Developed by our Net Zero Programme Development team, the project will see Changeworks carry out technical surveys on homes with residents who have health conditions made worse by the cold. The aim is to identify and install energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating solutions that will help them stay warm and well at home. This service will be at no cost to the householder.
Warm Home Prescription is an innovative service being piloted by Energy Systems Catapult. They began trialling the service in winter 2022/23 with NHS partners and energy advice organisations across four areas in Scotland and England, including Aberdeenshire. Its aim is to help vulnerable people with both health conditions made worse by the cold struggling to stay warm and well at home and out of hospital – by “prescribing” warmth.
In winter 2022/23 householders were given help with the cost of their heating bill. In the next phase in 2023/24, some recipients in Aberdeenshire will now see Changeworks provide energy advice and retrofit their homes via energy efficiency measures to help stay warm and comfortable.
The pilot service has previously run successfully in Gloucestershire and was found to have an immediate impact, meaning householders didn’t have to choose between heating and eating. Recipients said they felt warmer, healthier, less stressed about energy bills and less likely to visit their GP or hospital.
Scotland has a diverse housing stock, with many older properties having been built with materials that have consequences for the home’s energy performance. This can make properties harder to heat, which means householders must spend more on their energy bills and can have a negative impact on their health.
By retrofitting homes with measures such as heating controls, insulation and low carbon heating, we can reduce the amount of energy needed to achieve warm, healthy temperatures.
Changeworks’ Technical Support Manager, Ewan Fisher, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Energy Systems Catapult to deliver this innovative service in Aberdeenshire. By installing energy efficient measures and offering invaluable energy advice to vulnerable households we can drastically help improve the lives of those who live in them.
“Making homes warmer, lowering energy bills and improving the health of householders will remove the stress and worry that can come with the colder months.”
Energy Systems Catapult’s Business Leader for Home Decarbonisation, Becky Sweeney said: “Living in cold homes puts millions with health conditions at risk of real harm. By prescribing energy efficiency measures through the Warm Home Prescription service, we can help vulnerable individuals to keep warm at home and stay out of hospital.
“It also tests a possible pathway to deliver domestic decarbonisation that acknowledges what is important to the customer – going with the grain of consumer behaviour must be the way to achieve the scale and pace of change we need”.