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Is it time to re-energise your old home?

Posted by Michael Thorburn on 9th March 2017

Older homes can be charming and it’s great fun to spot some of the amazing properties we have in Scotland. It doesn’t matter if it’s a country cottage with a rustic red tin roof, or a baroque castle with imposing towers, there are so many varieties. Whether it’s admiring the architecture, or even imagining what it would be like to live in them, you can spend hours planning your ideal home.

The problem with ‘old and charming’ is that it doesn’t always mean ‘warm and cosy’. It can mean draughty windows and chimneys, poor insulation and generally difficult-to-heat buildings. If your older home is hard to heat, it’s also often not easy to know how to fix it. The best place to start is by understanding where the major sources of heat loss are within your home. Typically 33% of heat is lost through walls, 26% through the roof and 18% through windows. Improving your insulation and draught proofing in these areas can make a big difference to your home’s warmth!

Before starting any work there are lots of different things to take into account. Everything from how much does it cost and who should I get to do it, right through to planning regulations and how much disruption can you expect. Thankfully, these are all questions that Home Energy Scotland can help you with.

Renewable energy in older buildings

Generating your own energy through renewable technologies is a great option for heating and powering an older property. However, there are a few more considerations to be aware of in older buildings than more modern ones. For example, air circulation, insulation standards, ventilation levels and building techniques all vary widely. You also need to consider the building materials and how best to protect the original look of your home.

After this, the next thing to look at is the different renewable technologies on offer. There are a whole host to choose from, such as solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal, biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps. Ultimately, it’s about selecting the option that works best for your home and lifestyle. This may sound confusing and complicated, but expert help and support is available to you from Home Energy Scotland, to help make your home greener and more comfortable.

Help and advice

Home Energy Scotland has a team of specialist advisors who carry out visits to older homes. During the visit they can identify how to reduce heat loss and figure out if your home is suitable for renewable energy. Advisors can also let you know what options are available, the typical costs to install and the potential funding options available to you.

There are many other useful sources of information, such as the Green Homes Network. This is a group of people who have already implemented energy efficiency measures in their homes and are happy to share their experiences. You can read case studies, watch videos and make appointments to visit some of the homes on the network as well as meet the owners to get first-hand information on installing renewable technologies.

If you would like more information, or to book a home visit, then contact Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282. Alternatively, come along to one of the “Re-energise your old home” events in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Fife.

Re-energise your old home events

These events provide information on energy efficiency measures and renewable technologies for older homes. You will hear from a range of experts, including your local Planning Department, Historic Environment Scotland or University of St Andrews and members of the Green Homes Network. You can also meet specialist installers who have experience of working in older buildings and get the latest information on funding and support from Home Energy Scotland.

Event List:

Portobello
Tuesday, 21 March 6.00pm – 7.30pm
Info and book at: http://bit.ly/oldhomeportobello

Stirling
Tuesday, 21 March, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Info and and book at http://bit.ly/oldhomeStirling

North Berwick
Thursday, 23 March 6.00pm – 7.30pm
Info and book at http://bit.ly/oldhomeNB

Crail
Tuesday, 4 April 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Info and book at: http://bit.ly/oldhomecrail

St Andrews
Thursday, 13 April 6.00pm – 7.30pm
Info and book at: http://bit.ly/oldhomeStAndrews