Our Home Energy Support team goes to local homes, has phone calls or even virtual visits to offer advice on reducing their energy use and carbon emissions. This includes independent switching advice and tips on how to reduce damp, mould and condensation, how to draught proof a house and improve air-tightness. We also help people to consider installation of renewable systems and moving into more carbon neutral heating systems. Our project encourages people to consider reducing their dependence on cars for shorter trips by enabling them to test our e-bikes and taking part in eco-driving courses. Our website offers lots of tips and tricks to make your home warmer and greener!
To encourage the local community to take action, we organise bi-weekly Zoom conversations with experts covering such topics as PVs, electric cars, heating older houses, dealing with condensation, etc.
by Kasha Jarosz
Sustainable Selkirk is a project of Selkirk Regeneration (SR). Although Sustainable Selkirk started in June 2020, it wasn't something that just happened unexpectedly. Selkirk Regeneration has a long history of energy related projects. In April 2010 the charity employed a “carbon reduction officer” (CRO) for a year. In July 2018 SR Board members visited projects similar to the project we were pursuing at that time (Energy Advice projects in Dunbar, Linlithgow, Kirkcaldy, Dalry, Dundee and Peebles). SR identified a range of desirable outcomes (through a robust and thorough community consultation) such as encouraging more use of public transport, cycling, walking for short journeys; encouraging businesses and households to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. After another consultation in August 2019, which confirmed continuing interest and support for this initiative, SR applied for Climate Challenge Fund and was successful in getting the funds.
Sustainable Selkirk started in 2020 whilst the country was in a lockdown, thus making the first few months really difficult. What was very helpful at that time was support provided by a similar, but much more advanced project from another locality (Arran Eco Savvy).
What we found to work really well was to use our Facebook Page to publish weekly 'Energy Saving Sunday' with short, but more in-depth tips about efficiency at home. This is something we learnt from another project (Lochaber Environmental Group - LEG) and it shows how important is to be in touch with similar projects in other localities.
We have also joined forces with to engage members of our local communities to participate in our bi-weekly Zoom conversations. Again, this proved to work really well as we have access to more diverse audiences and broader scope of experts.
Looking back, we've learnt that developing strong partnerships with other similar projects in other localities can greatly strengthen and enhance our own work.
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