In short, net zero is when the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere balances with the amount we can remove.
Scotland is committed to achieving net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045 and educating people on how they can do their part to help achieve net zero, and associate with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow in November. , the Scottish Government has launched its Let’s Do Net Zero campaign to raise awareness and highlight actions people can take to help achieve the Scotland goal.
These include considering how we eat, what we buy, how we travel and our household energy. Home Energy Scotland provides clear and unbiased advice on making your home warmer and improving its energy efficiency, with a range of supports available including grants and interest-free cash back loans of up to Â£ 5,000 to eligible households for the installation of various measures such as wall insulation, double glazing or new boiler.
When John and Laura Gormley moved into their new home, they decided to take the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint. They contacted Home Energy Scotland for advice and an advisor visited their home, outlining their options.
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 home without fossil fuels and have replaced their boiler with a 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.
Besides saving money, they also benefited from the fact that their home was very comfortable all year round; it’s at a constant temperature, and they don’t experience the extreme ups and downs typical of traditional heating systems.
The only lifestyle change they’ve had to make is when using their EVs, making sure to factor in charging the car on longer trips.
The car has a range of 100 miles and they used it to vacation across Scotland, reaching some remote locations in the Highlands using the CPS network including the Neist Point Lighthouse in the far north west of Skye, Sanna Bay and all of Wester Ross.
John and Laura believe their investment was worth it: âIt’s cheaper and we don’t feel guilty about our environmental impact. We are also not at the mercy of fluctuations in gasoline, diesel and gas prices.
While such changes may seem daunting at first, the Gormleys have a few key tips.
They said, âIf you are determined to go green, take it step by step, because once you take that first step, the other steps will follow naturally.
Loans and grants are available from Home Energy Scotland to help cover installation costs, which will save money in the future. To find out exactly what you are entitled to, call the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland hotline on 0808 808 2282 or visit www.homeenergyscotland.org.