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Conserve and Save: The Energy Efficiency Plan for Scotland: Annual Report 2010-11

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2. Domestic Energy Efficiency

"Improve the energy efficiency of the domestic sector, as around 29% of all energy consumed in Scotland is used in our homes for space and water heating, cooking, lighting, and running electric appliances."

Energy Efficiency is a top priority for Scottish Government - assisting people to use less energy will help them to save money and will be vital in tackling fuel poverty. Towards that end, we will invest almost £200m through our domestic energy efficiency and fuel poverty programmes over the next 3 years.

Almost 300,000 Scottish citizens received advice and support from the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre ( ESSac) network in 2010-11.

The £50m Warm Homes Fund will be delivered over the course of the current Parliament to support energy efficiency, renewable energy and other measures for the fuel poor.

The Universal Home Insulation Scheme will continue in 2011-12. All thirty-one local authorities which bid will receive a share of the £12.5m available to deliver UHIS in 2011-12. Awards range from £130,000 to East Renfrewshire to £810,000 for Glasgow. This will allow 200,000 homes across Scotland to be offered support.

The boiler scrappage scheme offers householders a £400 voucher to homeowners to replace a boiler with the poorest energy efficiency rating with a new energy efficient model. A £2.5m scheme that will offer 6,000 households vouchers was launched in June 2011. This is in addition to over 6,800 vouchers paid in support of householders and private landlords in 2010-11, supported by over £3 million. Replacing 5,000 boilers saves around 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year - equivalent to taking around 2,000 cars off the road.

We worked with the CERT Strategy Steering Group to redesign our domestic energy efficiency and fuel poverty programmes to maximise uptake of CERT. Scotland's share of professionally installed cavity wall and loft insulation measures installed across Great Britain increased from 6.6% in 2008-9 to 9% in 2009-10 [1]. The indicative figure for 2010-11 also shows an increase to 10.5%. This data is based on voluntary submissions by suppliers and there is some data missing, particularly for the last quarter of the third year, thus it can only be used as an indication of delivery.

Additional Achievements

  • The Energy Assistance Package has grant funded more than 22,000 heating installations since April 2009;
  • 132,977 low income, potentially fuel poor clients received advice and support via the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre ( ESSac) network in 2010-11;
  • 699 domestic home loans for boiler replacements and insulation measures worth £3.46m were paid in 2010-11 and the Scottish Government has made a commitment to extend this scheme for future years;
  • Over 20,000 people received sustainable transport advice, including how to drive in a fuel efficient manner, public transport options and vehicle purchase from the ESSacs in 2010-11;
  • 350 home renewables grants worth £4.26m were approved in 2010-11;
  • 14,275 householders were given water efficiency advice across Scotland, following a successful pilot in Edinburgh;
  • Between November 2009 and the end of March 2011, half a million households were offered energy advice and free or discounted insulation through Scottish Government schemes, and 57,000 measures have been installed;
  • Historic Scotland have carried out a successful pilot encompassing 11 discrete projects on hard to treat properties, including listed buildings and tenements - which has demonstrated that economically feasible interventions are possible in traditional buildings without loss of material or character and provides an excellent base for future interventions;
  • The Scottish Government and COSLA issued joint guidance on Local Housing Strategies ( LHS) to strengthen current local authority coverage on climate change and an introductory seminar programme for LHS officers has been delivered.

Work In Progress

  • The Scottish Government has been working closely with DECC on the development of Green Deal and the future Energy Company Obligation ( ECO) to ensure that they can be implement in Scotland in a manner that meets Scotland's specific circumstances to make it easier for Scottish householders to benefit from these schemes;
  • We are working with social landlords and others to develop a climate change standard for social housing that goes beyond the Scottish Housing Quality Standard. The working group is expected to draft a standard for public consultation by mid-2012, with the new standard finalised by the end of the year;
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment has set up a new high level strategic group to involve stakeholders in the delivery of our commitments on sustainable housing and the development of a Strategy for Sustainable Housing in Scotland. The group will consider a range of issues affecting both new and existing housing including how to retrofit Scotland's existing housing stock to make it more energy efficient.

Domestic Energy Efficiency Case Studies

The Scottish Government funds the Energy Saving Trust ( EST) and local authorities to deliver energy efficiency and fuel poverty programmes in the domestic sector, including the management of the Energy Assistance Package. and (through local authorities) the Universal Home Insulation Scheme ( UHIS). The domestic case studies below give an indication of the types of support provided which have helped householders reduce their energy consumption and save on their fuel bills.

Domestic Energy Efficiency Case Study No. 1 - Glasgow

Georgina, who lives in the north west of Glasgow, is one of the many people who have taken advantage of the Energy Assistance Package, and has been enjoying a warmer home and lower energy bills as a result.

