Like many people who work from home, Jennie struggles to find enough space for her office equipment. Although her house has a spare room upstairs, for the last four years it’s been too cold to use. Instead, Jennie has been working at her dining-room table, meaning she’s unable to eat there at mealtimes.
Has a recent insulation project made a difference? Read on to find out…
“Don’t throw the letter in the bin”
Jennie lives in an 1890s stone cottage in the Scottish Borders. She’s been there for four years and has always found the upstairs cold. When a letter from Changeworks informed her of an insulation project in her area, she decided to register her interest.
“Don’t throw the letter in the bin,” is Jennie’s first piece of advice for anyone contacted about an Energy Efficiency Scotland: Area Based Scheme (EES:ABS). “If you get a letter, pick the phone up – what’s the worst that can happen?”
Once she’d called to register her interest, a surveyor visited Jennie’s property. A test on a downstairs wall found that some insulation was present, leading the surveyor to think that the whole property was likely already insulated. However, when Jennie pointed out several cold areas, the surveyor found that one downstairs wall, as well as the entire upstairs, was uninsulated.
A slick operation
Jennie received full grant funding to improve the energy efficiency of her home. The appointed contractors installed Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) throughout the upstairs rooms and on the cold downstairs wall. She was impressed by how “slick” the whole operation was, especially the way the contractors cut the insulation boards to fit the “oddities of the house”.
Jennie explained that whilst the work was carried out, she had to live in one room. Given the nature of the job, there was also a fair amount of dust. However, Jennie’s view on the inconvenience was that “short-term pain meant long-term gain”.
The project also included a decorating allowance. This meant Jennie was able to paint her newly insulated walls in the colours she wanted, then claim back the cost of the materials.
With her home better insulated, Jennie said she now feels much warmer. She’s finding there’s not the same need for heating as there was previously, which means she’s also using less fuel. And after four years of having to eat from a tray on her lap, Jennie’s finally been able to clear the dining-room table.
Her new insulation means it’s warm enough to work upstairs, so she’s set up her office in a corner of the spare room. As Jennie herself says, the EES: ABS project has “changed the way I work and my lifestyle.”