Bills shock for families as West Bowling eco-friendly homes project fails to live up to promise

Sonny and Raquel Tanday outside their home in Pavilion Gardens, West Bowling

Sonny and Raquel Tanday outside their home in Pavilion Gardens, West Bowling

First published in News
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Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , T&A Reporter

People living in a multi-million pound ‘homes of the future’ project in Bradford are up in arms over the sky-high electricity bills they have racked up.

The Pavilion Gardens complex in West Bowling was heralded as being the most environmentally-friendly in Yorkshire when it was completed in July 2011 at a cost of £5.6m shared between Bradford Council and the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency.

Twelve of the 45 super-insulated homes were the first in the region to be built to the highest level of the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes and have innovations such as heating provided by a communal bio-mass boiler.

The remainder were constructed to a slightly lower energy efficiency level, but were also equipped with air heat pumps, solar panels and rainwater harvesters.

Residents were promised the homes – the first to be built by the Council for 30 years – would be cheap to run, but a little more than 18 months later, it is having to pledge to reimburse people who have high electricity usage as a major investigation continues with the company that built them into what has gone wrong.

Raquel and Sunny Tanday, both 23, and the parents of two young children, say their power bills come to about £500 a quarter since December 2011.

Their energy provider E-on says a standard average bill, based on national annual average consumption of 16,500 kWh for gas and 3,300 KWh for electricity, paid by fixed monthly direct debit, would be £1,261.

The couple, who have complained to E-on and to their landlord Yorkshire Housing, which manages the scheme on behalf of the Council, said the huge bills have taken a toll on family life.

“When we moved in here we thought it was going to be our dream house. They are lovely houses on a nice street, but they are not what we expected them to be in terms of power-saving and cheap to run,” said Mrs Tanday.

“We moved in here to be a family, but it’s just tearing us apart because the big bills are making us argue all the time. There are people in the street who already want to move out because it’s just too expensive to live here.”

David Shepherd, the Council’s assistant director of housing, said “The Council understands that many Pavilion Gardens residents are experiencing problems with energy usage and billing. We appreciate that it is a serious problem and we are working with residents, the building contractor, the energy company and our managing agents, Yorkshire Housing, to find a solution.

“We are confident that when these problems have been resolved, residents at Pavilion Gardens will benefit from lower bills in the future. We want to reassure residents that they will be reimbursed for any usage above the standard charge for their household.”

The Council stressed that it will charge the original building contractor for any costs incurred in reimbursing residents.

The Council has invited residents to a meeting tomorrow at Lowerfield Primary School in Fenby Avenue, from 6pm, to discuss the problems.

Case study

Raquel and Sunny Tanday got the keys to their house in July 2011, but did not move in until December that year.

On January 6, 2012, they got their first E-on energy bill for £187, which they paid – despite thinking it was on the high-side.

Three months later their next bill was for £745.25. Startled by the amount the couple asked E-on to check the amount, only to be told there had been a mistake and it should have been £949 – they paid £300 towards it straight away.

On April 13, they got another bill from E-on saying they still owed £596 so they paid off another £190.

On July 11, another bill came demanding £715, and by October they owed £723, which they had to borrow to pay it all to get a clean slate.

Last month another E-on bill came through the door for £520.

Comments (30)

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7:32am Mon 4 Feb 13

Blotto says...

Sounds like the usual sub contracting to a sub contractor who in turn sub contracts etc. The Council Inspector was either a newbie and got blindsided or a long in the tooth I won't be here much longer Inspector and just ticked the box's after a cursory look!! All the experienced and qualified Council Officers have all but gone and those left don't care cause nobody else does.Same old same old!!
Sounds like the usual sub contracting to a sub contractor who in turn sub contracts etc. The Council Inspector was either a newbie and got blindsided or a long in the tooth I won't be here much longer Inspector and just ticked the box's after a cursory look!! All the experienced and qualified Council Officers have all but gone and those left don't care cause nobody else does.Same old same old!! Blotto
  • Score: 0

8:37am Mon 4 Feb 13

Cooperlane2 says...

