“I love it, it’s better than oil!” That’s the hassle-free verdict of Strabane resident Josephine McGinn two years after her home was converted to natural gas in the town’s Lisnafin Park.
The conversion was part of the Housing Executive’s natural gas heating replacement scheme. Natural gas is the preferred heating option for the Housing Executive as it provides security of supply from regulated energy suppliers, with lower carbon emissions than home heating oil.
Lisnafin Community Centre was the venue for one of the first SGN Natural Gas information sessions held in the network area for consumers to find out about the benefits of natural gas as an alternative new fuel supply to oil and solid fuel. Two years on, the local mum-of-two lists the main benefits of natural gas for her household as affordable, easy to budget, a warmer home and peace of mind knowing no-one can steal natural gas which comes from a secure underground piped supply.
Josephine, who works as a canteen assistant at St Mary’s Primary School, reassured other residents also considering converting their homes too, that natural gas is a safe and reliable energy supply.
She said: “I have been around gas all my life, we used town gas at home when I was growing up and I already had a gas cooker. I love it, it’s better than oil; it’s more affordable and easier to budget. I top up £5 every week and it never runs out. I just work it into the weekly budget and you know you are going to have heat and hot water. With the oil you are always watching what you use until you can get the next 500 litres.”
Thanks to the new insulation measures also installed as part of their natural gas conversion, the McGinn family are in no doubt that the house is definitely a lot warmer. In fact, as Josephine put it: “The heat is unreal”- but in a good way!
Josephine and her husband Martin, who works with the local council, have lived at their three-bedroom home in Lisnafin Park for 20 years which is shared by son Daniel (24) and daughter Caitlin (18). Their natural gas conversion was completed in less than a day.
The removal of the old oil tank which was no longer needed, freed up more space to enjoy their back garden and Josephine pointed out: “You have no worry about filling up with oil and somebody coming behind you to steal it or, if the price of oil takes a hike.”
Recommending natural gas to other local residents, Josephine added: “We are both lucky to be working but it’s going to be difficult for a lot of people heating their homes this year and being able to do that for £5 a week is so much handier and more beneficial than relying on oil.”
Find out if natural is now available to your property and financial incentives available here