Latest News - 2008

Half way point for Alness savers – website launched

Ross-shire Journal 11/07/08

West Alness SAVE Project has reached its half way point looking like all targets and more will be achieved .......more

Pupils have designs on eco prize

North Star 17/05/08


Pupils from a Ross-shire primary school have proved that they are switched on to switching off.....more

Eco prize art for pupils

Ross-shire 16/05/08


Three pupils from Coulhill Primary School have come out top in an energy efficiency poster design competition organised by WASP.....more

News from the groups

Ross-shire 25/04/08


An Alness woman is already reaping the benefits of a local energy-efficiency drive – and it’s as easy as making a cup of tea!.......

Sheila Spence is the winner of WASP’s first newsletter draw and has bagged herself a brand new Eco-Kettle.......more

Energy-saver is a hit in Alness

North Star 09/02/08


An ambitious energy saving scheme in Alness has been such a hit that plans are afoot to roll it out across the rest of the ward.

The West Alness SAVE (Save and Value Energy) Project aims to cut household bills in a part of Alness by 5% before the end of the year, in order to help folk save money and cut down on the town’s carbon footprint.

With 200 homes to visit during the course of the project, community energy adviser Brid McKibben said she was confident, given the reaction from locals, that it ould be an achievable target.

The scheme has quickly found favour with householders since it was launched last November. Such has been the response that the project is looking to train another four locals as energy advisors by the end of the year.

Miss McKibben explained: ‘We have been doing very well. From the houses visited so far there are very few where we haven’t had an effect. The main thing is getting the information out there and making people realise they’re not about to face a lecture – that’s not what we’re about.

‘We are looking to get local people trained to carry out visits in a bid to keep the information in the community.’

Anyone taking on the task would have to complete a four-day City and Guilds course which will be paid for.

In total around 30 homes have been visited so far.

‘Our deadline for this project is October,’ she said. ‘I think it will be an easy target to reach by then.’

Supported by energy supplier Scottish and Southern Energy, the year-long project is costing 43,000 with a bonus payment of 10,000 to be spent in the community if the target is reached.

‘We are hoping to be able to extend it for another year at least and increase the geography to cover the rest of Alness and perhaps the reat of the ward,’ she said.

Very simple steps can help folk save money, according to Miss McKibben.

‘It’s actually fairly easy to help people save money once they understand the basics like how to work their heating timers,’ she said.

‘What I am finding is some people often don’t take the time to sit down and work out how it operates and instead of using the timer are using a thermostat and leaving the heating on 24 hours a day.’

According to the trained engineer, using timers properly can save over 200 a year for some people. In a few homes she has even successfully got householders onto a social tariff whereby they are entitled to 20% from their energy supplierif they are spending more than 10% on their fuel bills.

One of the project’s main priorities at the moment is working with residents to increase the insulation in homes.

‘Many people automatically think it is too expensive to consider but in many cases they can get the insulation free through their energy supplier,’ she said.

The next few weeks will see the initiative’s first newsletter land on the doorstep of homes which will be followed by some of Miss McKibben’s first cold calling visits. Until now she has only visited the homes of those who have already made contact with her. . .more