smart controls switch between the two heat sources, automatically selecting the most appropriate fuel source to deliver warmth and comfort, when wanted, in the most cost efficient way.

“In addition to continuously evaluating and modelling the thermal characteristics of the home it also interprets weather forecast data to optimise the heating strategy.”

The local authority which wants to see the county borough become a low carbon innovation zone is taking a proactive role in providing opportunities for the development of business models, supply chains and technologies that will be needed over the coming years.

Bridgend county borough is one of only three local authority areas that have been chosen by the UK Government to develop low carbon energy schemes which could then be replicated elsewhere across the country. The other two are Newcastle and Bury in Greater Manchester.

Mr Rose said: “Bridgend county borough could rightly claim to be the home of smart hybrid heat pumps.

“We hope to establish a good footprint in the county borough. We’re working with Bridgend College to create a skills academy while Samsung is creating a training facility for the installation of hybrid heat pump systems.”

Residents interested in finding out more are asked to fill in a contact form on the B-Snug website with B-Snug then calling them back to see if their property is suitable for the heat system.

Following a survey at the property, residents can then request installation of the system which takes three days.

It includes:

· A fully installed Samsung Air Source Heat Pump and integration with your existing boiler

· PassivLiving Advanced Smart Control Service, online portal and App to help you manage your new system

· A full 7 years parts and labour warranty for the Smart Hybrid Heating System

UK Government funding for the scheme via the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive payments runs until March 2022, lowering the lifetime cost of installations up to that date.

The complete installation would cost £1,610, plus a monthly fee of £9.90 for seven years, which covers the smart control service. Overall, the cost would come to £2,441.60, including VAT.

However the total cost could be reduced to around £830 over seven years if residents are successful in applying for Ofgem’s Metering and Monitoring Service Package which entitles the applicant to receive £1,610, which covers the installation cost.

Mr Rose said: “We have got everything in place to be fully compliant with all the legislation around working safely in the home. We explain what we are going to and how we are going to keep residents safe while we are working.

“B-Snug is an ideal solution for homeowners who are concerned about the cost of filling up their oil or LPG storage tanks, thinking about replacing their ageing boiler because they are worried about breakdowns or cost of repair, looking for a lower carbon alternative to heat their home but are put off by the disruption and cost of completely replacing their existing system and looking to improve their comfort and have greater, real-time control over their heating.

“Residents who participated in the FREEDOM project, saw annual savings on their energy bill of up to £700.”

The FREEDOM (Flexible Residential Energy Efficiency Demand Optimisation and Management) project in Bridgend county borough was delivered by Wales and West Utilities, Western Power Distribution and PassivSystems in 2018.

Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Richard Young, said: “I’m delighted to see this form of technology being rolled out following the very successful pilot project a couple of years ago.

“In Bridgend county borough there are almost 3,000 properties off the gas grid ranging from the valleys to Merthyr Mawr and Cefn Cribwr.

“Technology such as this is vital to helping lower the cost of energy bills and alleviating fuel poverty while aiding the overall decarbonisation of the Bridgend energy system.

“Adding a second fuel source will also give greater fuel security in the peak of winter when conventional fuel supply could be an issue in extended cold weather periods.”