£1.5m retrofit project to bring substantial energy savings for Dumfries residents

£1.5m retrofit project to bring substantial energy savings for Dumfries residents

Heather Anderson, head of service delivery at Riverside Scotland, and Colin Caitens, head of client projects at Union Technical

Energy services company Union Technical is concluding work on a £1.5 million retrofit of almost 300 homes in Dumfries.

Residents of the town’s Sandside Estate will benefit from newly fitted internal wall insulation, ventilation systems and heating controls this winter, designed to improve thermal efficiency and significantly reduce energy bills.

Work on the 1930s sandstone properties began in April, with spending prioritised on the most poorly insulated homes.

The seven-figure initiative included the installation of an innovative internal wall insulation system designed specifically for solid wall sandstone properties, which will reduce heat demand and lower heating costs.

New ventilation systems to manage moisture have been fitted to improve air quality while eradicating damp and mould. Replacement cavity wall insulation has also been installed and a liquid damp proof course applied.

Retrofitting is now complete on 250 of the homes, with the remaining 46 homes due to be upgraded by early November.

£1.5m retrofit project to bring substantial energy savings for Dumfries residents

(from left) Andy Stark, site manager at Union Technical; Heather Anderson; Gavin Wiffen, customer and community engagement officer at Riverside Scotland; Colin Caitens with Jocelyn McDougall and Clair Christie, both tenant partner team leaders at Riverside Scotland

The properties are managed by social housing provider Riverside Scotland.

To mark the project’s completion, Union Technical has donated £5,000 to the Sandside Community Garden project to fund further improvements to the flourishing outdoor space.

Local resident Paul McGregor, who has lived in Dumfries for 30 years, said: “I was really pleased when I heard that Riverside Scotland was upgrading and investing in the older houses on the estate like mine.

“The works were no hassle and my home feels cosier. With winter approaching and ever rising energy costs I am looking forward to a warmer home that’s cheaper to run.”

Paul, who is also chairperson of the Sandside Gardening Project, added: “I’d like to thank Union Technical for their generous donation to our gardening project. The garden is a space to bring the community together and combat isolation.

“We are going to use some of the funds for our outdoor cooking area where we will host community barbecues and other events. The donation will also help fund more seating so more people can come along and have a chat and a cuppa with friends.”

£1.5m retrofit project to bring substantial energy savings for Dumfries residents

Members of the community garden and chairperson Paul McGregor with Colin Caitens and Riverside Scotland staff

Colin Caitens, head of client projects at Union Technical, said: “As a business we are dedicated to improving the comfort and energy efficiency of people’s homes. One of our main aims is to help people tackle the cost-of-living crisis, which is affecting everyone in Scotland, and to help our clients meet their net zero aspirations.

“The work we’ve carried out with Riverside Scotland over the past few months has been a significant step in helping to tackle fuel poverty in Dumfries & Galloway. Riverside Scotland allowed Union Technical to drive the project from the start whilst leaning on our experience with large-scale social housing projects, and we’re pleased to see the results of our team’s hard work and dedication already benefitting residents in the local area.”

Heather Anderson, head of service delivery at Riverside Scotland said: “We are really pleased with the results of this ECO scheme which provides a welcome boost for almost 300 Riverside Scotland customers ahead of the winter.

“Investing in our older homes is a huge priority for Riverside Scotland. This work means our residents will benefit from a warmer, more comfortable home which will help to improve health and wellbeing as well as allowing them to save money on their energy bills.

“While the benefits will be fairly immediate for our customers this year, investing in this kind of work means our customers will benefit from the energy savings each and every winter.

“We are grateful to Union Technical for completing the works on schedule and with minimum disruption to our customers.”

Riverside has a target of bringing all their homes up to a minimum EPC Band C by 2030.

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