Improving the energy efficiency of a 600-year old home

Mr W lives in a lovely Grade 2 listed property in Bracknell. His 600-year old home is made up of two detached buildings, a main house and an old coach-house. Last year a leaflet from the Local Authority came through his door, offering the potential to apply for a home heating grant.

Mr W decided to see if he might qualify, so he called InstaGroup.

He told us he had lived in the place for three years, and was aware that the heating and hot water systems were inefficient and the bills were higher than he’d like. Mr W has to run three boilers to heat the property, and he’d already had to replace two of the boilers at his own expense.

Getting a home heating grant

InstaGroup has huge experience in applying for energy efficiency grants to improve homes, and we were happy to see if we could help Mr W. Our experienced surveyor visited the property to carry out a no-obligation survey, and advised Mr W that yes, we could help him get a home heating grant through the Bracknell Forest Council scheme — and it would cover the cost of a new boiler and all the associated works.

We recommended upgrading the existing combi boiler to a new Worcester Bosch 30si Compact combi boiler, which is highly cost-effective and energy efficient. A combination or ‘combi’ boiler works as both a water heater and a central heating boiler in one single compact unit. It also heats water directly from the mains the instant you turn on a tap, so there’s no need for a separate hot water storage cylinder or a cold water storage tank in the roof space. It’s ideally suited to this size home. Find out more about combi boilers.

An added benefit of a combi means there is no risk of loft pipework freezing during winter. Plus, with less pipework, the installation typically works out cheaper.

“Wonderful job!”

In 2016 our fully accredited GasSafe engineer fitted and connected the replacement combi boiler with flue and associated pipework, part-funded by a home heating grant. The installation took a total of two days.

Mr W remarked, “InstaGroup’s installers were great and installed a really efficient Worcester-Bosch boiler.” He went on to add, “The InstaGroup heating engineer, John, did a wonderful job.”

The installation included new Comfort-2 controls that give Mr W full independent control of the heating and hot water. He can now set timings for his heating and hot water to come on, helping to increase his savings on energy and bills.

To further improve the new boiler’s efficiency, our engineer carried out a full rinse and chemical cleanse of the heating system, and installed a scale reducer and magnetic filter.

Mr W praised the entire InstaGroup service, saying there was “Great communications both before and during the installation.” In all, “InstaGroup were very, very good — efficient and professional.”

He was also pleased with our engineer during the work, saying he was the “Best installer I’ve ever seen in my life – very neat, tidy and efficient.” Mr W remarked on the added benefit of our experienced engineer taking the time to explain how everything worked, so he could get the best out of his new boiler and heating controls.

Home heating grant brings down the bills

Since the installation Mr W’s heating system is working much more efficiently and his energy bills have come down, he says, definitely “Enough to notice” over the past 18 months.

Mr W has the reassurance of an 8-year Worcester Bosch guarantee for his boiler and a 2-year guarantee of workmanship from InstaGroup.

The total cost of the installation was £2,550 (including VAT), but Mr W only paid £305 of this, as the work was carried out under the Bracknell Forest Council scheme.

This particular scheme is now closed, but other grants are available to help improve the energy efficiency of your home. At InstaGroup we’re always happy to advise you, and to help you with applying for a home heating grant if possible.

Ask us about help to upgrade your home heating system through local grants.

More stories