The initiative is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by the Energy Saving Trust. Open to people across the country, it aims to cut bills, boost incomes and make homes warmer and more energy efficient.

Some people even qualify for free home improvements like a new boiler, central heating system, and insulation through the programme.

Georgina and her teenage son Euan, live in a mid-terrace home built in the 1960s. With a broken heating system giving no hot water, their home also had one of the lowest energy efficiency ratings possible - making it extremely hard to heat. This was a big problem for Georgina, who also runs her household on a low income. But she then discovered they would qualify for a replacement central heating system and loft insulation top-up.

She called up about the Energy Assistance Package in June last year. The savings that Georgina has made through Energy Assistance Package are significant.

The improvements and the new boiler have halved the CO 2 output from her home, dropping from 7.7 tonnes a year of to just 3.8. The CO 2 saved is the equivalent produced when driving 11,600 miles in the average car.

As a result, Georgina's annual energy bills are set to fall from an average of £2,047 per year before her new system was installed (and her heating system broke down) to an expected £740 per year now, a reduction in cost of 64% and an estimated saving of over £1,300 on her annual fuel bills.

The service also provided Georgina with some other tips for saving money and saving energy in her home. Her advisor, Andy suggested small alterations - like turning the thermostat down. Setting temperature controls just 1 ºC lower is a change that few people would notice but can save up to 10% off bills, or around £55 per year.

Find out more by calling the Energy Saving Scotland advice line on 0800 512 012.

Domestic Energy Efficiency Case Study No 2 - Dumbarton

Lorraine and Kenny from Dumbarton are a couple with a disabled child. Their home used to be extremely hard to heat. Now they are one of many families across Scotland enjoying a warmer home, lower energy bills - and a safer home thanks to the Energy Assistance Package.

Lorraine's family also benefited from carbon monoxide monitors in their home to make sure that their central heating system is safe as well as warm.

Lorraine said: "Kenny and I are more than happy with the Energy Assistance Package. Because of our circumstances, Kenny is a stay-at-home dad, and as much as we knew we wanted - and needed - a new boiler, we couldn't afford it. Our house was built at least 20 years ago. With Kenny being at home we knew just how cold the house could be. He was relying on the gas fire to keep the living room warm, so as you can imagine it wasn't cheap to run."

Their home, built pre-1980 still had the original back boiler - but this was condemned. A surveyor performed an energy audit at their home and recommended that they receive a new heating system with combination-boiler.

The surveyor also looked at other aspects of their home, and made sure they got cavity wall insulation too - which can reduce heat loss through walls by 60%. They also received carbon monoxide monitors to make their home safer. Lorraine's home is now so much more energy efficient that she may be able to save up to £1,205 each year. Also her house will emit 4 tonnes less CO 2 each year - the same volume would more than fill up a whole hot air balloon. Lorraine's estimated fuel bills have reduced by 65% since the new system was installed.

Domestic Energy Efficiency Case Study No 3 - Kirkcaldy

Dad-of-three Martin believes the Energy Assistance Package has helped turn a cold house into a family home.

Martin, who lives in a semi-detached home in Kirkcaldy, Fife, enquired about the programme after his father recommended it to him last year.

His dad had received a new central heating system through the programme. And after seeing how happy his father was with the scheme, decided to call the Energy Saving Scotland advice line - 0800 512 012 - to see if he could benefit too.

Martin said: "I have three children, one aged 19 months, the others are 17 and 18 years old. One of our children is disabled, which is one of the reasons that we qualified for support through the Energy Assistance Package.

"My dad recently had a new central heating system installed under the same scheme and the difference in his home was night and day. Our home wasn't freezing, but some rooms were colder than others. Especially when you have children running around leaving doors open everywhere - there can be a draught!

"Considering how happy my dad was, I thought I would apply. They arranged for a surveyor to come round who told me I could get cavity wall and loft insulation, a new central heating system with combi-boiler and new radiators.

There's been a big difference since the installation happened. The house is warmer which makes it a much nicer place to be. It feels like a cosy, warm home; even when the weather is at its worst. It is great for all the family."

Martin's house is now 60% cheaper to run because it's much more energy efficient. His home CO 2 emissions have been cut by 2.7 tonnes a year -the equivalent amount would fill 15 double-decker buses. Martin can now save up to £847 on his annual fuel bills, as his annual running costs have reduced by an estimated 61%.

"The whole experience has been great. The cost of my energy bills should drop, and the checks that the Energy Saving Trust arranged left me confident that I'm getting access to every benefit that my family should be entitled to.

"I would recommend anyone who thinks they could benefit through the Energy Assistance Package to get in contact. I've told everyone I know to do so.

"Even if you don't qualify for improvements to your home, the Energy Saving Trust can give you advice that will help you in some way."