Owners of boathouse in Helford Passage win nationwide Vaillant competition


25 July 2023

The owners of Pedn Billy Boathouse, a converted boathouse with a traditional thatched roof overlooking Helford River in Helford Passage, are celebrating after being named as one of three lucky winners in a nationwide competition to showcase where heat pumps are possible. As a result, the boathouse and new heating system has featured in a short film fronted by TV Presenter and Architecture Pundit, Kevin McCloud.

Having entered the Vaillant Heat Pump Possible competition earlier this year, the owners of Pedn Billy Boathouse, Tom and Nigel Bligh, and heating installers Ben and Jamie from Adobe Heat, were thrilled to find that the thatched home – and its Vaillant aroTHERM plus air source heat pump – was to become the focus of an upcoming video presented by Kevin himself.

The filming saw Kevin interview Tom and Nigel, together with Ben and Jamie from Abode Heat, to learn more about the property, which had a Vaillant aroTHERM plus heat pump replace the property’s direct electric heating system in November 2021.

You can watch the full video here: www.vaillant.co.uk/heatpumppossible

Abode Heat’s Ben Hodges, who designed the heat pump system, said: “The Boathouse is just metres away from the beach, and we needed a quality system that would reliably handle the coastal location and salt air. We really like the system as it comes from the factory with superb corrosion protection as standard, which is really key when you’re doing projects in coastal areas.”

Abode Heat installed the air source heat pump in November 2021, to work alongside a new wet radiator system. The team installed the air source heat pump in just over a week to ensure minimal disruption, even when working with the logistics around the property’s remote location. Since its installation, owners Tom and Nigel Bligh have been impressed by how efficiently the property has been heated.

Nigel said: “We are using 50% less electricity than before we had the heat pump installed, which is a significant saving. We have also been able to rent the property for a longer period of time. Our guests are really happy with the system and often comment on how quiet it is. Most importantly, we are playing our part in protecting the planet from global warming – and we hope others will follow in our footsteps.”

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One of the judges who was involved in selecting Tom and Nigel’s property was Mark Wilkins, Technologies and Training Director at Vaillant. He said: “Pedn Billy Boathouse was selected as it’s a great example of a UK home that may be seen as impossible to heat with modern technology such as a heat pump. It’s an older building with a traditional thatched roof, on an estuary close to the sea with salt winds. Yet, Ben and Jamie at Abode Heat have demonstrated that with good design, a heat pump can work brilliantly.

“Tom and Nigel are not only happy with the comfortable temperature that the heat pump system maintains but also, it’s quiet running. They now have an entire estate that is entirely heated by a renewable system and I’m so pleased Vaillant has played a part in making this happen.

“Pedn Billy Boathouse is a shining example of the capabilities of heat pumps, and we’re confident that Vaillant’s Heat Pump Possible campaign will support even more homeowners to better understand how low carbon technologies, such as heat pumps, can work effectively in their homes.”

Earlier this year, Vaillant called on homeowners and heating installers to share their heat pump projects in homes where the technology may, on the surface, not have seemed the most obvious option. With the aim of showcasing the true potential of the low-carbon heating solution within different property types, three winning entries were selected to demonstrate that heat pumps are possible across a plethora of UK housing types.

The two other winning entries include a 1960’s semi-detached house and a Grade II listed property.

To watch the full video and keep up to date with Vaillant’s Heat Pump Possible campaign, please visit: www.vaillant.co.uk/heatpumppossible