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Scotland: Interest free loans up to £15,000 to help make homes warmer

Interest free loans with HEEPS

•   New research: Scotland's a nation of home improvers
•   Creating space and improving comfort main priorities for homeowners
•   Impartial advice and financial support for home improvers in Scotland

Cold draughts and contradictions were at the heart of the findings of new Energy Saving Trust research on attitudes to home improvements.

It found that Scottish home owners are very keen on upgrading their homes, with 65 per cent said to have carried out major improvements to their home in the last three years. Making living spaces bigger is a popular choice for those taking action on the domestic front. 

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Bigger, but not warmer

At the same time, nearly as many of those asked said that warmth is a feature they look for in a home, and the challenge of keeping rooms cosy is the second biggest problem for people, behind not having enough storage. But by creating bigger spaces, creating adequate and even heat in a home is made a tougher job. 

To add to the latter contradiction, very few people are paying much attention to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), with only 37 per cent across the UK saying they look for it when buying a property. 

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Triggering action

There are prompts to more energy-conscious refurbishment that can work for both the homeowner and bigger picture. 'Trigger points' are vital if we're to make the vast improvements necessary on home energy efficiency

Mike Thornton of Energy Saving TrustEnergy Saving Trust Scotland Director, Mike Thornton (pictured), explained the concept: “We know many homeowners make improvements when they move home or when they add an extension, do a loft conversion or install a new kitchen, especially if they are growing a family or have just secured a better paid job. 

“Our advice is to think about making energy efficiency upgrades at the same time and get any disruption over with in one go. Most people make home improvements in the summer months – so get energy efficiency upgrades done now and you’ll be ready for winter.”

Taking the next step on energy efficiency

The good news is that Scots are acting on the prompt. Improvements like low energy lighting are being made in nearly nine out of ten home improvements north of the border. But there's little doubt that more could be done – and in Scotland, the incentive is certainly there to do it.

Interest free loans of up to £15,000, funded by the Scottish Government, are available to help with professional upgrades including insulation, installing new boilers and double/triple glazing.

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For more information on how to apply for an interest free loan, call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 or learn about how to make your home more energy efficient. Leave a comment below or tweet @EST_Scotland.

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.
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Hi Gary, thanks for the useful blog. I can't find the research the blog refers to. Is there a separate publication?

Hi Nicola, we're pleased you found the blog to be useful. 

The research is not a published report at present, but we may look to do this later in the year.

Thanks for getting in touch.

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EST Team

In your blog you say "The good news is that Scots are acting on the prompt". I can confirm this: We are now installing the very first "Solar Ice Heating" in a house in Aberdeenshire. This ground breaking heating technology provides the best efficiency of heating currently known with a COP of 5. The heating will be installed in an energy efficient timber house manufactured off site in Germany. See http://www.stommel-haus.co.uk/product-service/solar-ice/ for more information.