Even when people want to tackle climate change, they can lack the knowledge or confidence to make changes to their homes. As part of Climate Action Fife we piloted home energy advice visits with a focus on carbon savings, rather than fuel poverty. This was in the effort to help them have a more Climate friendly home. Greener Kirkcaldy’s qualified energy advisors delivered the visits.
We took a whole-house approach and the energy advisor discussed the household’s lifestyle along with the energy efficiency of the property. They then created an action plan with the family. We also offered a thermal imaging service and draught testing. We referred people to Home Energy Scotland for interest-free loans for energy-saving measures
Case study – Valerie’s flat
Valerie approached us for support as she had just bought a cottage flat in a small coastal village. She was interested in the environmental measures she could take to reduce energy costs and the energy-related carbon emissions of her new home.
The property was in a poor state of repair, and had an electrical heating system. Although, there was a gas connection. Because the flat required some major renovations, Valerie wanted to explore the options for increasing the energy efficiency of the property at the same time. She also wanted advice on whether an alternative heating system would be a good idea for her home.
After an initial telephone consultation, we visited the property. We discussed the options that might suit the house and Valerie’s own requirements. Valerie was interested in exploring heat pumps as an alternative way of heating the home to the electric heating system that was already in place.
Valerie was very motivated to make changes to reduce her carbon footprint. But, she has a limited income and a health condition. This means she requires constant warmth and quiet within the home. This meant that an air source heat pump was not a suitable option because it would need to be located next to the bedroom wall.
However, as the property already had a gas supply, installing an energy efficient combi-boiler was an option. We also suggested adding floor insulation before laying new floors to increase the energy efficiency of the property. Also, to reduce the running costs and carbon emissions of the heating system.
The property already had some cavity wall insulation, but because the walls would be stripped back to the care brick for plastering, we discussed ways of adding extra internal wall insulation to reduce the heat loss. We also discussed the measures Valerie could take to prevent the build-up of damp that the property had previously suffered from.
The doors and windows also needed draught proofing. We informed Valerie of the financial and technical support available to make these changes from Home Energy Scotland. We made a referral to them for further support.
Finally, we also discussed renewable tariffs as an option for reducing her energy emissions further. As Valerie’s flat is a ground floor flat, installing solar PV on the house is not an option. However, Valerie intends to add a garden office in the future, so we advised her how solar PV could be integrated into the build.
What happened next?
Valerie secured an interest-free loan with cash-back to install some of the energy efficiency measures that we had discussed and that Home Energy Scotland recommended in their assessment.
These measures included floor insulation, draught proofing and an energy efficient gas heating system, including radiators and heating control system. The savings that she will make through her running costs meant that she could afford to switch to a 100% renewable tariff. This was not the cheapest tariff available, but it will reduce her emissions, which was a priority for Valerie.
If you have any questions about this case study please contact Kitty O’Connor, Senior Energy Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org
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Download (PDF): Valerie Case Study