The Scottish House Condition Survey 2016 report was published yesterday (5 December 2017) and found that 26.5% (or around 649,000) households in Scotland were fuel poor and 7.5% (or 183,000 households) were living in extreme fuel poverty in 2016.
This demonstrated a decline of around 4 percentage points; equivalent to around 99,000 fewer households living in fuel poverty compared to 2015. This is the lowest rate recorded by the Scottish House Condition Survey since 2005/6 and the same level as 2007.
While almost two thirds of the reduction in fuel poverty has come from a drop in the price of domestic fuel rates over the period of 2015 and 2016, a third of the drop can be attributed to improvements in energy efficiency.
In 2016, 39% of Scottish homes were rated as EPC band C or better and half had an energy efficiency rating of 66 or higher (SAP 2012). This is similar to 2015 but an increase from 35% in 2014, the first year in which data based on SAP 2012 is available.
This study demonstrates that energy efficiency can have a massive effect on a household’s ability to get out of fuel poverty. The steps that households can take do not need to be expensive or impractical.
As we have previously discussed in our blog on fuel poverty, there are several things that individuals can do to to tackle fuel poverty in their own households.
While the main causes of fuel poverty, rising fuel costs and lower wages, isn’t necessarily something we can do much about individually, there are still several steps you can take to tackle fuel poverty:
- Contact Home Energy Scotland for a Home Energy Check During the Home Energy Check, the staff at Home Energy Scotland will make you aware of energy efficiency measures that you can carry out, changes in behaviour that could save you money, and link you up with potential funding options to help make your home more energy efficient.
- Adopt more energy efficient behaviours For example, making simple behavioural changes such as turning off appliances and closing curtains before dusk can save you £130 per year.
- Consider retrofitting energy efficient technologies in your home For example, Glaze & Save InvisiTherm reduces heating bills by 22.5% in rooms with treated windows.
- Maximise your income Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau to find out which benefits you may be entitled to.
- Switch you energy supplier Using a comparison site makes it easy to find the best energy deal
For a handy guide containing dozens of home energy improvements that cost very little (or are completely free) you can check out Glaze & Save’s free Home Energy Hacks Guide , where you can get the details of a plethora of tips, tricks and products to reduce energy consumption in your home.
This week we look at two Edinburgh
customers whose single glazed windows were causing them nothing but trouble!
Both customers lived in listed or conservation area buildings where replacement
double glazing would have been time consuming, costly and wasteful: Glaze &
Save to the rescue then!
The first customer lived in a listed flat with 9 original single glazed windows, some with working shutters. The windows were draughty and massively inefficient, leaking heat and leaving the property feeling cold. As is common in many Edinburgh flats, noise from street and surrounding areas was also an issue.
What results did we achieve?
- Glaze & Save InvisiTherm™ has enhanced the thermal efficiency of the window area; taking it from a U-value of 5.5 to a U-value of 1.7- the same as standard double glazing. This dramatically lowers the thermal conductivity due to the proportion of the wall area thus increasing the thermal insulation. Where working shutters are in place, we have taken the U-value down to just 1.1.
- Noise reduction is well over 60%, having a dramatic improvement on the ambiance of their home.
- Aesthetically very pleasing; the virtually invisible finish means having to tell friends it has been installed.
- Eradication of all draughts: you can occasionally hear the wind in between the InvisiTherm™ systems and the existing windows, but it does not come through.
- Split systems installed in the lounge and bedroom to allow easy access to opening window.
All Glaze & Save installs allowed for complete use of the shutters: were the only secondary glazing on the market that allows for full use of your original shutters!
This Edinburgh maisonette was situated in a conservation area, and like so many of our customers, still had all of its original single glazed windows. Some still had working shutters too. These windows were exceptionally large for a domestic dwelling with the windows at the rear over 2.4 metres high. With the windows losing heat, draughty and with terrible condensation, the homeowners had installed 3 different kinds of secondary glazing fitted with varying degrees of success.
What results did we achieve?
- Unobtrusive and reversible: perfect for this conservation area home.
- As well as replacing the inefficient secondary glazing, we restored the window frame area to a true match.
- We used bespoke painted sustainable hardwood bead to create frame within the windows, allowing shutters to continue to work to their full capacity.
- Our systems were made bespoke on site to each window’s exact size and shape.
- The install was completed in just 2 days with no fuss or mess. No need for any re-decoration or tidying up after the install.
- We supplied a free Glaze & Save aftercare kit to enable easy removal and cleaning in the future.
This customer was particularly impressed with our results, stating “I’ve got my home back: no more ugly secondary glazing, no condensation, no noise and a lovely warm draught free home. Thank you Glaze & Save.”
