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Phoenix Welcomes Boiler Scrappage Scheme

Phoenix Welcomes Boiler Scrappage Scheme   image

Phoenix Natural Gas has welcomed the announcement from Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland that his Department is to provide funding for a £12million boiler replacement scheme to improve energy efficiency in 16,000 homes across Northern Ireland.

Phoenix and the wider gas industry have campaigned for the introduction of such a scheme since January 2010 when a UK boiler scrappage scheme was launched by the Government that included England and Wales, but excluded Northern Ireland.

Phoenix has continued to operate a relatively small privately funded boiler scrappage scheme of their own for the last 3 years and it has consistently been oversubscribed. A larger scheme like the one announced this week has real potential to substantially reduce the amount of energy properties are using, to cut energy bills and to lower domestic CO2 emissions. A-rated high efficiency boilers are around 90% per cent efficient and to put this into context many homes, irrespective of what fuel they use, are persisting with old costly boilers that can be as low as 60 per cent efficient. In these cases for every £1,000 a householder spends on fuel, around £400 of that spend is being lost straight away.

Alastair Pollock, Business Development Director at Phoenix Natural Gas, said:

 “We welcome this great news as for a long time there has been a strong argument that a government funded boiler scrappage scheme is needed most in Northern Ireland due to the high levels of fuel poverty we have here and the continued reliance in many areas on heating oil. Also this scheme will provide added employment and trade to the many independent boiler installation and maintenance companies operating locally. Householders should register for this grant as soon as possible so that they are able to take advantage of it in time for winter. Whilst the final details of the scheme are yet to be released, it is vitally important that the administration of it is kept as simple and straightforward as possible”.

The NI Natural Gas Association (NINGA) who represent companies working in the local natural gas industry, including installation companies, merchants and manufacturers have also welcomed the news of the government funded initiative.

Spokesperson John Miskelly said:

“This will be a big boost for gas installers and of course householders who have old inefficient heating systems and who may have been thinking of upgrading for some time. So many homes that installation companies visit have very poorly installed, poorly maintained and poorly controlled heating systems that are simply not sustainable in these tough economic times”.

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Installing natural gas central heating does eliminate the need for a separate hot water tank, so it is possible to free up some space where the hot press currently exists. However, it is not a requirement of installing natural gas central heating that your hot water tank is removed, so it is entirely your choice.

Homeowners installing a new central heating appliance will be required to make an application to the Builiding Control department of their local council prior to work commencing.

Once you have requested your connection to the natural gas network, it can take up to 15 working days to get a planned connection date. Your natural gas connection is installed over approximately 5 working days, which includes re-instatement on private and public property.  The final stage is the internal installation completed by your installer which (depending on the work involved) can take on average 3 working days.

Currently Phoenix Natural Gas offers a free connection to the natural gas network, worth up to £750.  Work to install your natural gas appliance, e.g. central heating or gas fire is carried out by an independent Gas Safe registered installer.  Details of these installers can be found here.

There would be more energy saving benefits to change everything at once, but we realise that family budgets may prevent this. It is possible to change over in stages, as financial considerations allow.

As with any major home improvement there will be an element of disruption, although both Phoenix Natural Gas and Gas Safe registered installation companies (registered with Phoenix Natural Gas) will aim to keep this to an absolute minimum.

The network operator provides and maintains the natural gas network.  The supplier buys gas which they then sell to consumers via the network operator’s network.  Your supplier is your first point of contact for billing queries and payment card requests.

Phoenix Natural Gas is the gas transporter and network operator.  We do not supply natural gas.  Details of gas suppliers in the greater Belfast area can be found here.

No. All installers who are eligible to carry out natural gas work have been registered with Gas Safe Register, which is the national watchdog for gas safety in the UK. Many of these installers will also be registered with Phoenix Natural Gas, which ensures that you can take advantage of our many offers and incentives for new customers switching to natural gas.

A number of installation companies offer a finance facility which allows you to install a new high efficiency natural gas system and spread the cost of installation over a fixed number of months.

For more information on Finance please click here.

For a full list of Phoenix registered installers please click here.

 

This section is currently under review.

Please call your gas supplier or 03454 55 55 55 for help and advice.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

 

Phoenix Natural Gas is the network operator and not the gas supplier.  Therefore, you will need to speak to your gas supplier.  Details of suppliers can be found here.

On occasion Phoenix Natural Gas will need to carry essential maintenance on the gas meter.  We will endeavour to notify you of this to enable access to your gas appliances after the work is carried out. However, we know that this is not always convenient for consumers. 

If we have been at your property and left a no access card this will give the appropriate number to call to get your gas switched back on.  If you have any questions regarding this please contact our customer services team on 03454 55 55 55.

Natural gas is the fuel of choice for many consumers across Europe with 20 million customers in Great Britain alone. Phoenix Natural Gas continually monitors the system for safety and operates a 24-hour emergency response service, 365 days a year. All gas appliances should be correctly installed by a Gas Safe registered installation company and should be checked annually.

Natural gas is a very convenient, clean and versatile fuel. But like all fuels it must be handled wisely to ensure its safety and efficiency. If you think you smell gas, you should contact the 24-hour gas emergency service on 0800 002 001 or click here for further advice.