Over the last 7 years or more, I have frequently been approached by schools, seeking support from their LA for renewable schemes. Sadly in most cases, the schools had not addressed the simple measures first, such as Insulation, Housekeeping, Controls, High Freq Lighting etc.
As a result of this, we drafted communications which were issued to all schools, advising them of the route to take to tackle energy reduction, prior to scoping new renewable systems, and also developed Invest to Save funding schemes to support the resulting work.
Further, by retaining an approved contractor, to whom we could refer for quotations and for swift, efficient and comprehensive installation, we were able to make excellent progress in addressing the short and medium term payback measures, before then working with our schools to move on to the bigger (and generally more “sexy”) projects.
Sustainable Uist has carried out a research project into the prospects for improving the energy efficiency of older, traditionally-built properties on Uist.
These properties, which amount to between 35% and 50% of the islands' housing stock, are classified as ‘Hard to Treat’. As such, with solid rather than cavity walls, and coombed ceilings upstairs rather than open accessible loft spaces, all these properties were ineligible for assistance under the Uist and Barra 2010/11 Home Insulation Scheme.
The result of this is that, despite the best efforts of governments and their agencies, insufficient progress is being made on carbon reduction targets and, in the Outer Hebrides, fuel poverty is now experienced in 55% - 60% of households.
We’ve had an extensive insulation programme to provide loft and cavity wall insulation for many years, and all but our hardest to treat properties are now well insulated, so we are moving onto new initiatives such as eating energy bars and funding sunny spots in the snow!
We’ve been successful in generating heat from renewable technologies and have installed over 130 air source heat pumps, 36 properties with solar thermal panels and are capturing those rays with over 160 Solar PV systems.
So we think we’re surviving winter quite well, but are looking ahead to the Green Deal with anticipation to see if it can deliver what its promising…..
We are a charity in Berkshire who's work focuses on rural communities and ways to tackle rural fuel poverty. Through advice sessions and drop-in events we provide individuals and communities with guidance on energy saving options available including cost savings, income maximisation, insulation, grants available as well as common sense practical tips. We look forward to hearing more about the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation at the conference so we can pass this information onto the communities that we intereact with ensuring fewer people are in fuel poverty.