Glaze & Save
can transform your single glazing into double glazing (or double into triple glazing!) without replacement of your existing windows, with no redecoration or planning permissions required. Contact us here
to arrange your free no obligation survey.
change and our over-consumption of resources becomes bigger news and a more
prevalent concern with every passing year, many businesses are asking
themselves how they can become carbon neutral, or at least reduce their carbon
footprint, in order to become more environmentally responsible while creating a
more sustainable and profitable business.
Indeed, the big players have been working on becoming carbon neutral for years now , with Microsoft announcing in 2012 its intentions to become carbon neutral at its data centres, software development labs and office buildings, and Google being carbon neutral since 2007; an astonishing ten years.
But what if you don’t have the resources of Microsoft or Google? In fact what is you are a small business…is it possible to become carbon neutral, or at least reduce your impact on the environment to a more sustainable level? Luckily, there are many things that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. The added advantage, particularly for smaller businesses, is that they can save you money.
Now really is the time to start kicking your carbon reduction strategies into gear. According to The Carbon Trust, SMEs could collectively save nearly £400 million per year in energy costs , and over 2.5 million tonnes of C02, by reducing their carbon footprints, but a YouGov and Scottish Power survey of 1,000 small businesses showed that more than 60% of those surveyed did not regard energy efficiency in the workplace as a key priority.
What does carbon neutral mean?
Carbon neutrality , or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference. It is used in the context of carbon dioxide releasing processes associated with transportation, energy production, and industrial processes such as production of carbon neutral fuel .
Why reduce your carbon footprint?
The need to reduce our carbon footprints and become a more sustainable and environmentally friendly society is not a new concept and we are no doubt all aware of the eco-conscious reasons for turning our business focus to carbon neutrality. But in these economically difficult times, we also need to consider wider reasons for adopting a carbon neutral stance.
Co2Balance.com gives a list of six reasons why companies need to reduce their carbon footprint: for legislation and policy reasons; to reduce operational costs; to provide ever-more climate savvy customers with environmental data; to create a point of distinction against competition; to enhance the green image and brand of a company, and to increase investor potential. When taking all of these factors into consideration, aiming for carbon neutrality provides much greater potential benefits to businesses beyond the obvious environmental imperative.
So now that we have the preamble out of the way, let’s look at ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint in your small business.
Changing the behavior of yourself and your employees is the cheapest and easiest way to start implementing carbon conscious practices into your business. For example, lighting a typical office overnight can waste enough energy to make 1,000 cups of tea . You can check out our blog on 6 Simple Behaviour Changes to Save Energy and Money for more great ideas that you apply to your business.
Introducing a robust recycling policy into your business is a sure fire way to reduce waste sent to landfill and reduce your carbon footprint. Getting your employees involved in activities such as Recycle Week can really help them make the connection. You can find out more about how much we love Recycle Week here .
Go Paper Free
Making a commitment to going paper free can make a huge difference to your carbon foot print. By reducing dependence on paper products and converting to a web-based communications such as email or cloud sharing, you can reduce your reliance on resources. We wrote a blog on creating a zero waste office that has loads of information on going paper free.
Reduce Commuting Emissions
The majority of people drive to work in their own cars, causing frustrating traffic jams, but also creating a vast amount of carbon emissions. Encouraging staff to car share or use public transport is a fundamental aspect of any strategy to reduce carbon emissions. Where practical, walking and cycling should also be encouraged. Staff can be encouraged to bike to work by implementing the Cycle to Work Scheme in your workplace.
Ethical Supply Chains
Although potentially costly to set up, an ethical supply chain can save you a huge amount of carbon emissions while becoming less expensive in the long run. Glaze & Save has made it a priority to operate an ethical supply chain since the inception of the company. Check out Acre’s blog on the benefits of an ethical supply chain .
Draught proofing your workplace can save around 15% on energy costs, while increasing productivity and employee satisfaction. It’s also one of the quickest energy efficiency improvements you can add to your premises, and is a requirement of the Scottish Government under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act. You can read more about the benefits of draught proofing your office in our blog, where we list five benefits of draught proofing your workplace .
Ensuring that you and your employees are energy conscious can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint, as well as saving your business money. Check out our 8 Tips to Make Your Employees More Energy Aware as well as our 12 Quick Tips to Save Your Business Energy and start reducing your energy consumption today.
Choosing an ethical energy supplier will ensure that the energy you do use comes from sustainable sources. You can find out more about choosing an ethical energy supplier in our blog .
Sometimes producing carbon emissions in the course of your business is unavoidable. However, you can reduce the environmental impact by offsetting your carbon emissions. This is most frequently done through tree planting projects and forest creation or by purchasing carbon dioxide credits and not using them. For a more thorough guide to carbon offsetting check out the guide at Duport .
Glaze & Save’s bespoke magnetic secondary glazing and innovative liquid draught proofing products are easily applicable yet powerful ways to increase the energy efficiency of your commercial premises, helping reduce energy bills, increase employee productivity and tackle your carbon output. Contact us here for your free no obligation survey or call on 01738 562 068.