Home Energy

Case Studies

Home Energy Scotland from the Scottish Government helps Scots across the country to stay warm each winter. Read our case studies to find out more. 

Learn about how Home Energy Scotland helped Jeanette, Brendan and Mary to keep their homes warm this winter.

Case Study 1: Joseph


With his elderly mum to care for, Joseph Reilly wanted to make sure the family home was as cosy as possible. Which is why, thanks to a Scottish Government interest free loan scheme, his semi-detached property is now wearing what he has dubbed “a nice warm jacket.”

Mr Reilly, 52, who is carer to his 81-year-old mum Iris, took advantage of the Home Energy Scotland loan scheme to have external wall insulation fitted to his Barmulloch home. It’s not only keeping the house warm and draught-free, but has the added benefit of looking great too. Better still, he’s been told it could save him between £300 to £400 on his heating bills.

The house is a BISF property which means it has a steel frame. There are gaps in the structure which makes it hard to heat, the wind seems to just go right through it.

The exterior of the building wasn’t looking its best either.

Mr Reilly’s property was given a ‘green’ assessment to check where it would benefit most from improvement work. He then contacted Scottish Government approved contractors for quotes to carry out external insulation. Thanks to Scottish Government cashback scheme at the time, the final bill of £7500 was cut by a further £4500.

The Green Deal surveyor came out and explained what’s best for the building, how to save the money and recommends jobs that could be done. 

“I was pretty sure I was okay in most areas and that the boiler was fine.

The external wall  insulation, he discovered, would throw a layer around the house helping keep heat in and prevent draughts.

Mr Reilly found the application forms straight forward to fill in. And once approved, the work was done within weeks, with minimal mess or fuss.

He has opted to pay back his loan over two years, but thanks to the interest free deal it costs just £75 a week.

“It makes so much more sense to do it this way rather than use any savings you might have.

A one-stop shop for advice and support, Home Energy Scotland from the Scottish Government is there to help Scots keep warm. Around a third of Scottish households have been offered advice by the helpline since it started.  Home Energy Scotland is a source of free clear and impartial advice on how to make your home cheaper to heat. Plus, a warm energy efficient home is good for your physical and mental health as well as your finances.

For more information about Home Energy Scotland and the benefits of a warmer home, phone the helpline on 0808 808 2282 or use our Housebuilder tool to find out how you could make your home warmer.

Case Study 2: Mary


Mary Beckett’s end terraced home has double glazing and gas central heating, yet still always felt just that little bit too cold. 

So when a leaflet arrived through her letterbox  explaining how she might get an interest free loan to carry out a range of energy efficiency improvements to her home, she was immediately interested.

I knew I needed to do something because the house was so chilly. In fact, we had started to insulate the rooms from the inside, bit by bit, and had just done the living room.

I hadn’t been thinking about a loan, because until then I didn’t know such a thing existed.

A ‘green’ assessment was carried out at her home in Little Earnock, Hamilton to identify where she might make the best savings.

Our house is an end terraced ex-council house, we’ve got gas central heating and double glazing but the houses are terribly cold, especially ours as it’s a gable end property. It didn’t matter if you turned the heating right up, it just seemed to go straight out of the gable end. It felt like we would get the full force of the wind.

The full price for the work was £9000. However a Scottish Government cashback scheme which was running at the time covered half of that cost. It means she then had just £4500 to pay back, interest free under the Home Energy Scotland loan scheme and repayable over up to ten years.

Within weeks of her loan being approved, the work was done.

We find a terrific difference already. When the temperature has dipped down and we’ve put on the heating, we’ve had to turn it off again pretty quickly as it was so warm. 

The house just seems to hold on to the heat better. From outside the house looks amazing, like a brand new house.

Mrs Beckett admits that without the interest free loan and cashback schemes, she would not have thought of carrying out the work.

We wouldn’t have been able to consider it if the loan scheme hadn’t existed.

The 25 year guarantee for the external wall insulation gives her peace of mind. Now she is waiting for winter to find out just how much of a difference it will make to her heating bills.

I don’t know how much I’ll save, but I know I’ve already noticed a difference.

It’s brilliant and I’m really glad I’ve had it done.

A one-stop shop for free and impartial advice on how to make your home cheaper to heat, Home Energy Scotland from the Scottish Government is there to help Scots keep warm. Around a third of Scottish households have been offered advice by the helpline since it started.

For more information about Home Energy Scotland and the benefits of a warmer home, phone the helpline on 0808 808 2282 or use our Housebuilder tool to find out how you could make your home warmer.

Case Study 3: Brendan


Brendan moved into a stonewall cottage just outside Falkirk five years ago and soon had problems keeping warm.

