Reduced Use of Resources
Ask yourself this question: "Is it possible to continue to do what I am doing in the long term?" If the answer is ‘no’, then what you are doing is not sustainable.
Something is sustainable if doing it now does not make it more difficult or impossible to do it in the future.
We all need to play our part in making the best use of the planet’s resources and this is at the heart of environmental sustainability. Photograph courtesy of Monymusk School
Aberdeenshire Council recognises it has an important role to play in ensuring that it makes the best use of resources so that future generations can enjoy an even better quality of life than we do today. The Sustainability Charter pledges to reduce the resources that the Council uses, and includes targets for energy consumption, waste production and travel. In addition, through the services we provide, we try and make it easier for Aberdeenshire residents to lead ‘sustainable’ lifestyles.
Green Living: How Can You Be ‘Sustainable’ ?
There are lots of things that anyone can do to cut down on the resources we use and be more sustainable. For instance, did you know that switching electrical appliances off rather than leaving them on standby can reduce your yearly electricity use by up to 10 per cent, reducing your fuel bill and your global footprint?
The Energy Savings Trust website provides useful advice on energy efficiency improvements to your home, cleaner transport and funding and grants for renewable energy.
Be ‘waste aware’ and find out how you can reduce, re-use and recycle your waste by visiting our Recycling and Waste section.
Is your home insulated?
Aberdeenshire households could improve their energy efficiency at a reduced cost, or even for free, thanks to a series of new initiatives.
Aberdeenshire Council has adopted a national Council Tax Discount Scheme which will provide a £60 discount to qualifying residents when they install cavity wall or loft insulation in their homes.
The initiative is a partnership between the council and Scottish Gas, although residents don’t need to be a Scottish Gas customer to benefit.
It has been introduced under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, which places responsibility on local authorities to develop such measures.
The Council Tax Discount Scheme will operate across Aberdeenshire, although residents in the Marr area may be able to improve their insulation for free under a separate initiative, the Scottish Government Home Insulation Scheme.
Under the Home Insulation Scheme, advice and assistance will be provided to around 90,000 households across Scotland, with many of those going on to receive free energy efficiency measures.
The council has been successful in the second phase of the project, which will allow the energy performance of 16,500 properties in the Marr area to be improved.
The Home Insulation Scheme in the Marr area will provide free loft insulation and cavity wall insulation to homeowners who require loft top up to the recommended minimum standard of 270mm.
Funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by the Energy Saving Trust, the Home Insulation Scheme is offering insulation for your home at special prices, or even for free. We are working with Banchory Energy Reduction Initiative (BERI) to make the homes in your neighbourhood as energy efficient as possible.
Teams of Home Energy Assessors will work their way across Aboyne, Alford, Ballater, Banchory, Huntly and Strathdon starting in September 2010 taking a street-by-street, door-by-door approach. If your home is one of around 16,500 to benefit from the scheme you will be given prior notice of when Home Energy Assessors will be in your area. All Home Energy Assessors are Disclosure Scotland approved, and can be easily identified through wearing a Home Insulation Scheme uniform and carrying an ID card.
The scheme offers:
- A home energy check and report
- Impartial and personalised energy saving advice
- Cavity wall insulation for only £126 or free *
- Loft insulation for only £140 or free *
- Loft top-up insulation free of charge if you already have between 60mm and 160mm existing loft insulation
- If you need additional support to install insulation, for example your loft cleared or scaffolding, we may be able to help
- Links to other initiatives and services which might help you to stop wasting energy and money such as home renewables and eco-driving
This offer is for private tenants and homeowners. If you live in a property owned by your local authority or housing association our assessors can explain how the scheme can help you.
*The assessor will explain the full conditions, but it’s usually free if you are receiving benefits or are aged 70 or over.
And under a separate programme, the authority is installing energy efficiency measures in all council-owned properties in the Marr area.
Christine Gore, Director of Planning and Environmental Services for Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Improving the energy efficiency of a property can provide ongoing savings in energy bills.
“Between them, these initiatives will allow a significant number of Aberdeenshire residents to make such improvements at a reduced cost, or even for free.”
Some Aberdeenshire residents will qualify for more than one of the schemes. In addition, residents who own their own home or rent privately and are in receipt of certain income or disability benefits may qualify for other offers.
For free and impartial advice, interested residents in Aberdeenshire should contact the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre on 0800 512 012 in the first instance.
Residents in Aberdeenshire interested in applying for the Council Tax Discount Scheme who are not eligible for other grants should contact Scottish Gas directly on 0845 605 2535, quoting reference ABSH.
Tenants of properties owned by the council or a housing association should contact their landlord, as they are in the process of making sure that all their houses have the required levels of insulation at no cost to tenants.