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NISEP scheme proves ‘life-changing’ for Strabane resident

NISEP scheme proves ‘life-changing’ for Strabane resident

Posted: 24 Jan, 2024

Strabane resident Caroline McDaid was overjoyed with the recent Evolve installation in her home, describing it as “a life-changing decision” that she wished she “had made sooner”.

Having considered switching to gas in the past but never following up on it, Caroline's decision was finally prompted when her old boiler needed replacing: “I had thought about getting gas installed before, but it never materialised. We had someone out one day to look at our boiler and we were told it was on the way out. When it finally did break down, I knew it was time to act.”

A friend of hers had mentioned the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP) scheme, which spurred her to investigate further: “The timing couldn't have been more perfect. I looked into it, applied, and my application was approved swiftly for the scheme. The amazing thing was the day before the Evolve representative called out was when the boiler broke! It was just a case of right place, right time.”

Caroline continued: “The benefits of gas are just amazing. The convenience alone is worth it. I can now control the heating and hot water with a simple tap on my phone. No more waiting for the immersion heater to heat up the water.”

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With grandchildren in Belfast, Caroline is regularly up and down the road babysitting. The newfound handiness of remotely turning on the heating before returning home has made their time together more comfortable and enjoyable. “When we are just a few miles away from home I can go on the app and turn the heating on. The house is lovely and warm by the time I get back – it’s brilliant.”

Aside from convenience, the transition to gas has brought significant improvements to Caroline’s home. The removal of the oil tank from the back garden created additional space, allowing her to plan future projects for the area: “We have plants where the oil tank used to sit, and the property looks so much cleaner and spacious. The plan is to do more work eventually, but for now we are just enjoying the extra space, both there and in the hot press where the water tank used to be.”

The installation process was swift and efficient and Caroline was pleasantly surprised by how minimal the disruption was: “The team was fantastic. They worked diligently, and everything was done and dusted in no time. There was one group working outside at a meter, they were so well organised I didn’t even notice that they had been and gone!”

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With the new gas system in place, Caroline's home is now quieter, free from the loud noise that the oil system used to produce. She says she can’t believe the difference it has made: “You wouldn't know yourself from the quiet anymore. It is so much calmer in the house now. When we had oil, you would hear it coming on and it was so loud sometimes it could even wake you up in the night. When I am in other people’s houses, I can hear their oil coming on, it’s strange not hearing that sound in my own home anymore.”

Caroline is so delighted with the results that she enthusiastically shared the news with family and friends: “I told my sister about it, and she's planning to make the switch too, and her husband's sister is also getting gas installed now. If anyone else asked me, I would tell them to give it serious thought. It's been an amazing improvement for us.”

For more information, including details about fully-funded gas conversions and other financial incentives, please complete Evolve’s handy postcode checker: