100 Scottish homes to undergo £3.5m energy upgrades
More than 100 Scottish homes are to undergo a £3.5 million full-scale energy performance upgrade courtesy of Green Home Systems.
This comes at a time when many families are struggling to afford to heat their homes as the cost of energy soars to record highs.
Following the successful delivery of a £1m ECO4 pilot by Green Home Systems in Q4 2022, this new project and will run for at least six months from January 2023 and is expected to benefit more than 100 family homes.
The upgrades will be funded through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) programme, which is the UK Government’s flagship energy efficiency policy that aims to tackle fuel poverty and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in housing by providing free or heavily subsidised energy efficiency upgrades to homeowners and private tenants.
The types of measures that will be installed include roof, wall and floor insulation alongside air-source heat pumps, solar panels and SMART heating controls. Once installed, these measures will drastically reduce the amount of energy required to adequately heat the homes, and lower the occupants’ utility bills and carbon footprint.
During the initial trial, the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of each of the participating homes increased to the top bands of A or B which demonstrates that these properties are now highly efficient. The annual average energy bill decreased by £2,079 for each household, and a total of 120 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year was abated as a result of the project.
Air-source heat pumps work by transferring heat from outside air to water, which then heats the home via radiators, and can operate efficiently even in low temperatures. Solar PV systems work by capturing the sun’s energy and converting it into electricity that can be used throughout the home, and works well even on cloudy days. Both heat pumps and solar PV are very environmentally friendly to operate because they use a sustainable energy source, and by combining these technologies the environmental and cost-saving benefits can be maximised.
Insulation upgrades are also key to maximising energy efficiency in homes, and include installing new or improved levels of insulation materials to the loft, floor, and walls. This creates a thermal barrier that prevents heat loss, and means that heat is retained inside the home for longer and therefore reduces the overall energy demand of the property. With less energy being used, utility bills are cheaper, and the carbon footprint is lower.
Quality assurance for the projects will continue to be provided by TrustMark who will ensure that they are carried out to government-recognised PAS2030/35 and Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installation standards. TrustMark is the UK Government’s only endorsed quality scheme for work carried out in or around domestic homes.
Green Home Systems is an energy efficiency specialist contractor based in Ayrshire and operates throughout Scotland. It was established in 2014 and has completed over 16,500 energy efficiency projects to date which has lifted more than 7,000 families out of fuel poverty.
Alastair Macphie, managing director at Green Home Systems, said: “We are proud to extend our partnership with OVO Energy and help them deliver the ECO4 programme on behalf of the UK Government. Following the successful completion of our pilot project in 2022, this new and expanded programme will allow us to ramp up delivery to households who need it most. Having worked with OVO for many years we are delighted they have again chosen Green Home Systems as their local delivery partner.”
Graeme Kerr, sales director at Green Home Systems, added: “ECO4 provides an excellent opportunity for Scottish households to reduce their energy use and lower utility costs. The grant funding is available to both private owner-occupied households and private tenants where at least one resident in the home receives a qualifying state benefit.
“However, we are also now working very closely with selected local authorities to identify those who are most vulnerable, but don’t receive a qualifying benefit, to maximise the ECO Flex mechanism and ensure the widest possible support is available for struggling households. We are willing to open this Flex opportunity up to new local authorities and welcome all enquiries to do so.”