The HEAT Project awarded £99,045 grant from Ofgem’s Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme

The HEAT Project, part of Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust, has been awarded a grant of £99,045 over two years from Ofgem’s Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme.

The HEAT Project awarded £99,045 grant from Ofgem's Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme

Martin Mathers, The HEAT project manager

Since 2017, the project has delivered direct energy saving advice to over 500 households in Eastern and Highland Perthshire, helping achieve significant savings in energy bills and has helped households to install new insulation, alternative heating systems.

At the same time, The HEAT Project has helped to reduce annual CO2 emission in the area by over 2000 tonnes.

Since 2020, The HEAT Project has been funded by the Safe Deposits Scotland Charitable Trust to support private landlords and tenants to help them reduce their energy bills and meet Scottish Government property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) standards in Eastern and Highland Perthshire, including Coupar Angus, Blairgowrie and Rattray, Pitlochry, Dunkeld and Birnam and Aberfeldy. Their funding will continue alongside the new grant.

Stuart Nichol, The Blairgowrie and Rattray Development chair, said: “The trust is delighted to receive this grant which enables us to give independent, impartial advice to households to help them reduce energy bills, help them move to solutions that reduce carbon emissions, and raise the profile of the urgent need to do what we can to decarbonise the energy sector. We are delighted to be able to play our part in this work which is so important and needs addressed urgently.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the significant increase in unemployment and reduction in household income in the project area has resulted in many households spending a larger proportion on their income on keeping warm. This is worse for houses off the gas grid, and the older harder to treat properties, typical of the rural parts of the project area.

Martin Mathers, The HEAT project manager, added: “Ofgem’s Energy Redress grant allow us expand our vital energy advice service. Using our established links with community bodies in the area, we will be able to deliver an effective, efficient, and reliable service to many more households. We particularly want to help households facing high energy bills and declining incomes as well as elderly and vulnerable groups in Eastern and Highland Perthshire. Our advice will be professional, practical and tailored to the needs of each household.”

Improving the energy performance of our homes is important not just for household bills and climate change but can also improve quality of life and health. There is an evidence that cold and damp homes can lead to increasing incidence of respiratory diseases and greater risk from COVID-19.

The HEAT Project has continued to offer an online and telephone advice service throughout lockdowns. With the gradual easing of restrictions, we will once more be able to safely offer an in-house survey and advice session. 

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