As Scotland’s leading environmental charity for low carbon living, Changeworks is now calling for new investment to decarbonise homes, writes CEO Josiah Lockhart
THE current crisis around energy prices and the cost of living dominates the thinking of people around the country. Many are wondering how they will cope with electricity and gas prices staying at this unprecedented high level for the foreseeable future, with a cold and difficult winter ahead.
Changeworks hears this every day from people contacting our advice services.
Whether it’s our dedicated Affordable Warmth Services team helping people manage bills, fuel debt and other complex issues, or the two Home Energy Scotland advice centres we deliver in the Highlands and Islands and South East Scotland.
This crisis has been acknowledged by the UK and Scottish Governments, but so far the support proposed will do little to help those most in need or to avoid a repeat of this crisis in the future.
The energy price fix does nothing to help those who are already struggling with extraordinarily high fuel bills, and won’t make households resilient to future crises.
While Scotland is still dependent on fossil fuels and imported energy, we will always be at risk of massive fluctuations due to world events and shortages.
That’s why we need an accelerated programme of investment in energy efficiency and renewables rather than doubling down on fossil fuels.
Earlier this year, Changeworks launched its strategy for 2022-25 which focuses on decarbonising Scotland’s homes. Building on our 35 years of experience delivering low carbon living to focus on this challenge of creating warmer, drier, easier to heat homes.
More energy efficient homes require less energy to heat, and reducing the amount of energy we use is key to Scotland meeting its Net Zero targets.
Heating space and hot water accounts for 79% of energy used in the home, and Scotland has the leakiest homes in Europe.
The less heat a property keeps in, the more expensive it is to keep it warm. High energy usage is often a symptom of thermally inefficient building fabric. Measures like external wall insulation can make a big difference.
At Changeworks, we work with partners across Scotland to make this a reality for as many people as possible. We work with local authorities, housing associations and other partners to deliver schemes to create those warmer homes.
We see the results every day – householders telling us their bills have come down dramatically, or that they no longer need to run the heating all day just to keep the chill away.
We want to see the UK and Scottish Governments work together on a solution that can make a long-lasting impact. Cheaper bills, warmer homes and lower emissions are all entirely possible, and we stand ready to work with anyone we can to make this happen.
Want to join the journey to decarbonise Scotland’s homes? Then contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can support our ambitions and how Changeworks can support yours. See changeworks.org.uk