Residents in north Aberdeenshire urged to sign up for free home insulation

Around 20,000 households in Buchan and Banff & Buchan could benefit from free loft and cavity wall insulation following a successful £620,000 bid to the Scottish Government.

Aberdeenshire Council submitted a joint bid in conjunction with Save Cash and Reduce Fuel (SCARF) as part of the second round of funding under the Universal Home Insulation Scheme.

Homeowners and private tenants in north Aberdeenshire will now be contacted and urged to take advantage of the offer.

Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee Cllr Gurudeo Saluja said: “This scheme provides an excellent opportunity for homeowners to enjoy the benefits of increased insulation without the worry of finding the money to install it themselves.

“As well as making it easier to heat a property, improved insulation can mean less money needs to be spent on keeping a home warm, which is particularly important in areas of fuel poverty.”

Committee vice-chair Cllr Carl Nelson added: “The latest funding is welcome news and provides the opportunity for even more Aberdeenshire residents to benefit.

“The Universal Home Insulation Scheme will make it easy for householders in Buchan and Banff & Buchan to insulate their home and, as the offer will only be available until March 2012, I encourage people to take full advantage of this offer.”

The first round of the scheme saw around 1,400 insulation measures installed in Peterhead and Fraserburgh during 2010/11.

Chief executive officer for SCARF Jean Morrison said: “Yet again we are seeing an increase in fuel prices, so this is a perfect opportunity to save money.

“Loft insulation and cavity wall insulation will mean that householders will see a reduction in their fuel bills.”

Home Energy Assessors will be out and about in the coming months to provide advice about the initiative and to arrange appointments for home surveys.

There are three ways to apply for the free insulation:

• Complete and return the home energy check being sent by post
• Phone SCARF to complete the home energy check on the phone or make an appointment for the assessor to visit at home
• Complete the home energy check when the assessor visits

Council tenants will not receive home insulation through the Universal Home Insulation Scheme as this has been arranged separately by the authority. Home Energy Assessors will be visiting council tenants to provide free energy efficiency advice and benefits checks.

For more information about the scheme, contact strategic development officer Melanie Booth on 01467 628413 or by email at melanie.booth@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Insulation arranged under the Universal Home Insulation Scheme is entirely free to those eligible. Residents are urged to ask SCARF assessors for identification to ensure callers are authorised representatives of the organisation.