HANDIHEAT is a three year project focussed on energy performance in rural housing and public infrastructure challenges in peripheral and arctic regions. The role of ARC in the project is to examine the policies that impact on eliminating Fuel Poverty and provide advice, guidance and support.

Based as we are in the South West of the province, we have limited options for switching fuel choices, and we are heavily reliant on fossil fuels – oil and coal – for heating our homes. Part of the HANDIHEAT project involves piloting other solutions for heating. Our partners in Finland are testing the efficacy and efficiency of Compressed Bio Gas as an alternative energy source, and its possible use as a domestic fuel source for dispersed settlements. Our Lead Partner, the Housing Executive are also undertaking a pilot on a number of houses in Lisnaskea. These homes – 6 in total – have been fitted with a range of energy efficiency measures – and renewable energy options for heating, solar panels, air source heat pumps, and condenser boilers. These pilots will run for one year, and will provide data that we hope will support the project and demonstrate the alternatives to traditional heating methods.
The transition to Net Zero, to which the government committed in 2018 will require behavioural changes for us all, and strong leadership from policy makers will be required to make this commitment happen. The HANDIHEAT project, with the combination of partners in other parts of Europe, will share best practice and endeavour to influence policy makers to bring about change in this important area.
The project was initiated pre-COVID-19, and has had to take account of the changes that have impacted on all our lives. Most of our activity has moved to on-line platforms. Our commitment to community engagement has not altered and we are in the middle of delivering a number of Webinars – the first of these dealt with Fuel Poverty, and we will publicise future events on here and through all our social media platforms.

Find us on Facebook – @Handiheat
Twitter: @handiheat