Interest free loan funding is now available to help homeowners in Aberdeen and Ellon take advantage of an innovative energy efficiency pilot project.
Energy Efficient Aberdeen (EEA) and Energy Efficient Ellon (EEE) are funded by the Scottish Government – and delivered by Aberdeen-based social enterprise, Scarf – and aim to help owner-occupiers make improvements to the efficiency of their property.
By offering a bespoke free and impartial advice service, access to government loan funding and a trusted trader database, homeowners can be supported to make changes recommended on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to bring their home in line with the Scottish Government’s target of all Scottish residential properties having an EPC rating of ‘C’ or better by 2040.
In addition, private landlords are also being encouraged to sign up to the programme, as new rules coming into force next year mean that to secure a new tenancy after April 2020 properties must have an EPC of at least band ‘E’, lowering to band ‘D’ by the end of March 2025.
The Home Energy Scotland Loan scheme has now opened for 2019 and is offering interest-free loan funding for home improvements and renewable technology, with cashback of up to 25% also available on selected measures.
Senior Programme Officer, Nicki Irvine, said: “To date, most of the programmes around energy efficiency have been targeting the fuel poor and those seen as vulnerable or on low incomes.
“However in order to meet the 2040 deadline of all properties attaining an EPC of Band ‘C’, projects like this will now be working with owner occupiers, who do not qualify for free measures to make the required upgrades as cost-effectively as possible while cutting through the troves of conflicting advice and pitfalls of rogue traders.
“People who sign up to these programmes will benefit from free advice from industry experts, referrals into other programmes such as Home Energy Scotland, monitoring of the temperature in the property before and after measures(s) are installed and also a free EPC after the works have been carried out.
“In addition, this interest-free funding should also make the decision to make these changes more affordable.”
To help reach as many people as possible, advice hubs have been set up at Inverythan House, The Square, Ellon and also at Scarf’s offices at 1 Cotton Street, Aberdeen offering a drop-in service to anyone looking to hear more about the programme or other ways to make home energy efficiency improvements.
Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, said: “Through our Energy Efficient Scotland Programme, we are committed to improving the energy efficiency of all Scotland’s buildings.
“Not only is it a significant economic opportunity, the removal of poor energy efficiency is crucial in delivering our wider aims to eradicate fuel poverty and our ambitions for emissions reductions.
“We are funding projects from local authorities, charities and third sector organisations to support development and delivery of a ‘hand-holding’ service for owner occupiers, private rent landlords, and small businesses.
“The work of Scarf in Aberdeenshire will enable us learn how successful different approaches are in stimulating and supporting energy efficiency investment across a variety of scenarios. This will be crucial in understanding motivations, incentives and barriers towards uptake, and how it can shape future policy and delivery.
“I look forward to following the progress of these projects and others, which will be instrumental in helping us achieve our ambitions to transform our homes and buildings to be warmer, greener and more energy efficient.”
Find out more:
- Energy Efficient Aberdeen: 1 Cotton Street, Aberdeen, AB11 5EE. Tel 01224 213005 or email email@example.com. You can also visit the Energy Efficient Aberdeen website.
- Energy Efficient Ellon: Inverythan House, The Square, Ellon, AB41 9JB. Tel 01358 285843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or find out more at the Energy Efficient Ellon website.