Energy Efficient Housing
Sources of Information
- Housing Association tenants
- Owner occupiers and private rented tenants
- The Energy Assistance package and other Grants
- Council Tax Rebate Scheme
- Energy Performance Certificates
- Sustainable Lifestyles
- Housing Association Tenants
The four main housing associations, i.e. Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA), Dunbritton Housing Association, Fyne Homes and West Highland Housing Association work with Solas Scotland to provide advice and guidance on using heating systems properly and making homes more energy efficient.
Housing Association tenants should contact their local office where any member of staff can make a referral with Solas Scotland. Solas will then provide a range of appropriate advice to tenants including:
- energy related issues
- efficient use of heating and water heating systems
- controlling condensation in the home
- Checking whether home insulation is required (loft insulation and draught proofing).
- general electrical appliance running costs, handy hints and tariff checks
- budgeting the payment of fuel bills, social tariffs, the use of permanent meters and changing utility providers
- ensuring that all appropriate benefits and pensions are being claimed, this will include cross referrals to FISH (Financial Inclusion Services in Housing)
- provide a range of advisory leaflets
- Where required, provide an advocacy service to give support about utility billing and supplier issues. The relevant utility provider will be contacted and the response monitored.
If you rent your house from another housing association, you will need to contact your landlord.
All Housing Association tenants need the approval of their landlord before carrying out any energy efficiency work. SOLAS will help you get this.
Private Sector Owners, Tenants and Landlords
Local Energy Saving Scheme (LESS)
LESS is an arrangement between advice agencies such as ALIenergy, the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre (ESSAC) for the Highlands and Islands and SOLAS Scotland to deliver energy efficiency and fuel poverty services to any householder in Argyll and Bute.
LESS can help you with:
- Grants towards the costs of home insulation
- Free and independent energy advice
- A free home energy report
- Suggestions on ways you can save on home energy bills.
Call the LESS team on 0800 512 012
If you are a private tenant, you will need the approval of your landlord before carrying out any energy improvement work.
There are various community based organisations that can help you with local advice and information on many energy efficiency, fuel poverty and general sustainable living topics.
All of these agencies work together to ensure you get the best advice and assistance based on where you live. Advice varies from group to group, but all can make the appropriate referrals to make sure that you get the right advice for your needs.
ALIenergy covers the whole of Argyll and Bute as does the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre (ESSAC) for the Highlands and Islands.
To start receiving advice, the first thing you should do is contact your nearest organisation from the list below:
- Big Green Tarbert - Neil Donaldson on 01880 821504 or 07810 810810 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gigha Renewable Energy Ltd – Remi Wassermann on 01583 505133
- Jura Development Trust – Rob Tigeir on 01496 820161
- Lismore Energy Project – John MacCormick on 01631 760050 or email@example.com or Stephen Green on 01631 760271 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- South Kintyre Development Trust – Malcolm McMillan on 07852 956645
- The Mull & Iona Community Trust – contact; 01688 302851 or 302990
- Tiree Community Powerdown – Frances Woodhead on 01879 220677 or 07775 354789 or email email@example.com
- Towards Zero Carbon Bute – Sheena Stone 01700 504636
AliEnergy is a local agency that promotes the better use of energy and local energy resources throughout Argyll, Lomond and the Islands.
AliEnergy helps communities to benefit from improved energy education and energy efficiency and encourages and promotes the development of appropriate renewable energy sources.
Alienergy supported Information and Advice Points can be found at:
- Re-Jig: Recycle Jura/Islay Group, Unit 11, Whin Park Bridgend, Isle of Islay PA44 7NZ
- Mull and Iona Community Trust, Unit 2, Bunessan, Isle of Mull PA67 6DP
- Bute Advice Centre, 22 Bishop Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 9DG
- Campbell’s Paint & Hardware Shop, 124-126 Argyll Street, Dunoon PA23 7NA
- Citizens Advice Bureau, Oban Road, Lochgilphead PA31 8NG
- Here We Are, Clachan, Cairndow, Argyll PA26 8BL
- Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Headquarters, Carrochan Road, Balloch
Changeworks manage the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre (ESSAC) for the Highlands and Islands including Argyll and Bute.
The advice centre is the main contact point for Scottish Government and other grants for energy efficiency; in particular the Energy Assistance Package. Your local agency can make the appropriate referral.
The advice centre provides free, impartial and expert advice and support on:
- Saving energy
- Renewable energy
- Sustainable transport
Energy issues at home, work and in the community.
Visit the Changeworks website or Freephone 0800 512 012 to find out how you can avoid wasting energy and money.
The Energy Assistance Package and other Grants
The Energy Assistance Package from the Scottish Government is a complete package to help maximise incomes, reduce fuel bills and improve the energy efficiency of homes. It replaces the Central Heating and Warm Deal programmes.
The Energy Saving Trust manages delivery of the package on behalf of the Scottish Government and the first point of contact is the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre (ESSAC). To find out what the package can offer you, telephone the ESSAC on
Freephone 0800 512 012
The package has four stages:
- Stage one offers free expert energy advice to anyone who phones the ESSAC network on 0800 512 012.
- Stage two provides benefits and tax credit checks and advice on low cost energy tariffs to those at risk of fuel poverty.
- Stage three provides a package of standard insulation measures (cavity wall and loft insulation) to older households and those on one of a range of benefits.
- Stage four offers a package of enhanced energy efficiency measures to those who are most vulnerable to fuel poverty.
From time to time grant funding is available from energy companies or through special government funded projects. To date all available funding has been delivered in full co-operation with the local agencies who can make the appropriate referrals to the appropriate agencies to ensure householders maximise services according to individual eligibility.
The Scottish Government is offering owner occupiers, private and social tenants and private sector landlords up to £1,200 towards energy efficiency measures that are recommended in the Green Deal assessment. Up to £500 is available for insulation measures, up to £400 for a boiler and up to £300 for other measures (such as glazing, LED lighting and heating controls). You can find out further information from the Energy Saving Trust website.
Council Tax Rebate Scheme
If you would like to know more about the Council Tax Rebate Scheme or other energy saving measures then the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre Highlands and Islands covers all mainland and Island communities in Argyll and Bute. They help consumers save energy, carbon and money by providing free, impartial, expert advice on all matters related to energy efficiency, small scale renewables and low carbon personal transport.
The Energy Saving Scotland advice centre Highlands and Islands is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and can be contacted on 0800 512 012.
Energy Performance Certificates
From January 2009 all houses in Scotland available to buy or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate, (EPC).
EPC’s are much like the multi-coloured rating given to electrical appliance with an A rating being very efficient and a G rating inefficient. The certificates will also advice on cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating.
How your house is rated will have a direct impact on how much you pay to stay warm.
If a tenant started their tenancy after 4th January 2009 and the EPC is not on display they should ask their landlord for one. An EPC is valid for 10 years.
EPC’s are part of the Home Reports survey for house purchasers.
If you are the tenant of a privately rented house and your landlord has failed to provide you with an EPC, please contact the Private Landlord Registration Team.