Peebles householders, businesses and community groups can benefit from a new project that has been launched in the town.
Change Works in Peebles aims to reduce gas and electricity usage and energy bills, improve warmth in local homes and trial new approaches to improve energy efficiency.
An advice hub will be opened at the Old Corn Exchange on Peebles High Street next month to enable people to drop in to find out about the help available.
This pilot project, funded by Scottish Government, Changeworks and Scottish Borders Council will also look to improve greener living and working in the area.
Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch this innovative £850,000 project in Peebles, which will act as a pilot for Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme.
“This project provides a real opportunity for local people to save money, improve buildings and reduce carbon emissions. What’s more, as part of the work being undertaken, the Council is committed to energy efficiency improvements at Peebles High School, including additional loft insulation, installing thermally efficient glazing and changes to the heating systems.”
Scottish Borders Council and Changeworks are delivering the Change Works in Peebles project partnership with the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland, Resource Efficient Scotland and Business Gateway.
Donna Marshall, Project Manager of Change Works in Peebles, said: “Peebles has been chosen because data analysis shows it to be a high energy use town, so there are potentially significant benefits for householders, businesses and community groups across the area.
“Data shows that Peebles householders have 14 per cent higher fuel bills, based on higher energy use, than the national average. We want to provide advice and support to householders and businesses to reduce these costs and help make a difference.
“We plan to run specialist advice sessions and workshops over the year from the local hub to help people access free and impartial advice on lowering energy bills and improving warmth in local homes. Advice will cover topics such as switching gas and electricity suppliers, insulation and keeping warm in older homes. We’re also interested in hearing from local householders and businesses about the type of advice and support they would find most beneficial.”