Warm Front, cold comfort

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JEAN and Geoffrey Hartley lost their jobs in late 2009 and have been waiting for 13 months for a new central heating system under the Warm Front grant scheme.

The couple, of Hollin Busk Road, Deepcar, Sheffield, were visited by a contractor a year ago and he recommended loft insulation and new gas central heating because their old boiler had packed in.

Since then the couple have had only a living room fire as a means to keep warm and their electricity bills have soared after using an electric immersion heater for their hot water.

Jean says the project hit delays because they had solid floors and low ceilings and then this week they were told they’d have to apply again for electric storage heaters.

A WARM Front spokesman said the couple would not have to reapply after all.

He said: “Concealing pipework to this extent is not within the Warm Front funding specification and has therefore been a concern to the customer and has led to delays.

“But we are now discussing whether to continue with gas or to provide them with electric storage heating.”