OVER 140 Orkney Housing Association Ltd properties across the Orkney Mainland and the Northern Isles are soon to be surveyed as part the second phase of a ground-breaking project to tackle carbon emissions from thousands of homes in Scotland.
With the issues of fuel poverty and climate change becoming ever more important for tenants and landlords the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations launched the Carbon Portal project in November 2011, with infra-red technology being used to ‘photograph' thousands of homes nationwide.
OHAL is one of over 60 social landlords from Shetland to Stranraer to participate in the project which will see 30,000 homes across Scotland being scanned over winter 2011-12, using thermal imaging software to pinpoint where precious heat is being lost.
The images will show exactly where heat is escaping, where insulation can best be placed, and what type should be used, to preserve heat, cut energy bills, and tackle climate change. Having worked their way through the Scottish mainland, the survey team is due in Orkney in the next week or two.
Once any properties identified as requiring work have been insulated, a second thermal image will be taken between November 2012 and February 2013. The results will then be published online on the Carbon Portal.
The surveys will be carried out by IRT Surveys Ltd with each image costing £5, being met through OHAL’s Reducing Energy Growing Green project, funded by the Climate Challenge Fund. The cost of any insulation works will come from the UK Government CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) funds and from OHAL itself.
Sally Inkster, Chief Executive of OHAL, said: “The aims of the Carbon Portal project fit perfectly with the Association’s commitment to improving the energy efficiency of our houses.
Unfortunately, with high electricity prices, fuel poverty is now all too common amongst our tenants. This project will not only allow us to identify where heat loss prevention is required but should also demonstrate the effectiveness of any additional insulation measures we are able to carry out.”
SFHA Chief Executive, Mary Taylor said: "I'm delighted that SFHA is again spearheading innovation in energy efficiency. The Carbon Portal project is a cost-effective way of assessing what work needs to be done on Scotland's existing homes, to prevent valuable heat being lost.
"This project once again demonstrates that Scotland's housing associations and co-operatives, who are part-funding the thermal imaging and the insulation work, are at the forefront of initiatives to tackle fuel poverty and climate change.
"Many of our tenants are on low incomes and likely to experience fuel poverty, while Scotland's existing housing stock is responsible for around a quarter of all Scotland's carbon emissions. It's therefore a no-brainer for SFHA to take forward a project like this and I look forward to seeing the results on our Carbon Portal website."