The boiler at the cottage was unreliable. It broke down continuously and had to be serviced regularly, which wasn’t cheap. Even with the servicing, the boiler continued to be unpredictable to the point it left the family without any heating during a particularly cold spell. The faulty boiler was also costing Brendan a fortune in gas bills and repairs.

After reading about Home Energy Scotland from the Scottish Government on the internet, Brendan decided to get in touch for some advice. It turned out to be the best phone call he has made. The advisors were helpful and supportive. They also told him about a voucher he could apply for towards the cost of a new boiler.

The engineer that went to the cottage to look at the boiler quickly confirmed that it needed to be replaced. Brendan wasted no time and took action and arranged for a supplier to come and install a new boiler and applied for a voucher towards the costs as advised. The application was much easier to fill in than expected and the money for the new boiler was deposited into his account within a very short space of time which was helpful.

The boiler was replaced in November last year and Brendan has already noticed a huge difference in the warmth of the cottage and importantly, how much less they are paying in gas bills.

Brendan was really pleased with the work and with how smoothly it went:

Having a new boiler fitted after years of living with a faulty one has been life changing. Before we got in touch with Home Energy Scotland, our gas bills were enormous and the boiler kept breaking down – it just couldn’t be relied on. I decided to do some online research and thankfully discovered Home Energy Scotland. I’m so pleased I decided to get in touch – one call was all it took. 

The advisors were really friendly and discussed my energy needs at length. The whole process of applying for the voucher towards the cost of the boiler and arranging to have it replaced was also really simple. The work was carried out quickly with very little inconvenience to me and my family. Now that we have the new boiler installed, we finally have peace of mind that we won’t be left out in the cold if the weather takes a turn for the worse this winter. We can also have the heating on for longer and it actually costs us less, which is perfect.

Case Study 4: Jeanette

Newmilns, Ayrshire

Jeanette McCaw and her husband experienced constant problems and breakdowns with their boiler for over three years. She knew it was time for a change but was concerned about the cost of buying and installing a new one.

Luckily, through sharing her worries with a friend, Jeanette discovered that she could call Home Energy Scotland from the Scottish Government for free advice and energy support.

Wasting no time in picking up the phone, Jeanette soon discovered that she was eligible to have a new gas combi boiler and seven new radiators installed at no cost to her. Just a short telephone conversation later with one of Home Energy Scotland’s advisors, Jeanette was referred for help – and later found out that she would be able to get the work done free of charge.

Jeanette, from Newmilns, said:

After a simple telephone call and application process, the advisors at the Hotline got back in touch to let me know that I qualified to have my boiler replaced free of charge, which was great news.

Our old boiler was then removed and a new one was installed in less than a day. Overall, the whole process took just under five weeks from start to finish. It was very quick and straightforward.

Jeanette has noticed a real difference at home:

Our new boiler is much more efficient. We have a large flat with high ceilings, but it now takes less time to heat up and is warmer than before, which is great.

Help from Home Energy Scotland didn’t stop there for Jeanette, who also took advantage of the advice and support on offer, including free energy saving tips.

Jeanette said:

I would urge everyone to pick up the phone and call the Hotline now. The money-saving advice is really helpful and you can find out what you are eligible for - like free insulation or even a new heating system. Getting a new boiler has changed our life and we can now look forward to a warmer winter with real peace of mind.

Case Study 5: Mary


Mary Carmichael from Glasgow had been having great difficulty heating her flat before getting in touch with Home Energy Scotland from the Scottish Government, which helped turn things around for good.

Although Mary’s home had central heating installed, there were only two small radiators which didn’t generate much heat. This meant that getting her flat to a reasonably warm temperature was impossible.  Mary had to use gas heaters as well as her central heating to try and top up the warmth in her flat. However, even with the additional heat supply her home was still very cold and was costing Mary a fortune in energy bills.

After hearing about Home Energy Scotland from a neighbour, Mary got in touch and explained her circumstances and her concern about another potentially cold winter. The energy advisor put her mind at ease instantly by telling Mary about help available from the Scottish Government and arranging for a surveyor to go out and take a look at her home heating. Mary found out she was eligible to have six new radiators and a brand new boiler installed at no cost and the work was turned around quickly, which Mary was thrilled about.

Having the extra radiators and new boiler installed in my flat has made all the difference. It was so frustrating just trying to get my flat to a reasonable temperature, particularly in the cold winter months when it was just hopeless. I’m so pleased with the changes that have been made and can’t believe that I just had to pick up the phone and ask for help. Everything was sorted out really quickly with very little mess or inconvenience. Looking back, it’s ridiculous to think that I had to use two gas heaters on top of my heating - no wonder my bills were so high! Now when it’s cold outside my flat is cosy and snug inside thanks to help from Home Energy Scotland. I’d definitely encourage others in a similar situation to call them to find out what they are eligible for so that they too can get their homes prepared for the winter months coming.