More than 250 East of England households have received eco-upgrades in a £12.8m scheme.

The project aims to install air source heat pumps, solar panels, and external wall insulation in social rent properties located in East England.

The scheme is being funded by social housing provider Flagship Group and the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).

Among those to benefit so far are John, 83, and Dorothy Philips, 77, of Swanton Morley, Norfolk.

Dereham Times: Mr and Mrs Phillips from Swanton Morley received a heat pump and solar panels as part of the scheme Mr and Mrs Phillips from Swanton Morley received a heat pump and solar panels as part of the scheme (Image: Flagship Homes)

Mr Philips said: “We’re very happy with it.

"We are at 18 degrees all the time and have constant hot water 24 hours a day.”

In the project’s first phase, 151 homes underwent upgrades.

The government contributed £1.5m and Flagship provided £2.5m.

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52 of these homes now have heat pumps and solar panels, while 99 have been upgraded with external wall insulation.

The second wave of the scheme, ongoing from last year up to 2025, has so far seen more than 100 homes upgraded.

Claire Papworth, retrofit team manager at Flagship, said: “It's comparable to the miles per gallon in your car - the more efficiently you drive your car the more miles you will get per gallon.

“A heat pump is most efficient when it can maintain a constant lower temperature, rather than turning it on and off and turning the thermostat up.

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"This ensures the home stays warm for a longer period so the heat pump is not working hard trying the heat the home.

“With boilers, for every £1 you spend you’re only getting about 90p back in energy because they’re not totally efficient.

“But for every 1kWh you draw from the grid with a heat pump, you get 3kWh back, so effectively you are getting £3 worth for every £1 you pay for."

Flagship’s Net Zero Strategy is centred around upgrading all its homes to the energy-efficient EPC C/SAP 69 rating by 2030.