Northern Gas Networks is launching a year-long trial, with over 100 households in County Durham and Sunderland taking part, to explore if warmer homes improve health and wellbeing.
On 30 July, it explained that the trial was being run in partnership with National Energy Action and the majority of participating homes were not connected to the gas grid, nor had central heating installed. Northern Gas Networks has installed free gas connections in eligible homes, while partner organisation, Yorkshire Energy Solutions, has installed central heating systems.
The impact will be monitored over the next 12 months, with the trial looking to see if health and wellbeing improve. A full report with a list of recommendations will follow upon the trial’s conclusion.
Jill Walker, Northern Gas Networks Social Strategy Project Manager, said: “Families living in cold homes, with no central heating can face a wide range of mental and physical challenges. As a gas distributor, we are given funding to install free gas connections to certain homes, as a way of tackling fuel poverty. Unfortunately, the current criteria for providing these free connections does not take account of the health status of households – so this project intends to fill this crucial evidence gap.”