Energy Efficiency in the Home

Comprehensive Home Energy Surveys were completed at eighteen individual households within the Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Achnacarry communities. There was a total of 54 visits as each household required three visits to a) assess current energy use b) identify possible means of reducing CO2e emissions, and c) help householders implement measures and record post-intervention CO2e savings and improved energy performance.

We worked closely with Lochaber Environmental Group and borrowed OWL Monitors (one type of Home Energy Monitor) and Thermal Imaging cameras. The Home Energy visits were conducted by Zach Wishart, our Project Manager. The monitors are an effective tool, easy to install and enables householders to view real-time electricity usage in units of energy used (kWh), cost and carbon emissions.

The thermal image, which is effectively a picture of thousands of surface temperature measurements, makes it easy to see where insulation is missing or air is leaking in or out of a building or after fabric failures such as thermal bridges and damp penetration. Thermal imaging surveys alone can be used as a quick method of finding air leaks in a building structure.

We found linking up with established events and organisations in the area was a good way of raising the awareness of Climate Change and addressing ways of reducing Energy Use at Home. Examples include the Clothes Swaps at Roy Bridge Hall, Local Cycling and Outdoor Events and involvement with Voluntary Action Lochaber. A Table Top Sale at Spean Bridge Community Centre gave us the platform to publicise energy efficiency measures undertaken in the Community Centre and promote Free Home Energy Surveys. A Home Energy advisor from Home Energy Scotland in Inverness also attended.

We held Energy Efficiency workshops with Spean Bridge Primary 6 and 7 pupils as part of their curriculum linked with Sustainability. Power Point Presentations were prepared with interactive worksheet materials. Plug in energy monitor meters were used in class time and pupils had the opportunity to record energy usage of individual appliances and gadgets within their own homes.

The workshops focused on the awareness of electricity use and generation, domestic heating and insulation. Thermal imaging, the insulation at the Community Centre and the polytunnel/local food were also incorporated into these workshops.