Borders homeowners save money on heating with external wall insulation

An energy efficiency project in the Scottish Borders is giving local homeowners the opportunity to reduce their heating bills with subsidised external wall insulation.

With funding from the Scottish Government, the Scottish Borders Council’s External Wall Insulation Project cuts the cost of installing from around £13,000 to just £750.

The project, delivered in partnership with Changeworks and Home Energy Scotland, helped homeowners in Lower Langlee heat their homes for less last year by encouraging ways to improve fuel efficiency.

Following this success, Changeworks was able to secure Scottish Government funding to deliver a similar project in Town Yetholm, Galashiels, St Boswells and Kelso.

Galashiels homeowner, Claire, had already reduced her electricity bills by having solar panels put on the roof of her end-terrace home. She saw the project as an opportunity to lower her energy bills even further, and the subsidised installation of external wall insulation was extremely good value.

“I had the external wall insulation installed because when you compare the £750 we paid against what it would normally cost, it was such good value for money. I thought it would be worth having because it would improve the look of my house, and save money on heating.”

Minimal disruption, maximum benefit

The work happened in three stages. Firstly, large polystyrene blocks were attached to the exterior of the house; then they were skimmed over, to give a flat finish; and finally, a new layer of roughcasting was applied. This took around four weeks.

“I’d say definitely go for it. Especially if you get the offer we did. It’d be silly not to take it.”

While the work was going on, Claire didn’t find that her routine was disrupted much at all. When the work was done, the contractors made sure her outside lights and hanging baskets were put back as before.

Claire said: “The workmen just got on with the job. There was no mess at the end: they cleared it all up, and even the guy in charge turned up to help them sweep up. He was really good at communicating with us, and keeping us up to date with what was happening.”

A new look and energy efficient!

Claire is delighted with her ‘new’ home. She said: “The real difference at the moment, is how it looks. It’s greatly improved, so much nicer to look at.

“It was a horrible dull colour before, but they’ve brightened it up, and the windowsills they’ve put on have hidden the red tiles and it all looks so much better. I’m really pleased with how the house looks now.”

Claire would advise anyone considering external wall insulation to go ahead and have it installed, adding: “I’d say definitely go for it. Especially if you get the offer we did. It’d be silly not to take it.”

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Changeworks delivers Home Energy Scotland in the south east and Highlands and Islands on behalf of the Scottish Government and Energy Saving Trust.

As well as providing free, impartial expert advice to thousands of people every month to help them to keep warm in their homes for less, they identify funding opportunities for households seeking to install energy efficiency measures.

For more information, give Home Energy Scotland a call on 0808 808 2282 or email and the team will be happy to help you.