Wasn't there a big puff piece about these homes in the T&A only a week or so ago?
My betting is the air source heat pumps gobbling up the leccy.
Wasn't there a big puff piece about these homes in the T&A only a week or so ago? My betting is the air source heat pumps gobbling up the leccy. Cooperlane2
  • Score: 0

8:58am Mon 4 Feb 13

wobbley-bob says...

Cooperlane2 wrote:
Wasn't there a big puff piece about these homes in the T&A only a week or so ago?
My betting is the air source heat pumps gobbling up the leccy.
Yep, and those stupid central heating boilers that are the size of a wardrobe.

BTW, Pavilion Gardens is nowhere near West Bowling, it's off Fenby Avenue.
[quote][p][bold]Cooperlane2[/bold] wrote: Wasn't there a big puff piece about these homes in the T&A only a week or so ago? My betting is the air source heat pumps gobbling up the leccy.[/p][/quote]Yep, and those stupid central heating boilers that are the size of a wardrobe. BTW, Pavilion Gardens is nowhere near West Bowling, it's off Fenby Avenue. wobbley-bob
  • Score: 0

9:07am Mon 4 Feb 13

birday says...

LOL!!
.
If you want to be warm all the time then people are either going to have to work extra hard to pay for it or wrap up warm and turn off or limit the gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, tv, computer games etc. You can have what you can afford!
LOL!! . If you want to be warm all the time then people are either going to have to work extra hard to pay for it or wrap up warm and turn off or limit the gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, tv, computer games etc. You can have what you can afford! birday
  • Score: 0

9:18am Mon 4 Feb 13

Cooperlane2 says...

Back to digging coal for us in Low Moor
Back to digging coal for us in Low Moor Cooperlane2
  • Score: 0

9:31am Mon 4 Feb 13

doneBD4 says...

As the council/yorkshire housing have set up a meeting tomorrow at 6pm at lower fields primary school to discuss the issues.

You know nothing will be dealt with.

Oh yeah the bio-mass boiler stopped working again on sunday.
As the council/yorkshire housing have set up a meeting tomorrow at 6pm at lower fields primary school to discuss the issues. You know nothing will be dealt with. Oh yeah the bio-mass boiler stopped working again on sunday. doneBD4
  • Score: 0

9:49am Mon 4 Feb 13

collos25 says...

The insulation and building standards of these houses is abysmal .Bio-mass boilers are and absolute nightmare as air heat pumps.There has been absolute no planning of equipment just suck it and see a salesmans dream.
I in a previous role worked for the renewable engery industry and believe me there are very few people in this land who understand what its all about.I live in a properly constucted building its -12 outside and the heating is off why its because the house is built properly and uses the low cost technology available .I live in Germany and we are behind Sweden and Norway which leaves the UK in a complete mess as far as building standards go.
When they first built these houses those of us who understood the problems were shouted down in favour of those who thought they new best really they just believed the money grabbing sales people.Perhaps in future they will listen to proper engineers instead of snake oil salesmen.
The insulation and building standards of these houses is abysmal .Bio-mass boilers are and absolute nightmare as air heat pumps.There has been absolute no planning of equipment just suck it and see a salesmans dream. I in a previous role worked for the renewable engery industry and believe me there are very few people in this land who understand what its all about.I live in a properly constucted building its -12 outside and the heating is off why its because the house is built properly and uses the low cost technology available .I live in Germany and we are behind Sweden and Norway which leaves the UK in a complete mess as far as building standards go. When they first built these houses those of us who understood the problems were shouted down in favour of those who thought they new best really they just believed the money grabbing sales people.Perhaps in future they will listen to proper engineers instead of snake oil salesmen. collos25
  • Score: 0

10:14am Mon 4 Feb 13

Outraged English Subject says...

Typical of Bradford Council, its incompetence has no limits.
Typical of Bradford Council, its incompetence has no limits. Outraged English Subject
  • Score: 0

10:42am Mon 4 Feb 13

Apollo says...

Bradford Council = Not fit For Purpose.
Bradford Council = Not fit For Purpose. Apollo
  • Score: 0

11:41am Mon 4 Feb 13

scanipoos says...

