Council and Changeworks insulate homes in Oxgangs

Image of a building which is in the Oxgangs area the Building has a fresh white facade, having recently been upgraded thanks to these energy saving measures.

In partnership with the leading environmental charity Changeworks, the City of Edinburgh Council is helping homeowners transform the energy efficiency of their homes.

Making 166 homes in Oxgangs warmer and fit for the future by improving external wall insulation, more than 50 properties have already received major improvements with over a hundred others to be completed by the Spring.

Funding is provided by the Scottish Government through the Energy Efficient Scotland; Area based Scheme (EES:ABS). These area-based schemes are designed and delivered by councils with local delivery partners. They target fuel-poor areas to provide energy efficiency measures to a large number of Scottish homes while delivering emission savings and helping to reduce fuel poverty.

The schemes in Oxgangs are helping households make major improvements to their home at a significantly lowered cost. Some households even qualify to have the work done for free, completely removing the financial burden for households at a time when that relief could not be more needed. Installing insulation makes it cheaper and easier to heat the home, meaning householders can expect to save on their heating bills.

Oxgangs is an area that does suffer from a higher rate of poverty than other areas of the city and all houses included in the project are in Council Tax bands A to C. This project, with a total funding of £1.9 million, is targeted at reaching those most in need. The EES:ABS scheme is open to private householders and mixed tenure blocks have been targeted too, benefitting both social housing tenants and private householders. The Council is directly funding the works to Council homes. 

Councillor Jane Meagher, Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Convener, said:

Most of the homes in the area are receiving external wall insulation which means their homes will keep more heat in. This is important because it means more Oxgangs residents are going to see their homes stay warmer for longer, at a time when temperatures are low but energy bills are worryingly high.

As people become more conscious of their energy use, these projects will have a real impact – both on the planet and Edinburgh’s net zero goals and on the lives of homeowners and tenants who need this support now, more than ever.

One resident who received the external wall insulation is Catherine Murray, who says she’s “delighted” with the difference it’s made. She said:

My house is warmer, much warmer, it’s really noticeable. I don't need the heating on as much, I put it on in the morning and then the house is fine until I put it on again at about 7 or 8 until I go to bed. If I’m in the living room, it contains the heat.

We’re on the main road and the people that pass stop and look, it’s amazing. People stop to comment on it.

It really brightens the place up, I don’t get out much anymore but when I do, it makes you feel better when you do come into the area, you can really see the difference between the ones that have been done and the ones that haven’t been done, it’s great. I really appreciate the work that’s been done.

Most of the homes in the area are receiving external wall insulation installed by contractor SERS. Not only does this mean that their homes will keep more heat in, keeping them warmer for longer and requiring less energy to heat, it provides a complete refresh of the outside of the property too.

With it being an external insulation measure, there’s no work done inside the house.

Alongside the Oxgangs project which is currently underway there are four other retrofit schemes in Edinburgh which form part of the EES:ABS 2022/23 programme. These include an external wall insulation and solar PV scheme in Gilmerton, a fabric improvement programme in Murrayburn and Drumbryden, a citywide internal wall insulation roll out and hard-to-treat cavity and solar PV works across the EH16 and EH17 postcode areas.

To register your interest in similar schemes should they become available in your area, fill in this simple online form.

Published: January 13th 2023