MEET our four lucky Star readers who have got the power - they’ve each scooped £10,000 of npower home energy-saving improvements, writes Graham Walker.
They are Grandma Audrey Hurton, aged 76, architectural ironmonger Craig Bellamy, 47, retired bank manager Malcolm Carey, 61, and electronics engineer Jonathan Palmer, 55.
And they’ve got you to thank for turning up the heat to win a prize of a lifetime.
We asked readers to choose from 10 finalists and these four got the most votes after they explained why they wanted to win the amazing nPower prize.
Grandma Audrey Hurton, aged 76, lives with her son, Richard, 43, his wife, Jenny, 39, their children Luca, eight, and Hermione, 11, in Arundel Road, Chapeltown.
She said: “Winning this means so much to us as a family. The boiler, providing our heating and hot water, is years old. A new one means we won’t have to worry about it breaking down this winter.”
Architectural ironmonger Craig Bellamy, 47, and wife Kathleen, 49, a supermarket check-out worker, have two children and live in Adlington Crescent, Parson Cross.
Craig waxed lyrical when he told us why he wanted to win, saying: “I am blue through and through from our winters so cold. We need to turn green, we keep being told. This prize would be the perfect solution – to upgrade my green contribution.”
Today he said of the win: “We’ve never won anything as big as this. It means a lot to us. We’ve had our boiler 20-years. It was regularly serviced but on its way out. We were ready for a new one and we’re looking forward to getting other home energy saving work done. “
Retired bank manager now post room worker Malcolm Carey, 61, and wife Geraldine, 62, a part-time bank cashier, have three sons and six grandchildren. They live in Rothay Close, Dronfield Woodhouse.
Malcolm said: “Winning this takes a lot of pressure off us. We’d like a new boiler and we’ll take advice on other home energy savings we can have done. We are approaching retirement and want to improve our property to make it more energy efficient and easier to manage in our old age.We’re now able to make the improvements all at once, rather than over the next few years.”
Electronics engineer Jonathan Palmer, aged 55, lives alone in Clifton Avenue, Clifton.
He said: “Living in a 1899-built terraced house with a single brick width wall, and suffering from Reynaud’s disease, in winter I need the heating on ‘full blast’ just to be comfortable. Now, after this win,, with copious insulation and efficient heating I’ll be ‘toasty’, yet cutting my fuel bills.”
If you didn’t win, there’s still a chance you can get help.
Thanks to a new scheme from the Government, householders in Sheffield who are in receipt of certain benefits could receive free energy-saving improvements from npower. From a new boiler to cavity wall insulation, there are a number of improvements that can help keep homes warm and costs down that are available free from npower, including installation.
For households that do not qualify for free measures, npower will also be offering energy-saving home improvements through the Green Deal – due to launch later in the year. This is a new government initiative that allows householders to make energy-saving improvements to their properties by accessing a finance package that is then paid back through instalments on their electricity bill. Households can install and benefit from the improvements straight away and the extra cost on their bill should be covered by the estimated energy cost savings expected to be achieved through the installation of the improvements.
David Titterton, director of Green Deal Delivery & Obligations at npower adds: “Homes across Sheffield could benefit from a range of energy saving improvements which are available free of charge or through a Green Deal Plan. From draught proofing to boiler replacements, there are a number of simple and straightforward improvements to keep homes warm whilst helping reduce energy costs.”
To see if your home is eligible for free improvements or to register your interest in the Green Deal visit www.npower.com or call 0800 9803355.