Wow thats excessive. You all need to get together and check your bills . Mine are no where near that amount and Ive central heating on all day at 20 degrees. Yes Ive insulation both in the walls and loft
Wow thats excessive. You all need to get together and check your bills . Mine are no where near that amount and Ive central heating on all day at 20 degrees. Yes Ive insulation both in the walls and loft scanipoos
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Shipleyvegas says...

I've a 90 year old semi where i can't insulate the walls and i have a draughty cellar and these poor souls are paying more than me. Something doesn't ring true here, if they were promised efficient homes then these should be provided!
I've a 90 year old semi where i can't insulate the walls and i have a draughty cellar and these poor souls are paying more than me. Something doesn't ring true here, if they were promised efficient homes then these should be provided! Shipleyvegas
  • Score: 0

12:42pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Tosh2011 says...

David Shepherd, the Council’s assistant director of housing says they will charge the contractor? Sorry David you got this all wrong, who specified the eco building works and who inspected the eco works “the council” Sorry David I can’t see you blaming the contractor for getting the eco science wrong.

I built a 4 bedroom house in 2005 and used basic low cost technology product to give me a heating bill of £300 per year. The build cost was £75k the council spent £5.6 million to build 45 homes.
David Shepherd, the Council’s assistant director of housing says they will charge the contractor? Sorry David you got this all wrong, who specified the eco building works and who inspected the eco works “the council” Sorry David I can’t see you blaming the contractor for getting the eco science wrong. I built a 4 bedroom house in 2005 and used basic low cost technology product to give me a heating bill of £300 per year. The build cost was £75k the council spent £5.6 million to build 45 homes. Tosh2011
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Not so simple says...

I recall a recent article about West Bowling properties installing solar panels....I advised of the inefficiencies of the nonsensical propaganda around solar panels and the lifespans of servicing and associated costs.

Certain other writers on here suggested I was barmy and that my suggestions and concerns were ill founded becaus they had read reports that claimed otherwise. How wrong are these reports...totally biased and not trustworthy.

I repeat...time will tell as these efficiency reports are based on biased and sometimes exaggerated claims to win over investment and grants to whitewash the public do gooders to jump on the band wagon.

Same could be applied here.

Does anyone remember the wind turbines that were installed on the high rise tower blocks along Manchester Road?....these were ground breaking and revolutionary and would save tons of money, yeah right! Another ill thought, poorly thought of nonsensical ideas planted in the heads of those in charge of the modernistaions of those blocks which later sold the same idea to the residents and tenants....sound familiar!
I recall a recent article about West Bowling properties installing solar panels....I advised of the inefficiencies of the nonsensical propaganda around solar panels and the lifespans of servicing and associated costs. Certain other writers on here suggested I was barmy and that my suggestions and concerns were ill founded becaus they had read reports that claimed otherwise. How wrong are these reports...totally biased and not trustworthy. I repeat...time will tell as these efficiency reports are based on biased and sometimes exaggerated claims to win over investment and grants to whitewash the public do gooders to jump on the band wagon. Same could be applied here. Does anyone remember the wind turbines that were installed on the high rise tower blocks along Manchester Road?....these were ground breaking and revolutionary and would save tons of money, yeah right! Another ill thought, poorly thought of nonsensical ideas planted in the heads of those in charge of the modernistaions of those blocks which later sold the same idea to the residents and tenants....sound familiar! Not so simple
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Mon 4 Feb 13

The Hoffster says...

Apollo wrote:
Bradford Council = Not fit For Purpose.
Bradford Council = on a par with the Afghan and Somalian councils.

Corruption ? - surely not.
[quote][p][bold]Apollo[/bold] wrote: Bradford Council = Not fit For Purpose.[/p][/quote]Bradford Council = on a par with the Afghan and Somalian councils. Corruption ? - surely not. The Hoffster
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Mon 4 Feb 13

wobbley-bob says...

The Hoffster wrote:
Apollo wrote:
Bradford Council = Not fit For Purpose.
Bradford Council = on a par with the Afghan and Somalian councils.

