The “Comrie Carbon Challenge” has been working with the community to reduce the collection carbon footprint of the village. This has been done in many different ways to engage with everyone and has included projects such as:
- Thermal Imaging for our community to highlight any areas of concern to the householder (the first 100 houses were free of charge).
- The Comrie Energy Competition to encourage householders to use electricity more efficiently thereby reducing their bills as well as their carbon footprint.
- We calculated the collective carbon footprint of the village via a questionnaire and hands-on support from the local CDT Advisors across all aspects of lifestyle.
- We hosted a Climate Change Conference for Communities in June 2009 on behalf of the Scottish Government.
- The creation of a bespoke “Comrie” Liftshare Scheme through the UK-wide Liftshare web based scheme.
- Zero Waste Fortnights that included cooking with leftovers, information evenings and reusable bag competitions.
- We carried out a Travel Plan survey and are currently working in implementing actions taken from the findings.
- A “green environmental” themed community event at our 2010 Culty Quake with various many exhibitors and local traders and groups.
Our Carbon Challenge project was launched by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead on 11th November 2008 who commented,“This is a superb example of what can be done with the funds available from the Climate Challenge Fund. This project is enormously wide-ranging and there is much for the people of Comrie to be proud of. Such a radical move represents commendable action and there is much to be learned from their innovation. I would urge communities across Scotland to look at what is happening in Comrie and to think about how they could follow suit”.
Our Street-by-Street programme focused on reducing people’s energy bills, creating local employment and reducing our carbon footprint. It was open to everyone within our community boundary and the work was carried out in partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy and our preferred installer, Clyde Insulation. Local people were employed and trained to carry out one-to-one energy audits using the Energy Savings Trust Home Energy Check Questionnaire (HECs). Householders received a report detailing energy saving measures including loft and cavity wall insulation. Those who were interested were passed on to Clyde Insulation who then carried out a technical survey and the installation. Householders were also referred to the SCARF Home Renewables Advisor or the Energy Assistance Package (EAP), where appropriate.
Comrie was the first community in Scotland to undertake a Street-by-Street Energy Audit and Insulation programme. Ian Marchant , Chief Executive of Scottish and Southern Energy commented, “The twin challenges of climate change and energy security are without question the great challenges of our age, but there is much to be positive about. Energy efficiency is a vital way of making a difference and SSE is delighted to be working with the people of Comrie to deliver practical energy efficiency measures in a comprehensive way”.