New ventilation standards put islanders off insulation schemes

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan has warned that new housing ventilation standards are letting too much wind into homes.

Alasdair Allan said the measures were “somewhat counterproductive and unsuitable for the local environment here in the Western Isles”.

Mr Allan has urged that cutting holes in walls “in the name of ventilation” to comply with the new regulations is “understandably leading to people rejecting insulation schemes”.

The MSP raised local concerns over new UK-wide energy efficiency requirements in the Scottish Parliament, The Herald reports.

The new industry standards for retrofitting energy efficiency measures now require fixed mechanical ventilation and window vents. This has reportedly resulted in a decline in the number of people in the Western Isles who are willing to have insulation installed by providers such as Tighean Innse Gall, due to the accompanying mandatory ventilation requirements, which can cause draughts in many types of Hebridean properties.

Following a meeting this week with Tighean Innse Gall, Dr Allan said: “To continue to reduce emissions and meet Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets, we must all be working towards making our homes and workplaces more energy efficient.

“However, the mandatory ventilation measures Trustmark insulation providers are now having to adhere to seem to be somewhat counter-productive, and unsuitable for the local environment here in the Western Isles.

“The idea of cutting holes in walls in the name of ventilation to comply with these new regulations is understandably leading to people rejecting insulation schemes from providers such as Tighean Innse Gall.”

Stewart Wilson, chief executive of Tighean Innse Gall, added: “It is very concerning we will have to apply the UK PAS standard for ventilation without considering the mean wind speeds we experience on the islands.

“This inevitably will mean the very people we are seeking to lift out of fuel poverty would be left with a much draughtier house”.

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