Corruption ? - surely not.
Shut up Cade.
[quote][p][bold]The Hoffster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Apollo[/bold] wrote: Bradford Council = Not fit For Purpose.[/p][/quote]Bradford Council = on a par with the Afghan and Somalian councils. Corruption ? - surely not.[/p][/quote]Shut up Cade. wobbley-bob
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Mon 4 Feb 13

seen it all before says...

Why should they pay the STANDARD charges for houses of this size? These houses are supposed to be top notch energy efficient, therefore their charges should be much less.

Well done Bradford Council conned again.
Why should they pay the STANDARD charges for houses of this size? These houses are supposed to be top notch energy efficient, therefore their charges should be much less. Well done Bradford Council conned again. seen it all before
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Mon 4 Feb 13

porkfat says...

renewables are only good if your getting the feed in tarrif or the renewable heat incentive because the schemes are over generous and it is this cash incentive that keeps your bills low not the efficiency of the equipment.
renewables are only good if your getting the feed in tarrif or the renewable heat incentive because the schemes are over generous and it is this cash incentive that keeps your bills low not the efficiency of the equipment. porkfat
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Mon 4 Feb 13

vikksy says...

EON????? now there's a surprise.
EON????? now there's a surprise. vikksy
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Mon 4 Feb 13

justjustice says...

Again remember that energy firms send you ESTMATED bills, not actualy usage. This is why every 5-10 years some people get bills for £50,000 or more!

I cannot remember which supplier it was, but they said people could ring in their meter readings so they can be billed properly; one man did this giving reading every 2-4 weeks, they still billed him on average usage!


As for solar panels, the ones on the market right now for consumer use are lucky to be 20% efficient! The research ones and industrial ones are at max 45% efficient, so still not that efficient at all.
The reasoning behind this is that there is more profit in fossil fuels; can you imagine the lost profits and tax revenue if most people paid 10% of what they do now if renewable were given the same funding for R&D that oil exploration and drilling is given!! There would be no fuel poverty within a couple of decades, anywhere in the world!

If people only knew how much capitalism is holding us back technologically, socially, environmentally.
Again remember that energy firms send you ESTMATED bills, not actualy usage. This is why every 5-10 years some people get bills for £50,000 or more! I cannot remember which supplier it was, but they said people could ring in their meter readings so they can be billed properly; one man did this giving reading every 2-4 weeks, they still billed him on average usage! As for solar panels, the ones on the market right now for consumer use are lucky to be 20% efficient! The research ones and industrial ones are at max 45% efficient, so still not that efficient at all. The reasoning behind this is that there is more profit in fossil fuels; can you imagine the lost profits and tax revenue if most people paid 10% of what they do now if renewable were given the same funding for R&D that oil exploration and drilling is given!! There would be no fuel poverty within a couple of decades, anywhere in the world! If people only knew how much capitalism is holding us back technologically, socially, environmentally. justjustice
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Yorkshire Lass says...

So the Eco-houses do not work efficiently. After all the promises from Ian Greenwood a couple of years ago, they should have been the best thing since sliced bread. Good luck with getting some refund on the amount spent when clearly there is a problem. But don't hold your breath because there are too many contractors involved so it will be a matter of "the blame game".
So the Eco-houses do not work efficiently. After all the promises from Ian Greenwood a couple of years ago, they should have been the best thing since sliced bread. Good luck with getting some refund on the amount spent when clearly there is a problem. But don't hold your breath because there are too many contractors involved so it will be a matter of "the blame game". Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: 0

4:24pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Sachlima says...

18 months is a long time for these people to be paying too much money, it should have been looked into after 6 months. It really does not matter who is to blame but as long as its resolved and there paid back. They were promised lower bills therefore should recieve lower bills.
18 months is a long time for these people to be paying too much money, it should have been looked into after 6 months. It really does not matter who is to blame but as long as its resolved and there paid back. They were promised lower bills therefore should recieve lower bills. Sachlima
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Mon 4 Feb 13

The Hoffster says...

wobbley-bob wrote:
The Hoffster wrote:
Apollo wrote:
Bradford Council = Not fit For Purpose.
Bradford Council = on a par with the Afghan and Somalian councils.

Corruption ? - surely not.
Shut up Cade.
Oi you !!

