Getting to know your home
Where is my water, electricity and gas?
For your safety and convenience, you need to find where items are situated in your house such as water valves, trip switches and gas (if supplied).
There may be more than one valve to turn the water off or on. Stop valves are usually found in a kitchen cupboard - often under the sink, in the bathroom or beside the hot water cylinder.
The trip-switch, fuse box(es) and meter. For safety reasons the trip-switch will cut out your electricity supply if you have a faulty appliance and a fuse may blow. Get to know how to re-set your trip switch and to replace a fuse.
Where is the gas in my home?
If gas is supplied, there is a stop valve to cut off the supply. The stop valve to cut off the supply is usually beside the meter where the gas supply enters the property.
Being able to operate the stop valve could save you inconvenience and money, as well as prevent or limit damage to your belongings and home.
It is good to check that stop valves are working from time to time. If you find a stop valve has seized, please contact our Maintenance Officer.
What do I need to know about gas servicing and maintenance?
Gas safety inspections
We are legally obliged to carry out a safety check of our gas appliances once a year. Our contractor will make an appointment to visit your home to carry out this safety check.
Servicing our gas appliances
We must also make sure that our gas appliances are fully serviced regularly. Depending on the type of appliance you have, this may be either every year or every three years.
Our contractor will contact you to make an appointment to carry out the service. There is no extra cost to you for this service.
You must allow our contractor into your home so that they can carry out this important work. If you fail to do so we will gain entry to carry out the work and we may charge you the access costs.
Your gas appliances
Please note the gas safety check and service only cover appliances we have installed in your home. We cannot check or service your cooker or other appliances that belong to you. You must arrange annual service checks by an appropriately qualified person.
You are responsible for regularly cleaning the flue. Faults with the gas pipe work or flue are our responsibility and these should be reported to our Maintenance Officer.
Alarms, smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors.
We have an ongoing programme of fitting detectors in homes that are rewired or serviced within five or ten years, and we will arrange to do this.
Managing my home
Since 2009 we have built some of the most fuel-efficient homes on the island. They are highly insulated and fitted with fuel-saving equipment for your benefit.
The heating system in your home, if built after 2009*, is designed to be efficient using a combination of electric panel heaters and a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery system (MVHR) that extracts air from the warm damp areas of your home such as your shower and kitchen. The heat from the extracted air is transferred to incoming, fresh, filtered air and distributed to the living areas. The stale damp air is expelled outside through a duct.
*Our properties with MVHR are 9-15 Victoria Avenue, Sir John Leale Avenue, Clos Le Patourel, Clos Sebire and Clos Spurway, Mont Beavoir, Rue Clouet, Clos Gallet, Clos Gravier, Clos Pierre, Clos Barbier, Rue Jamouneau, Rue Sarchet, Le Grand Courtil, La Nouvelle Maraitaine, Cour du Parc, Clos L’Ecole, Longfield, Metivier House, Rodley Park, Epworth, Clos Le Noury, Warry’s, Longue Rocque, Courtil Reveaux, La Vieux Jardin, and The Oaks.
What does my MVHR look like and where is it?
Your MVHR unit is a white box which can be located anywhere in your home. Generally it is in the cupboard at the top of the stairs, the service cupboard or the loft.
What does your MVHR do?
- It extracts air at a constant rate at all times
- It ventilates your home
- It removes stale air and moisture
- It brings in filtered fresh air
- It recovers heat which you produce, for example from cooking, showering etc so it saves you money
- It will not heat your house on its own but it will recycle heat you have made
Why do I need it?
- Your home is airtight/draught proofed
- It reduces your electricity bills and is low cost to run (same as a 60W light bulb)
- It stops black mould on your walls and ceilings
- The incoming air goes through a filter which will benefit those with allergies
How to make the most of your MVHR unit
- Don’t switch off your MVHR or try to adjust the system. You cannot make any adjustments to it
- Avoid opening your windows during cold weather as your heating costs will rise significantly
- Don’t adjust the vents fitted to the ceilings
- Do open windows in warm weather
- Do clean the ceiling vents on a regular basis with a soft cloth
- Do change the carbon filter in the cooker hood
- Do report to GHA if it is particularly noisy or if you notice any changes
The unit maintains a quiet and constant circulation of air within your home 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Please do not turn your MVHR unit off or adjust it in any way!
As the GHA is building such highly efficient properties with lower related costs for heating, lighting and power, Guernsey Electricity (GEL) has reviewed the amount they suggest for standing order payments for a new customer moving into a GHA property.
For some tenants, GEL has even been able to reduce payments by over 50%, from £140 per month to around £65 per month.
To take advantage of this reduced initial price, you’ll need to switch from prepayment meters to paying by standing order and you’ll also benefit from an additional 2% regular payment discount.
Please contact GEL on 200700 to discuss your options for payment. GEL will continue to review customers’ standing orders on a quarterly basis to make sure payment levels are adequate to cover the electricity usage.
Aerials & Antennae have advised the GHA that if you want SkyQ in your property you will need a DSEQ switch fitted. This switch is fitted to the Sky equipment in your property linking it to the communal equipment. The switch is £95 plus any other installation costs.
This is due to the GHA not permitting holes to be drilled through the walls for cabling installation to a new dish. The draught proofing of the premises must remain intact to keep fuel costs down.
Please be reminded that you should not flush any type of wet wipe or similar items down the toilets as they cause blockages in the drains. Please dispose of them in a bin. There is further advice on what you can and can’t dispose of on the Guernsey Water website.
The cost of clearing blocked toilets or drains due to wet wipes, or other non flushable items, will be recharged to the tenant.
Any homes built by the GHA from 2009 onwards will have been fitted with a home heating and ventilation system.
The heating system is designed to be efficient using a combination of radiators and a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery system (MVHR) that extracts air from the warm, damp areas of your home (bathroom/kitchen). The heat from the extracted air is transferred to incoming, fresh, filtered air and distributed to the living areas. The stale damp air is expelled to the outside via a duct. The unit maintains a quiet and constant circulation of air within your home 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Your house is built with a high degree of insulation and airtightness. The MVHR system means that your house has all the clean air you need. In the winter this is also heated from the use of the kitchen/bathroom. Please do not open your windows during cold weather as your heating costs will rise significantly. Of course in warm weather you can open windows as you wish. The MVHR is not air conditioning.
Moisture and air-filtration
The MVHR unit monitors the moisture content of the extracted air and will automatically increase the fan speed if there is excessive humidity from the bathroom or kitchen areas; so there is no need to have an extractor fan fitted in the bathroom.
Within the MVHR unit, there are filters. The filters require cleaning annually. The GHA will arrange a convenient date and time to gain access and carry out the work.
The cooker hood should be used normally and will re-circulate the air in the kitchen through a carbon filter. This is not connected to the heat recovery unit. The carbon filter requires changing periodically to prevent grease build up.
The solar panels provide free energy that heats the water in the hot water cylinder: this is where your hot water will come from. Should there not be enough solar energy to heat your hot water cylinder fully, electrical energy is used. This is done automatically.
To make the most of the free energy you will need to use the hot water when the sun is shining.
The incoming energy from the solar panels is controlled automatically by the control unit located in the cylinder cupboard along with the display unit. You do not need to adjust the solar panels in any way as they are self-regulating.
The display unit (located in the cylinder cupboard) will provide you with temperature data from the solar panels.
Should there be a failure in the solar panel system a small amount of liquid may be discharged into the container adjacent to the pump station. If this occurs, please contact the GHA who will arrange for an engineer to attend to the unit. Please note that this is NOT an emergency and so can be dealt with in normal working hours.