Campaign highlights the simple steps everyone can take to help Scotland reach its net zero emissions goal
Net zero – a term we hear being used a lot these days, but still, something not everyone understands.
In short, net zero is when the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere balances with the amount we’re able to take out.
Scotland has committed to reaching net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045 and to inform people on how they can do their bit to help reach net zero, and to tie in with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow this November, the Scottish Government has launched its Let’s Do Net Zero campaign to raise awareness and highlight the steps people can take to help reach Scotland’s goal.
These include considering the way we eat, what we buy, how we travel and our home energy. Home Energy Scotland provides clear and impartial advice to make your home warmer and improve its energy efficiency, with a range of support available including grants and interest-free cashback loans of up to £5000 to eligible householders for installing a variety of measures such as solid wall insulation, double glazing or a new boiler.
When John and Laura Gormley moved to their new home, they decided they wanted to use the opportunity to lower their carbon footprint. They contacted Home Energy Scotland for advice and an advisor visited their home, outlining the options available to them.
After some research, John and Laura replaced one of their cars with an electric vehicle (EV), then when their gas boiler stopped working, they took it as a sign to become a fossil-fuel-free home and switched their boiler for an air source heat pump. They also installed solar panels on the roof.
They used the Home Energy Scotland loan to cover most of the costs of their installation, reducing the amount they had to pay up front.
As well as saving money they have also benefited from their home being very comfortable all year round; it is at a constant temperature, and they don’t suffer the extreme ups and downs typical with traditional heating systems.
The only lifestyle change they have had to make is when using their EV, making sure to account for car charging on longer journeys.
The car has a 100-mile range and they’ve used it to holiday all over Scotland, reaching some distant Highland locations using the CPS network including Neist Point Lighthouse in the far north west of Skye, Sanna Bay and all over Wester Ross.
John and Laura feel that their investment has been well worth it: "It’s cheaper and we don’t feel guilty about our environmental impact. We are also not at the mercy of fluctuating petrol, diesel and gas prices.”
Although making changes such as these may seem intimidating at first, the Gormleys have some key advice.
They said: “If you are set on moving to green energy then just take it one step at a time because once you’ve taken that first step, the other steps will follow on quite naturally.”
Loans and grants are available from Home Energy Scotland to help cover the cost of installation which will save money in the future. To find out exactly what you are eligible for call the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland hotline on 0808 808 2282 or visit www.homeenergyscotland.org.