BTW, nice pic of 'multiculturalism Bradford' in the article :D
[quote][p][bold]wobbley-bob[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Hoffster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Apollo[/bold] wrote: Bradford Council = Not fit For Purpose.[/p][/quote]Bradford Council = on a par with the Afghan and Somalian councils. Corruption ? - surely not.[/p][/quote]Shut up Cade.[/p][/quote]Oi you !! BTW, nice pic of 'multiculturalism Bradford' in the article :D The Hoffster
  • Score: 0

5:27pm Mon 4 Feb 13

MontyLeMar says...

I don't like the sound of that communal biomass boiler. The fuel for those things can be extortionate and if it is operated by a private contractor they will be looking for their percentage. If they are super insulated then even without all the fancy stuff like air heat pumps they should have gas/electric bills around £200 per quarter. The fancy stuff should reduce it even more. Sounds like a bloody mess and if E-on are involved odds on it is their fault.

Might be that somebody forgot to tell the tenants that they had to pay a proportion of the development costs on top running costs for the first 5 years.

Wasn't it round this site that we had a report of flooding last year when the rain water recycling system stopped working? Sounds an absolute nightmare and even worse for people who do not have a lot of money in the first place.
I don't like the sound of that communal biomass boiler. The fuel for those things can be extortionate and if it is operated by a private contractor they will be looking for their percentage. If they are super insulated then even without all the fancy stuff like air heat pumps they should have gas/electric bills around £200 per quarter. The fancy stuff should reduce it even more. Sounds like a bloody mess and if E-on are involved odds on it is their fault. Might be that somebody forgot to tell the tenants that they had to pay a proportion of the development costs on top running costs for the first 5 years. Wasn't it round this site that we had a report of flooding last year when the rain water recycling system stopped working? Sounds an absolute nightmare and even worse for people who do not have a lot of money in the first place. MontyLeMar
  • Score: 0

5:44pm Mon 4 Feb 13

wobbley-bob says...

The Hoffster wrote:
wobbley-bob wrote:
The Hoffster wrote:
Apollo wrote:
Bradford Council = Not fit For Purpose.
Bradford Council = on a par with the Afghan and Somalian councils.

Corruption ? - surely not.
Shut up Cade.
Oi you !!

BTW, nice pic of 'multiculturalism Bradford' in the article :D
Sure it is,.....But at least he won't be making her cover her face up, like some do. ;)
[quote][p][bold]The Hoffster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]wobbley-bob[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Hoffster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Apollo[/bold] wrote: Bradford Council = Not fit For Purpose.[/p][/quote]Bradford Council = on a par with the Afghan and Somalian councils. Corruption ? - surely not.[/p][/quote]Shut up Cade.[/p][/quote]Oi you !! BTW, nice pic of 'multiculturalism Bradford' in the article :D[/p][/quote]Sure it is,.....But at least he won't be making her cover her face up, like some do. ;) wobbley-bob
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Mon 4 Feb 13

The_light says...

First properties council have had built for 30 years and falls flat on it's face. Well that promotes confidence!
First properties council have had built for 30 years and falls flat on it's face. Well that promotes confidence! The_light
  • Score: 0

8:01pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Brooky21 says...

Leeds lilac project in bramley have got it right , why not Bradford , i shall tell you why Bradford council is not eco friendly , Biomass boilers work really well , if done correctly. Looks like the council in Bradford is full of money grabbing idiots . That dont think and only follow .Lokk at the tong houseing project building on green belt and green fields , destroying the only ecosystem in leeds and bradford ....
Leeds lilac project in bramley have got it right , why not Bradford , i shall tell you why Bradford council is not eco friendly , Biomass boilers work really well , if done correctly. Looks like the council in Bradford is full of money grabbing idiots . That dont think and only follow .Lokk at the tong houseing project building on green belt and green fields , destroying the only ecosystem in leeds and bradford .... Brooky21
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Mon 4 Feb 13

wobbley-bob says...

"Looks like the council in Bradford is full of money grabbing idiots" .

