Peebles householders, businesses and community groups can benefit from a new project that has been launched in the town. 

Change Works in Peebles aims to reduce gas and electricity usage and energy bills, improve warmth in local homes and trial new approaches to improve energy efficiency. 

An advice hub will be opened at the Old Corn Exchange on Peebles High Street next month to enable people to drop in to find out about the help available. 

This pilot project, funded by the Scottish Government, Changeworks and the Scottish Borders Council, will also look to improve greener living and working in the area. 

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch this innovative £850,000 project in Peebles, which will act as a pilot for Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme. 

“This project provides a real opportunity for local people to save money, improve buildings and reduce carbon emissions. What’s more, as part of the work being undertaken, the Council is committed to energy efficiency improvements at Peebles High School, including additional loft insulation, installing thermally efficient glazing and changes to the heating systems.” 

Changeworks and Scottish Borders Council are delivering the Change Works in Peebles project in partnership with the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland, Resource Efficient Scotland and Business Gateway. 

Donna Marshall, Project Manager of Change Works in Peebles, said: “Peebles has been chosen because data analysis shows it to be a high energy use town, so there are potentially significant benefits for householders, businesses and community groups across the area. 

“Data shows that Peebles householders have 14 per cent higher fuel bills, based on higher energy use, than the national average. We want to provide advice and support to householders and businesses to reduce these costs and help make a difference. 

“We plan to run specialist advice sessions and workshops over the year from the local hub to help people access free and impartial advice on lowering energy bills and improving warmth in local homes. Advice will cover topics such as switching gas and electricity suppliers, insulation and keeping warm in older homes. We’re also interested in hearing from local householders and businesses about the type of advice and support they would find most beneficial.” 

You can contact the Change Works in Peebles team on their Facebook page or by emailing peebles@changeworks.org.uk 

Notes to Editors: 

  1. Changeworks (changeworks.org.uk) is one of Scotland’s largest environmental charities, working with organisations, communities and individuals to deliver practical solutions that reduce carbon emissions, fuel poverty and waste. Twitter | Facebook
     
  1. Change Works in Peebles is funded by the Scottish Government, Changeworks and Scottish Borders Council. As confirmed by the Scottish Government announcement on 10 August 2017, funding for Change Works in Peebles is in place until February 2019. The Scottish Government has designated energy efficiency as a National Infrastructure Priority, which will be driven by Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP). Change Works in Peebles will be delivered to inform the development of SEEP, launching in 2018.
     
  1. The data used for gas use was derived from the department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Median household gas use showed to be 12% higher in Peebles than in the rest on the Scottish Borders (although a small portion of the gas use will also include gas use for cooking, it is considered a suitable measure for heating). The gas use data came from the www.gov.uk  website (2015 is the most recent data for post-code level data), and 10 datazones were selected that make up the town of Peebles.  In addition, data from Home Analytics (a dataset produced by the Energy Savings Trust (EST) estimated 14% higher fuel bills than the national average for the town of Peebles. The EST data is based on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) which have been carried out for 43% of the properties in Peebles. These higher bills are based on a higher use of energy, not differences in tariffs from different energy providers. The Home Analytics dataset is not openly available, but individual EPC certificates can be downloaded from the EST website.