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Orkney Householders Encouraged to Apply for the Energy Efficient Scheme

Orkney Islands Council has welcomed £2m from the Scottish Government to improve the energy efficiency of homes across the county, after a record response by local householders to the government’s Heat and Energy Efficiency Scotland scheme.

Since 2015-16, the HEES: ABS (Heat and Energy Efficiency Scotland: Area Based Scheme) and similar previous initiatives have helped nearly 950 households in Orkney make their homes warmer through the installation of energy-saving improvements, primarily insulation.

The 2022-23 project year saw a record £1.5m distributed to households – the most ever spent through the scheme in Orkney.

The scheme is open to homeowners, private sector tenants and landlords.

In Orkney, distribution of the funding and the works is managed by Warmworks on behalf of Orkney Islands Council.

Warmworks has an office in Kirkwall and works with local contractors to install energy efficiency measures for eligible households.

Around 175 homes in Orkney have been supported by this funding over the last year with more than £1.5m spent on measures such as loft, wall and underfloor insulation and modern high heat retention heaters.

Householders should contact Warmworks to see if they’re eligible for funding.

Councillor Gwenda Shearer, the Council’s Chair of Education, Leisure and Housing, said:

“We’re pleased to have received confirmation of a record amount to help continue to improve the energy efficiency of homes in Orkney. It’s a measure of the success of the scheme here, and credit must go to the Council’s housing team and the team at Warmworks as they continue to work closely on bids and ensure there is a steady stream of households signing up and benefitting.”

Ross Armstrong, Chief Executive of Warmworks said:

“We’re really pleased to continue building on the ongoing success of our work in Orkney. We know people remain concerned about home heating costs, and our aim is to help them manage these costs by improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

“We’d encourage everyone in Orkney who is keen to look at how they can make their home warmer and more energy efficient to get in touch. It’s fantastic to see record funding allocated to the Council and we’re looking forward to continuing our work on this contract.”

Under the scheme, eligible households can receive funding for:

  • Loft insulation.
  • Internal wall insulation.
  • External wall insulation.
  • Under floor insulation.
  • High heat retention storage heaters

Warmworks can also advise on other sources of funding and advice. Scotland wide, Warmworks has helped more than 33,000 people stay warm in their homes since 2015.

Commenting on the £2million funding from the Scottish Government Orkney Consitutuency MSP Liam McArthur said: 

“I congratulate the Council and Warmworks on achieving this impressive milestone through the area-based scheme here in Orkney. These energy efficiency measures are vital in bringing down bills, helping keep homes warm while also reducing emissions. 

“However, the £2m spent is a reflection of the level of need in the islands, where the rates of fuel poverty and extreme fuel poverty are amongst the highest in the country. Given that need, which is particularly acute in some of our smaller isles, I hope the Council and Warmworks will agree to expand the scheme, building on the success to date.”

You can contact the Warmworks team by email or by phoning 01856 881513 or Freephone 0800 038 6022, or visit their office at 2 West Tankerness Lane, Kirkwall, KW15 1AL (Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00) or email orkney@warmworks.co.uk

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1 reply »

  1. What is truly astonishing in this context: OIC is well aware of radon risks in Orkney (https://www.orkney.gov.uk/Service-Directory/E/radon.htm) although they might not be up to date with more recent scientific publications in which the radon associated lung cancer rates are calculated higher.
    Since there could be many homes in Orkney affected by higher levels of radon (https://www.ukradon.org/information/ukmaps) it would make sense to approach the energy efficiency improvement objectives step by step.
    Obtaining a radon risk report for any property in Orkney just costs 3.90 £. Such a risk report then provides guidance and home owners can judge whether it would make sense to have the radon levels measured and in case of high levels have mitigation measures undertaken BEFORE rushing into insulating a property where this could in some cases increase the levels of radon in their property (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ina.12575) and increase health risks.
    Measuring isn’t costly (52.80 £ according to information on ukradon website).
    If needed, remediation is possible, and whilst not extraordinarily costly, it still might not be affordable for the ones who already need funding assistance for energy efficiency measures (all information can be found on the site of ukradon).

    Yes, environmental targets (as well as political objectives) need to be met… and yes, many people might need financial assistance because our island homes are often hard and costly to heat and the wind inside sometimes is just a few beaufort below the outside gales… but on the other hand, ignoring the fact that some homes may simply not benefit from energy efficiency measures if this is not done under a holistic approach could be shortsighted. Whether a home is suitable for energy efficiency measures must be judged on the basis of its characteristics and an individual risk assessment which must include radon risks.

    A warm home and lower energy bills are a fine thing but this should not come at the price of unwittingly increasing exposure to other health risks.

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