Back of the net with that one Brooky.
"Looks like the council in Bradford is full of money grabbing idiots" . Back of the net with that one Brooky. wobbley-bob
  • Score: 0

2:28am Tue 5 Feb 13

alfucham says...

Complete idiots Bradford council who listen to noone and love the sound of their own voice.

Germans usually get things right.Who else could be so ultimately destroyed by 1945 and some 60 odd years on own most of Britains power companies and food companies.

Aldi is as good as anywhere and I reckon to save my elderly parents enough by shopping their for them to get them a couple of holidays a year.

What can we expect from this dumb council with a retired bus driver as leader following a CBE Bin man.Corrupted Bradford Enormously and took £50 grand a year for the priviledge.

Thank god they found Richard the Turd.Thats the way to do it.Off with their heads.Yorkist style.

Oh where art thou Brad forde, my kingdom for a horse and a few rupees in the back pocket.Gadzunks.

HItler was right.We lost the peace and in Bradford lost the plot
Complete idiots Bradford council who listen to noone and love the sound of their own voice. Germans usually get things right.Who else could be so ultimately destroyed by 1945 and some 60 odd years on own most of Britains power companies and food companies. Aldi is as good as anywhere and I reckon to save my elderly parents enough by shopping their for them to get them a couple of holidays a year. What can we expect from this dumb council with a retired bus driver as leader following a CBE Bin man.Corrupted Bradford Enormously and took £50 grand a year for the priviledge. Thank god they found Richard the Turd.Thats the way to do it.Off with their heads.Yorkist style. Oh where art thou Brad forde, my kingdom for a horse and a few rupees in the back pocket.Gadzunks. HItler was right.We lost the peace and in Bradford lost the plot alfucham
  • Score: 0

2:34am Tue 5 Feb 13

alfucham says...

alfucham wrote:
Complete idiots Bradford council who listen to noone and love the sound of their own voice. Germans usually get things right.Who else could be so ultimately destroyed by 1945 and some 60 odd years on own most of Britains power companies and food companies. Aldi is as good as anywhere and I reckon to save my elderly parents enough by shopping their for them to get them a couple of holidays a year. What can we expect from this dumb council with a retired bus driver as leader following a CBE Bin man.Corrupted Bradford Enormously and took £50 grand a year for the priviledge. Thank god they found Richard the Turd.Thats the way to do it.Off with their heads.Yorkist style. Oh where art thou Brad forde, my kingdom for a horse and a few rupees in the back pocket.Gadzunks. HItler was right.We lost the peace and in Bradford lost the plot
Dont forget to vote in May.

I"m goona put meself up for all the seats going.

Then perhaps I should shoot a few others to ensure a few Bye Elections.

Only in Bradford could such an utter and complete Eddie Balls up
[quote][p][bold]alfucham[/bold] wrote: Complete idiots Bradford council who listen to noone and love the sound of their own voice. Germans usually get things right.Who else could be so ultimately destroyed by 1945 and some 60 odd years on own most of Britains power companies and food companies. Aldi is as good as anywhere and I reckon to save my elderly parents enough by shopping their for them to get them a couple of holidays a year. What can we expect from this dumb council with a retired bus driver as leader following a CBE Bin man.Corrupted Bradford Enormously and took £50 grand a year for the priviledge. Thank god they found Richard the Turd.Thats the way to do it.Off with their heads.Yorkist style. Oh where art thou Brad forde, my kingdom for a horse and a few rupees in the back pocket.Gadzunks. HItler was right.We lost the peace and in Bradford lost the plot[/p][/quote]Dont forget to vote in May. I"m goona put meself up for all the seats going. Then perhaps I should shoot a few others to ensure a few Bye Elections. Only in Bradford could such an utter and complete Eddie Balls up alfucham
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Tue 5 Feb 13

OutOfBradford says...

I'm paying just over £3k per year now for Gas and Electric. Standard 3 bed house.

I'd swap that for £500 per quarter thanks very much. Quite moaning and pay for what you have used!
I'm paying just over £3k per year now for Gas and Electric. Standard 3 bed house. I'd swap that for £500 per quarter thanks very much. Quite moaning and pay for what you have used! OutOfBradford
  • Score: 0

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