From October 2018 to March 2020, Changeworks delivered Change Works in Argyll, a pilot project to help people in Arrochar and rural West Loch Lomond communities in Argyll and Bute Council improve the energy efficiency of their off-gas homes and businesses, under the Energy Efficient Scotland programme.

Tailored approach for off-gas

It was important to pilot approaches for semi-rural off-gas areas, compared to on-gas, as these types of properties face specific challenges when improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Change Works in Argyll used personalised engagement to raise awareness of low-cost energy efficient home improvements and encouraged low carbon behaviours through specialist talks, learning activities and outreach events. The team built strong relationships with local stakeholder groups and key community activists and were very active on social media to build community presence. Change Works in Argyll worked with Home Energy Scotland, Argyll and Bute Council and Resource Efficient Scotland to facilitate homeowners and businesses make the decision and fund energy efficient improvements by offering interest free loans, tailored advice and behaviour change.

Shaping young minds

The project also promoted energy efficiency measures to empower pupils at Arrochar Primary School to reduce carbon footprints both at school and at home. Through this work, all of the children involved pledged to turn off lights when no one was in the room.

Alison Palmer, Head Teacher, Arrochar Primary School said:

“The children used the knowledge they had acquired to plan and present a whole school assembly on energy conservation. It reinforced that if we all start making even small alterations to the way we live, it can have big consequences for our planet, but we all need to work together on this”.

 

Impactful results

Over the course of the project, 16 measures were installed ranging from draught proofing to underfloor heating, which resulted in over £16,000 of private investment and 50 tonnes of lifetime carbon savings. When the project ended, a further 20 measures were being explored by households and businesses with the potential to generate £41,200 in investment and 59 tonnes of lifetime carbon savings.

For more information on the overall programmes of work, insight on the progress and challenges and key learnings, read the final report.