Suffolk

Orwell Housing residents say eco-friendly heating 'too expensive'

Tracie Ollivander Image copyright Tracie Ollivander
Image caption Tracie Ollivander said her family has to sit with blankets over their legs

Families in social housing have said their children have to share baths and wear coats inside due to problems with an eco-friendly heating system.

People living in Orwell Housing homes in Ipswich and Tunstall, Suffolk, said the installed air-source heat pump "does not work" and is "expensive".

The system is designed to take heat from the air and boost it to a higher temperature by using electricity.

Orwell Housing said "it will make changes if changes are needed".

Tracie Ollivander, 42, lives with her husband Paul and two children in an Orwell Housing housing association home on Kildare Avenue, Ipswich.

She said it costs £6 to £8 a day and her family sits with blankets on their legs because they are still cold.

"It costs a lot of money to run, we have no heat, we have no control over it, it's a mess," she said.

Image copyright Tracie Ollivander
Image caption The system is designed to take heat from the air and boost it to a higher temperature

Chris Kelly, from Tunstall, said he has lived in his house for seven years and the system was "ridiculously expensive".

Catriona Durrant said her family of seven live in an Orwell house with no hot water, but "luckily the kids are mostly small and can share baths".

Stephen Javes, chief executive of Orwell Housing, said 210 of its 4,000 homes have air-source heat pumps.

"When we first put them in, we were very good at telling people about the implications of living with an air-source heat pump and the control issues and how they work," he said.

"As tenancies have been renewed over the years, we've become less good at that and that's certainly something we will improve on."

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