Scottish projects receive almost £400,000 to help tackle climate change
Centrica, which invited communities and entrepreneurs in Scotland to apply for a grant of up to £100,000 from its Energy for Tomorrow social impact fund for initiatives that can deliver affordable, accessible and sustainable energy solutions to help tackle climate change, has unveiled that four projects in Scotland will receive a total of almost £400,000.
The grants were awarded based on the impact the projects would have on the community, their feasibility and innovation, the quality of the concept and the opportunity for Centrica colleagues to lend their support.
Eigg Trading Limited will receive funding over two years to contribute towards the redevelopment of the Isle of Eigg’s gateway community hub, which aims to make the island more sustainable and be net zero by 2030. The hub’s eco-renovation will include installing a biomass boiler and solar thermal panels, replacing an oil heating source and saving over 4,000 litres of oil each year. It will also provide additional employment opportunities for Eigg’s residents and support nine community facilities.
Community Energy Scotland will receive funding over two years for their ‘Making Heat Pumps Work’ project, which will enable rural homes in the Orkney Islands to receive home visits or online consultations to help determine the best eco-solutions to decarbonise their heating and will include an analysis of heat loss from the property to help homeowners make targeted improvements to enhance the energy efficiency of their homes.
Brag Enterprises is a charity in Fife that provides employability skills, advice to small businesses, and a food pantry service to help families in poverty. The funding the charity will receive over three years will be directed towards making its three sites more energy-efficient, acting as an example to the wider community on what can be achieved. In addition to measuring its reduced energy usage and costs, the charity will monitor the actions taken by the community to reduce and change its energy behaviours. Brag will also be providing energy efficiency advice alongside their food pantry service to support those families most at risk of fuel poverty.
Energy Sparks is an online energy analysis and education tool designed to help schools reduce their carbon footprint and educate students on energy efficiency and climate change. Schools participating in Energy Sparks can expect to achieve energy savings of around 10% in their first year, resulting in average annual cost savings of about £2,400 and eight tonnes of carbon emissions. The funding over two years will help to develop and improve the platform and support the free provision of Energy Sparks to a further 65 state schools across Scotland.
The funding recipients attended a roundtable hosted by Centrica in Glasgow during COP26 to learn more about the innovation that is already taking place in Scotland and discuss how Centrica can work to support communities on their journey towards net zero.
Chris O’Shea, group chief executive at Centrica, said: “Tackling climate change is a job that requires everyone to work together, with each of us doing our bit to bring solutions both big and small to the table. The Energy for Tomorrow funding that has been awarded to four projects in Scotland will help organisations that are working at the heart of communities to scale up their ideas and initiatives to make a real difference in peoples lives so that we can continue to push for a sustainable future for all.”
Janet Foggie, CEO, for Community Energy Scotland, said: “Community Energy Scotland are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Energy for Tomorrow on a project designed to get the best out of Heat Pumps as climate change reduction solutions for some of Britain’s most carbon-intensive homes in remote and rural locations on the Orkney Isles. Together, we are dedicated to ensuring that dignity, inclusion and heat are all combined in a project to resolve some of the technical issues around getting the most out of a heat pump while also supporting homeowners and the local community in understanding the need for carbon-neutral heating as we aim for Net Zero.”
Brian Robertson-Fern, managing director for Brag Enterprises, said: “Brag are delighted that we have been accepted as a recipient of the Energy for Tomorrow programme grant and are excited about the difference it will make for the people we support and us. Our aim is to make our three community sites more energy-efficient community spaces, acting as examples to the wider community on what can be achieved and very much practising what we preach in our own move to becoming a carbon-neutral organisation.
“We are also looking to use our engagement with our existing harder-to-reach groups to introduce them to be more energy-efficient, helping them better utilise what little monies they have. This will include us being able to provide practical advice and the ongoing support from our existing diverted food waste project called Pantry@BRAG. The programme will help us all deliver on our pledges to leave a sustainable planet for our and their children.”
Claudia Towner, CEO for Energy Sparks, said: “Energy Sparks’ vision is a sustainable future in which the school community is at the heart of measurable action to tackle climate change. Funding from Energy for Tomorrow will allow Energy Sparks to support 65 schools across Scotland with our school-specific energy management tool and energy education programme. We’ll be able to equip more children and young people with the knowledge, skills, and tools to take measurable action in their school and the wider community to reduce carbon emissions. Energy Sparks will also enable school leaders, staff and communities to understand better and reduce their school’s energy consumption and introduce wider measures to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Stuart Fergusson, Eigg Trading Ltd director, added: “Support from Centrica’s Energy for Tomorrow’s allows us to move towards our carbon net zero goal faster. It will help create a new gateway building on Eigg’s main pier. An Laimhrig will be powered by renewables and incorporate new energy-saving and monitoring technologies that showcase Eigg’s net zero ambitions to the world, demonstrating that no matter how small you are, you can make a huge difference.”