Paul and Anne Cullen, from Mollington near Banbury, previously used an oil-fired boiler, which was so expensive they could only afford to warm a few rooms of the house, and they dreaded getting up in the mornings during the winter.
However, they’ve slashed hundreds of pounds from their energy bills after installing an air-source heat pump – and the house has gone from being ‘perpetually cold‘ to ‘a pleasure to live in‘.
Renewable energy company Good Energy shares their story in a new campaign called Green Home Stories, which features Paul in a short film explaining the difference it’s made to the couple’s life.
Choosing which rooms to heat
Social workers Paul, aged 72, and his wife Anne, aged 70, have lived in their home for almost 40 years. They loved the property but were deeply disappointed by their heating system. Not connected to the gas grid, they originally used coal but switched to bottled gas and an oil-fired system.
Anne said: “It was too expensive to warm all of the house, so we had to choose which rooms to heat and avoid using the others. We were perpetually cold. We had to sit in blankets, and we had to brace ourselves to get up in the morning.”
Paul added: “The oil tank was at the top of the garden but it smelt all the time. It was horrible.”
After installing solar panels on their roof, the couple already appreciated the benefits of green technology, so they decided a heat pump might solve their problem. The new system was installed in 2021. Good Energy’s engineers carefully assessed the property to create a bespoke plan, and then a small team of the company’s installers took five days to carry out the work.
Heat pump will save hundreds of pounds
Paul said: “It was a pleasure having them inside the house. They were clean and tidy, they kept us informed about what they were doing, and they did their best to make sure we weren’t left without heating or hot water during the installation. They were absolutely brilliant.”
The couple say the heat pump is likely to save them hundreds of pounds in a normal year, but it’s not only the financial impact that has surprised them.
Paul said: “We think we have saved in the region of £500 to £600 since the installation, and we hope to save even more when the market settles. It’s made an amazing difference. Our home is now permanently comfortable and it’s a pleasure to live in.
“There’s a constant level of heat throughout the property – we absolutely love returning to a warm house. Some of our neighbours were worried about the noise from the heat pump when we told them we were having one installed, but it’s so quiet.
“It also caught the interest of other villagers. One saw the work taking place and stopped to chat to the engineers, and now he’s installed a heat pump at his home too.
Making the switch and not looking back
“It’s important for the future of the planet. We’re no longer using polluting fossil fuels for our heating – we’re using electricity which is increasingly being generated by renewables instead.”
Good Energy chief executive Nigel Pocklington said: “We’re grateful to Paul and Anne for sharing their story as part of our new campaign.
“There’s so much misinformation clouding the debate around heat pumps, so it’s important to hear from people who have made the switch and never looked back.
“Heat pumps should be installed in all new buildings as standard, and retrofitted in as many other buildings as possible, to reduce energy bills and support the transition to a cleaner and greener future.”
Good Energy boasts a 100% renewable energy mix consisting of wind, biogeneration, solar and hydroelectricity projects from more than 2,000 independent generators across the UK, as well as providing domestic heat pumps and solar installations.”