ECO boost: New £1.5m funding pot will give our Dumfries residents warmer and greener homes and lower energy bills

Paul Kilmarnock, Asset & Compliance Manager onsite with Colin Caitens, Head of Client Projects at Union Technical

Almost 300 households in Dumfries will benefit from lower energy bills after Riverside Scotland secured £1.5m of funding to make their homes more energy efficient.

The seven-figure investment will see 294 homes, which were built almost a century ago, benefit from significant energy efficiency upgrades, including installation of internal wall insulation (IWI), replacement cavity wall insulation and a liquid damp proof course.

The funding from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme will be spent on 1930s sandstone properties in Stakeford, Dumfries, with spending to be prioritised on the estates most poorly insulated properties – homes with energy performance certificate (EPC) ratings of D or below.

The works which will be undertaken by Glasgow-based Union Technical will improve the thermal efficiency of the homes to a high C EPC rating.

Further benefits of the work include increased ventilation, reduced carbon emissions and eradication of black spot mould.

To allow households to control their heating and hot water without having to rely on being connected to a Wi-Fi network, Riverside Scotland will also install Switchee smart thermostats in the homes.

Switchee enables residents to reduce their energy use and remotely control it from wherever they are in the world.

The investment has been hailed as a welcome boost for residents during Scotland’s worst cost-of-living crisis in 40 years.

It is also considered a positive step forward in Riverside’s Scotland’s journey to help the Scottish Government achieve its ambitions of becoming net zero by 2045.

Inside the properties where IWI works will be commencing

Paul Kilmarnock, Asset and Compliance Manager at Riverside Scotland is leading the project.

He said: “This £1.5m investment will be a welcome boost for Riverside Scotland residents as they face the highest increases in inflation for 40 years.

“Walls are the largest exposed area of the thermal envelope, and alongside glazing, walls are often where most of the heat loss takes place. Therefore, this investment will have a great impact in terms of reducing draughts, cutting energy use, lowering carbon emissions, and enable our residents to make substantial savings.

“This work will also create a more comfortable home for our customers and in doing so improve their health and wellbeing.

“Investing in our older homes is a top priority for Riverside Scotland and also a crucial step in the transition to zero-emissions. We are delighted to be able to capitalise on this funding to benefit our customers and future proof these homes.

“We have now contacted tenants whose properties are eligible and we will be holding an open day for customers to meet Union Technical to find out more about the process and answer any of their questions. We look forward to working with Union Technical to progress works in the coming weeks.”

Owen Coyle, Director at Union Technical, said: “We are delighted to be working with Riverside Scotland on this very worthwhile project in Dumfries. As a business our main aim is to help tackle the cost-of-living crisis which is affecting everyone in Scotland, but also to increase the comfort and efficiency of these homes. We look forward to the upcoming public engagement event and would encourage anyone with questions on the delivery of the works to attend.”

The retrofit measures are due to commence in the next few weeks and last approximately six months.

The works will be carried out to eligible homes with an EPC rating lower than D on College Street, Forsyth Street, Glasgow Street, Goldie Avenue, Nithbank Avenue, Nithside Avenue, Stakeford Street, Sunderries Avenue, and Sunderries Road.

Riverside Scotland and Union Technical staff will be hosting an open day

Riverside Scotland and Union Technical will be hosting an open day to discuss the retrofit works at Summerhill Community Centre, Ballochmyle Terrace, Dumfries on Tuesday, April 25th between 2-5pm.

The Union Technical Information Leaflet  includes a guide on what to expect when the works are carried out on your property.