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Housing / Funding for energy efficiency pilot project

Thistle Court in Virkie. Photo: Hjaltland Housing Association

THREE social housing properties in the South End of Shetland are being retrofitted with energy efficiency measures as part of a new pilot project.

Hjaltland Housing Association has been awarded around £65,000 from the Energy Redress Carbon Emissions Reduction fund for the project at Thistle Court in Virkie.

At its essence, the initiative will see three houses retrofitted with better insulation – as well as host of other measures to improve the energy efficiency of the properties.

Work being carried out to external walls. Photo: Hjaltland Housing Association

The project will pilot a “fabric first” approach to retrofitting in the association’s more difficult to treat properties.

Fabric first is when the airtightness and insulation in the walls, floor, and ceiling are upgraded or improved to reduce energy demand.

Hjaltland Housing Association head of asset investment and management Paul Leask said: “The overall aim of this project is to identify the real measurable, whole life, benefits that a fabric first approach would provide in terms of energy demand, carbon savings and tenant experience and comfort.

“We are also looking to identify a quality approved and guaranteed, fabric first, retrofit system for timber frame buildings.

“It is envisaged this solution, if successful, would inform the association’s decisions around energy efficiency measures and potential funding bids, and could provide a template for future upgrades to the association’s older stock.”

Making homes more energy efficient has been a recurring topic in the ongoing local government election, with some candidates advocating using some of the council’s reserves to undertake an insulation programme.

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