Council projects remove barriers to energy efficient heat  

More people want to make their homes warmer, but many are still unsure about how to do it.  

New figures show that people across Scotland are increasingly looking to make energy efficiency upgrades to their homes to reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions.

A recent survey from Changeworks, Scotland’s leading environmental charity, on attitudes to decarbonisation in Scotland revealed that 79% see climate change as one of the most important challenges to address. The research also shows 55% of people are willing to take action.

However, financial concerns and a lack of information on technologies could prevent progress toward net zero. 

Funding home improvements is a major barrier, with almost a third of those surveyed being unable to afford to make the necessary changes – such as installing insulation – to their homes.

Despite this, Changeworks’ research shows that as of 2023, 47% of people are already decarbonising their homes, or plan to in the next 12 months, a significant increase from just 24% in 2022.  

The survey highlights the need to make people aware of available funding to help them make their home more energy efficient.

Funding is available from the Scottish Government to help homeowners transition to warmer, greener homes. Programmes like Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Schemes (EES: ABS) help homeowners in or at risk of fuel poverty to access grants to upgrade their homes.

Switching to a low carbon heating system, such as an air source heat pump, or installing insulation to improve energy efficiency can reduce a home’s energy bills and carbon emissions; vital benefits for householders in the face of the cost of living and climate crises. 

If you own your home and live in a property that is council tax band A-D, you might be eligible for funding through EES: ABS. Register your interest below:

In the Scottish Borders, Changeworks is working with the Scottish Borders Council to support eligible homeowners to upgrade their heating system to an air source heat pump and install insulation. These measures are offered to eligible homeowners for free or at a substantially reduced cost; where costs without funding would normally be £7-13,000. 

Councillor Robin Tatler, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Equalities, said: “Hundreds of householders across the Scottish Borders have been able to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce their bills through our programme with Changeworks. 

“It is important for people to understand that support is out there, including financial support for those eligible, and I’d encourage anyone who has not yet explored the options available to check the Home Energy Efficiency and Affordable Warmth section of the Council website or contact Home Energy Scotland or Energy Saving Trust for more information.” 

This project is a continuation of a longstanding partnership between the Scottish Borders Council and Changeworks that has seen hundreds of measures installed and householders supported over the years.

This is the fourth year that air source heat pumps have been available in the local authority as part of EES: ABS. The Scottish Borders Council and Changeworks aim to build on the impact of previous years by helping even more householders to improve their home’s energy efficiency.  

Housing in Scotland accounts for 13% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, so decarbonising your home is one of the most effective ways to tackle the climate crisis.  

Changeworks commissioned a nationally representative survey of 1,700 adults in Scotland in November ’23 managed by 56 Degree Insight. 

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