Replacing Washington district heating 

We are replacing the district heating system in Albany, Fatfield and Oxclose with individual gas combi boilers. We will install the new boilers free of charge for tenants, leaseholders and freeholders.

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About the replacement programme

We are replacing the current district heating system following feedback from tenants and residents. Equans is the contractor for the programme and will complete the work. Northern Gas Networks has installed a new gas network in Washington.

The boilers and gas network can use hydrogen gas as a source of energy if the government announces this change in the future.

When the replacement programme will start and end

The replacement programme started in Oxclose in November 2021 and should be completed by August 2023. When your system is replaced, the work will take 5 working days to complete.

Before your system is replaced

A Resident Liaison Officer from Equans will visit you at your home to discuss the replacement. They will tell you about:

  • any furniture you must move before the replacement
  • any flooring you must remove before the replacement
  • when the contractors will need access to your home
  • any disruptions to your home during the replacement
  • where your new boiler will be in your home

They can also discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

Equans will agree a suitable installation date with tenants and residents.

It is your responsibility to remove and put back any furniture or flooring before and after the replacement. We can help anyone who is unable to remove flooring or furniture, but we are not responsible for any damage.

Gas meters and boilers

If you have a gas meter installed in your home, you will not need a new one. The current one may be moved into a new gas meter box.

If you do not have a gas meter in your home, one will be installed 10 days before the boiler is installed. Greener Solutions Group will contact you to arrange when your new gas meter will be installed. The gas meter must be installed before we can install your new boiler.

When the new meter is installed, there is a daily standing charge. We will pay this charge directly to the energy supplier until your new boiler has been installed. Once it is installed, you will pay the daily standing charge.

When the work is complete, you can switch to any energy supplier or remain with Scottish Power who work with Greener Solutions Group.

Your meter will record your energy use and you must send meter readings to your energy supplier to keep your bills accurate.

Information for tenants

Pipework

Pipework and radiators will be replaced as part of the programme, so your boiler lasts as long as possible.

Your new boiler

The new boiler will be installed in an existing hot water tank cupboard or in your kitchen. The boiler will be somewhere that is easy to access to make it easier to maintain.

Decoration vouchers

If the replacement programme affects the decoration in your home, we will give you a £50 voucher to use at Wilko. The voucher is a contribution and is not for the full cost of redecorating.

Equans will repair any damage to your home caused by the programme.

Gas safety checks

We will visit your home once a year to do a gas safety check on the boiler. We will also repair any faults with the system.

Information for private homeowners

Cost of the replacement programme

Private homeowners, including freeholders and leaseholders, will have new boilers installed for free.

There is a 12-month guarantee for the replacement programme.

Replacing pipework

Private homeowners can choose to have their pipework replaced at their own cost. The pipework does not need to be replaced and will continue to work when the new boiler has been installed. You will receive a 6-month warranty on the existing pipework if you choose to keep it.

We can replace the pipework and radiators during the programme for a fee.

If you would like us to replace your pipework and radiators, we can arrange a payment plan. You can pay instalments for up to 12 months when the work in your home is complete.

Contact Joannah Ogden, Senior Administrator, on 0191 525 2752 if you would like to discuss replacing your pipework and radiators.

You can choose to have the pipework replaced by a different contractor. To maintain the warranty of the new boiler, the pipework will need to be installed by a Gas Safe Engineer and to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you choose not to replace your pipework

Replacing your pipework is optional and you can keep your existing pipework.

The pipework will be tested before the work in your home starts to make sure it is fit for use. If any of the pipework fails the test, we will repair the pipework for free. If we repair the pipework after a test, there will be a 12-month defect period where we will repair any problems.

We have installed 2 new gas boilers using existing pipework as a trial, and no faults have been reported.

Your new boiler

The new boiler has a 2-year warranty and will need a gas safety check once a year by a Gas Safe Engineer.

We will let you know how to register your boiler and who to contact if you have any issues when the work in your home is complete.

Any part of the system or pipework that is worked on by Equans has a 12-month defect period where they will repair any problems. This includes radiator valves and repaired pipework.

The new boiler will be installed in an existing hot water tank cupboard or in your kitchen. You can request to have the boiler in a preferred place, but there is no guarantee.

We are unable to install boilers in all loft spaces as they need to be easy to access so they can be maintained. If you would like the boiler installed in your loft, it will need to be safely accessible, well ventilated and have sufficient lighting.

Installing your own boiler

The new boilers we are providing for private homeowners are free of charge. You can choose to install your own heating appliance at your own cost.

You may need to wait until all other properties have had their heating system replaced if you want to install your own.

Owning and maintaining the system

Private homeowners are responsible for and own the heating system and pipework in their own home.

We are responsible for the current district heating system until this has been replaced and the programme is finished.

Decoration vouchers

If the replacement programme affects the decoration in your home, we will give you a £50 voucher to use at Wilko. The voucher is a contribution and is not for the full cost of redecorating.

Equans will repair any damage to your home caused by the programme.