- EST launched the Green Homes Network, supported by Scottish Government, giving householders the chance to visit other householders in their area who are already using microgeneration technologies. To date 600 householders have joined the Network.
- In the last 4 years, over 7,500 householders have received a Home Renewables Visit from a specialist advisor through the Energy Saving Scotland advice centres, supported by the Scottish Government, and over 30,000 have received advice on renewables by phone or email.
- Two thirds of households receiving Home Renewables Visits undertake energy efficiency measures and around 40% install a renewables system within 2 years of the visit.
- EST's online resources include the Home Energy Generation Selector which helps householders pick the technology which will best suit their home and lifestyle, and EST's online Solar Calculator and Cashback Calculator help householders work out how much they could save and earn through the FIT scheme.
- SELECT have developed a programme of microgeneration CPD seminars aimed at architects, surveyors and other professional services in the construction sector to raise awareness and support the design and specification of microgeneration technologies.
- The Scottish Government launched its national campaign, Greener Together. The supporting website Greenerscotland.org provides all sorts of advice on how individuals and communities can help make Scotland a greener place to live, including how they can generate their own energy.
The Scottish Government's Public Engagement Strategy , launched in 2010, sets out actions people in Scotland can make to contribute to reducing carbon emissions. It highlights the opportunity to reduce the carbon emissions and costs of heating our homes by using renewable sources such as solar heating, biomass and heat pumps systems.
Our aim is to make clear and consistent information available on microgeneration and energy efficiency to householders, communities and businesses. Over 30,000 householders have received information on renewables though the Energy Savings Scotland advice centres and over 7,500 have received a Home Renewables Visit. Other major initiatives we have put in place are:
The Green Homes Network gives homeowners the chance to see the technologies in use in real homes, to find out first hand how different renewables systems they work, hear about actual costs and savings, and get tips and advice that could help them on their way.
The Greener Together campaign is being delivered in partnership with a range of public, private and voluntary organisations. It seeks to improve Scotland's natural and built environment and the sustainable use and enjoyment of it. The national drive will be supported by TV advertising, social media and digital activity and a one-stop website www.greenerscotland.org, which provides the support and tools required to help people take positive action. It will also take to the streets with a national information roadshow that will visit towns and cities across Scotland.
Householders make up the biggest market for microgeneration technologies, with over 80% of FIT installations on individual homes. Tackling fuel poverty means focussing on how we heat our homes. In areas with access to gas, condensing gas boilers have significantly improved the energy efficiency of households and in high density urban areas, gas-fired Combined Heat and Power ( CHP) or renewable district heating networks are helping to reduce emissions and tackle fuel poverty. For less densely populated areas, off the gas grid, technologies such as solar thermal, biomass and heat pumps fitted to individual homes can deliver the biggest benefits in reducing carbon emissions and heating costs.
GREEN HOMES NETWORK - AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS
Since installing a renewable heating system in their home two years ago, David and his wife have made their four-bedroom detached property near Aviemore much more self-sufficient.
As the couple do not have access to natural gas, they researched different ways to heat their home and decided to install an air source heat pump.
"The only other option for us would have been an oil-fired central heating system which would have taken up far too much space on our fairly small site. We also wanted to make sure the system we chose was 'green'", says David.
The heat generated by the air-to-water pump is used to provide space heating through their under-floor heating system. "The system functions efficiently at a lower temperature than a standard boiler and so is more suitable for underfloor heating systems" he explains.
For David, the system has proved to be a welcome addition to their home: "I can say I'm doing my bit without having to compromise on comfort...Plus I'm not lumbered with a smelly oil-burner!"
To find a Green Home near you, visit the EST's Green Home Network.
Households without access to gas have to rely on more expensive and carbon intensive fossil fuels such as oil and solid fossil fuels, often in lower density rural areas where district heating would not be practicable. Around 25% of Scotland's households are without mains gas, and a substantial number - over 300,000 - at least 2 km from a connection. The number of houses without a gas connection offers a significant market for renewable heat as shown in Figure 2
This is a significant market and our Warm Homes Fund and our increase in the loans available for renewable heat through the Home Renewables Loan Scheme will provide the widest possible boost for that market.
Figure 2: Breakdown of on-gas and off-gas grid households by tenure (based on figures from Consumer Focus Scotland)
6.2 Working with Others
The Scottish Government already supports the provision of core information and advice for householders and small businesses through the Energy Saving Trust and for communities through Community Energy Scotland.
We also recognise that much of the engagement will be led and delivered by others, building on existing networks and activities wherever possible and avoiding duplication. Through the Microgeneration Task Group, we will work more closely with consumer groups, installers, trade bodies, professional advisors, community organisations and the public sector.
The Scottish Government is funding the Energy Saving Trust to run a pilot project with the property industry and home buyers. The project will test how best to increase understanding and valuation of microgeneration and energy efficiency amongst the property industry and to explore the impact of this on home buyers. Part of the project will also involve sending information to those who have bought a property with a microgeneration system already installed, informing the new home owner how they can make the most of the system and where they can get further support.
Some of the priorities the Stakeholder Group identified:
- Explore options to improve coordinating of signposting to relevant information for consumers, installers, communities and professional advisors.
- To review the various market segments and develop targeted awareness-raising information and events.
- To target strategic communications with community groups
- To target promotion of renewable heat in off-gas grid areas with local promotional events involving local installers
In addition, our boost to the Home Renewables Loans scheme for renewable heat technologies will allow us to provide a comprehensive package of support, linked to other Scottish Government initiatives such as the Warm Homes Fund. A coordinated approach to public engagement will allow us to maximise the opportunities in Scotland from UK-wide incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency through the FIT, RHI and Green Deal.
Action 12 Scottish Government will continue to support the Energy Savings Scotland advice centres advice service for householders and small businesses on microgeneration, including Home Renewables Visits from specialist advisors where appropriate.
Action 13 Scottish Government will work with Microgeneration Task Group and Energy Savings Trust to provide comprehensive and coordinated advice and awareness raising on the financial mechanisms to support renewable energy and energy efficiency.