NIBE Boilers Under Fire From Housing Association Tenants

28th Mar 2013

Residents in Hackney Downs, London, have complained about the performance of Swedish-built central heating boilers, which are designed to be more environmentally friendly than conventional units.

A2 Dominion, a housing association in the London borough, installed NIBE boilers in Elba House on Andre Street a couple of years ago. According to residents, the housing association claimed the new boilers would reduce household energy bills by a substantial sum. Unfortunately, the boilers have failed to impress residents, some of whom have been charged six times as much for gas than they had expected.

48-year-old Pauline Lindsay, who lives in Elba House, said: “When I moved in I was told by housing association A2 Dominion that bills would be £500 per year. However, I’m paying nearly £3,000 instead.”

Ms Lindsay added: “I turn down the heating as much as I can and send my two children to stay with relatives as [often] as I can. I can’t afford to pay the bills. Food is a luxury that’s gone out of the window.”

Another resident, 32-year-old Charlene Morgan, claimed that her gas bill for last year was just under £4,000, which she cannot afford to pay. Ms Morgan said that something had to be done to reduce residents’ expenditure on energy, blaming NIBE boilers for the unexpected rise in consumption.

Doreen Wright, of A2 Dominion, insisted that NIBE boilers are capable of reducing fuel bills, but only if they are used correctly. Ms Wright added that the Swedish-built boilers have been shown to reduce CO2 emissions by a significant amount.

The Director of Development at A2 Dominion said: “As this is a new type of energy system, we have provided residents with comprehensive information, advice and support on how to use it correctly to ensure maximum energy efficiency.

“Despite this, we are aware of a small number of households where the system has not been used as intended. Where the recommended settings have not been selected, residents have used more energy in their homes, resulting in higher bills”.

A spokesperson for NIBE claimed that she is unaware of any faults affecting boilers in Elba House, however, the firm has offered to inspect the systems at no charge to ensure that they have been installed correctly.