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SH January 31, 2012

People urged to ‘go greener together’

A new national campaign encouraging everyone across the country to play their part in making Scotland a cleaner, greener place to live has been launched.

The new Greener Together campaign demonstrates that every greener effort – big or small – does make a difference. By showing we can all contribute, the campaign encourages people to recognise greener living benefits for them, their families and Scotland as a whole. Importantly, it seeks to empower everyone to work together to make a difference and create a greener, cleaner Scotland now and for the future.

Launching the campaign Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Every journey starts with a single step and Scotland will truly go Greener Together when we realise the individual actions we take can collectively have a massive impact. There are many ways to go greener, which bring big benefits if we all get involved. Turning our thermostats down by just one degree, for example, not only saves money but also reduces the amount of energy we use as a country. By taking this green action, we could save up to £60 per year as well as reducing Scotland’s carbon emissions from housing by ten per cent.

Scots homeowners lead the way in take-up of renewable scheme

Scottish households are saving hundreds of pounds by embracing green technologies like solar thermal hot water panels and wood fuelled boilers. Scots are leading the way when it comes to a £15m national voucher scheme (£12m for individuals and £3m for social housing) to help households install heat generating systems, such as wood fuelled boilers and heat pumps.

The vouchers are worth a maximum value of £1,250 and are issued in Scotland by the Energy Saving Trust. But those wishing to make their homes more cosy and energy efficient only have until 31 March 2012 before the scheme expires.

It is rural parts of Scotland that have proved the most likely to embrace the voucher scheme with almost a quarter of applications coming from households in the Highlands Council area. So far, 114 vouchers have been issued to homeowners in the Highland Council area, followed by 73 in Aberdeenshire Council area and Perth & Kinross with 47 vouchers.

Wood fuelled boilers have proved the most popular form of green technology comprising almost 32 per cent of applications in Scotland. Solar thermal hot water panels are the second most popular technology.

The scheme primarily targets households not heated by mains gas – who have to rely on higher carbon forms of heating which also tend to be more expensive than gas, such as heating oil and electric fires to keep warm. Vouchers for the following technologies are available to householders in Scotland, England and Wales:

Ground Source Heat Pump£1,250 (for homes without mains gas heating)
Wood fuelled boiler£950 (for homes without mains gas heating)
Air source heat pump£850 (for homes without mains gas heating)
Solar thermal hot water panels£300 (available to all households regardless of the type of heating system used)

Interested homeowners should get in touch with their local Energy Saving Scotland advice centre on 0800 512 012

 LEDs offer a brighter future

LEDs can bring about significant reductions in energy and maintenance costs, according to an Energy Saving Trust field trial of over 4,000 light fittings in England.

It waws recently forecast that LED lighting has the potential to become the dominant technology in domestic and commercial lighting as early as 2015.

In 2008, the Energy Saving Trust completed a feasibility study that looked into installing LED lighting in communal areas of social housing, such as stairwells and corridors. The study showed that there was considerable potential for achieving energy savings in such areas, particularly as the lighting is typically on 24 hours per day.

Now Lit Up, the Energy Saving Trust’s field trial report of the technologies in action, shows increases in light levels, colour temperature and good maintenance of performance over time, as well as considerable energy and long-term cost savings.

The trial also showed LEDs maintaining their performance over time. Light levels were measured after approximately six months use, showing average maintenance of levels across the two trial phases of 93.6 per cent. Some sites showed no discernable change over the time period at all, while one found increased light levels.

On the back of the study, the Energy Saving Trust is planning to begin discussions with government and industry about ways that the market for LEDs could be supported in coming years. The Trust are also looking to endorse a larger range of LED products under the Energy Saving Trust Recommended labelling scheme over the coming months.

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