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Further information


Aberdeen, Scotland

Aberdeen is the coldest city in the UK.   A house in Aberdeen takes 40 % more energy to heat than an identical house in Bristol.  The difference between Aberdeen and the Central belt of Scotland is in the region of 10% also for geographical reasons alone.  These figures were calculated using the National Home Energy Rating scheme (NHER) which is the only home energy rating scheme which takes into account climatic factors.   For this reason the NHER is used by the Scottish government as a benchmark for setting targets. 

Possibly because of the cold, or possibly for other reasons, Aberdeen City Council has had a long track record of being very good at looking after its housing stock as regards heating, compared with many other local authorities.    

Although the Energy Saving Trust now has a network of energy advice centres throughout the UK, in Aberdeen SCARF was established in 1985 with part funding from Aberdeen City Council and the rest from Urban Aid funding.   There were 4 core staff at the beginning.  This was the first energy advice centre in Scotland, when there were just a few in the UK as a whole.   The target client group were those in fuel poverty.

The Home Energy Conservation Act  (HECA) came into effect in Scotland in 1995.  This was a year after the rest of the UK.   It required all local authorities to achieve energy savings in all sectors of housing of 30 % within a 10 year target period.   This was the first time local authorities were given responsibility for this in properties which were not their own.   In Scotland local authorities could negotiate their targets if they felt 30 % was unachievable for any reason.   Aberdeen was already well ahead in terms of energy savings, but still agreed ambitious targets.

Aberdeen has made a huge dent in fuel bills and carbon savings for low income tenants through Aberdeen Heat and Power.  This company was established to provide combined heat and power in multi storey blocks in 3 separate developments:  Seaton, Hazlehead and Stockethill. The scheme has now been linked to Hazlehead academy and other public buildings.