SCOTTISHPOWER’S Energy People Trust has helped over 1,300 homes in the community of Lochside, Ayr to become more energy efficient.
The Energy Agency was awarded a grant of £80,000 from the Trust which funded a project with South Ayrshire Council to survey and insulate properties in the area. The community energy project also enabled the agency to offer energy advice to reduce fuel demand and decrease fuel poverty.
Lochside was deemed one of the most income deprived communities in South Ayrshire with a quarter of household living in fuel poverty, when more than 10% of a household’s income is spent on energy.
Based on survey results, the project installed free insulation measures where appropriate, provided energy efficiency advice, and helped households to maximise their income.
Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and the ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary, said: “Lochside had some of the highest instances of fuel poverty in the whole of South Ayrshire. We were delighted to be able to fund the project run by the Energy Agency to help local people out of this situation.
“By implementing energy saving measures, households can save a significant amount of money over the course of a year. The community as a whole will now benefit from these measures and hopefully people will enjoy having some extra cash in their pockets.”
Homes which had wall and/or loft insulation installed will now save, on average, £190 on their annual fuel bill. This represents a total increase in annual disposable income for the community of £59,000. If energy savings from behavioural changes are included, that could increase to £184,000.
Sixty per cent of those living in fuel poverty and surveyed were not claiming benefits and would have not been supported by a typical insulation scheme. Hence, these households were also able to benefit from the project in this instance.
Michael Carr, Project Manager of Ayr Lochside Community Energy Project, said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to The ScottishPower Energy People Trust – without its funding we wouldn’t have been able to help as many people with this project. We were also able to help those who would normally have slipped through the net.
“The householders in the community of Lochside have enthusiastically embraced the project, provided the surveyors with all the relevant details and now have lower fuel bills and a more sustainable lifestyle as a result.
For more information on the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, log on to www.energypeopletrust.co.uk.