SIXTY-NINE eco-boilers were ripped out of new-build homes on Tuesday after it emerged they were less efficient than traditional gas units.
A campaigner revealed the debacle as housing association Plus Dane set to work tearing out the NIBE-brand heaters from homes in Castlefields.
Jaime Dickinson, of Cambridgeshire, reported that 200 units worth £6,000 needed to be removed from the Runcorn estate at a total cost of £800,000.
Plus Dane has rejected the figures. It said that 69 units were withdrawn to be sent for recycling, which would raise cash to offset the replacement costs.
A spokesman for the housing association said the value of the loss is just £145,000.
Mr Dickinson blasted the scheme.
He said that although the NIBE boilers are more efficient and eco-friendly under the right conditions, Castlefields residents ended up paying more on their fuel bills and producing more carbon dioxide emissions.
He said that clean energy, such as hydroelectricity and secondary household heat sources such as a wood burner, are needed for the scheme to work.
He said the electricity that powers the Castlefields homes is mainly from coal and gas-powered plants.
Heating the boilers directly with gas burners is more efficient, he added.
Residents in the new-build homes ended up paying about £5-£7 more per week in energy bills than they would have with normal units.
The housing association said it has ‘held its hands up’ and compensated residents to the tune of £10 per week.
A Plus Dane spokesman said: “We have decided to bite the bullet and completely replace the boilers with a model that has been proved to work in an everyday environment, is modern and eco-efficient.
“The cost of the replacement work is built into the building costs of the project so it will have no effect on rents.”