Grampian Housing Association named Eco Hero at Northern Star Business Awards

Neil Clapperton, Peter Kennedy and Craig Stirrat of Grampian Housing Association recieving the Eco Hero Award from sponsor Terri Vogt, project manager, Circular North East

Grampian Housing Association is celebrating its win of the Eco Hero award in the Northern Star Business Awards in recognition of initiatives to address fuel poverty.

Organised by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, the event also recognised the Association’s sustainability measures in its office to reduce impact on the environment.

The award-winning initiatives included installing external and internal wall insulation to the Association’s properties in the regeneration area of Heathryfold in Aberdeen. The properties are now some of the most energy efficient stock around resulting in a dramatic reduction of heat loss and energy bills for tenants.

External insulation underway in Heathryfold

Commenting on the Eco Hero award, Chris Hunt, business development officer, said: “As an organisation we are committed to making our tenants homes more energy efficient and affordable.

“We are also passionate about the planet and our role in actively reducing our impact on climate change. We fully support the efforts of the Scottish Government to reduce Scotland’s carbon impact.

“It is fantastic to be recognised for our work in this important area.”

As a housing association Grampian is required to meet the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) with its properties reaching a minimum energy rating of B and C. These measures had the impact of moving previously D rated properties to B rated.

The work helped to unlock £2 million funding from the Scottish Government via Aberdeen City Council so that private households struggling to heat their homes could also benefit from insulation alongside the Association’s tenants.

Solar panels were also installed on properties. A pilot project in now underway to store the excess energy generated to provide all of the household’s hot water. Using free solar energy has the added benefit of helping tenants combat rising energy prices.

Tenants also benefit from the Association’s free energy advice project which helps them to use their heating and hot water most efficiently, saving as much of their income as possible and contributing to reducing their fuel bills.

Externally insulated properties fitted with solar panels in Heathryfold

Energy efficiency measures in the Association’s office also helped to secure the win. In the first year alone, it is estimated that new LED office lighting will save Grampian in excess of £3,000, approximately £9 per day. New boilers are contributing to a reduction in gas consumption leading to further energy savings.

Other finalists in the Eco Hero category were Aberkil (pest control) and Dab Den Ltd (architects of environmentally friendly buildings).