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Renewable Heritage project Edinburgh

Solar Water Heating Panels Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

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Pioneering Green Power for Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site

Feb 2009

Pioneering work begins on Monday to install solar water heating panels on the roofs of seven B-listed Georgian tenements in the historic heart of Edinburgh, a Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The £200,000 Renewable Heritage project, benefiting social housing properties, is being run in partnership with Changeworks, Lister Housing Co-operative, Edinburgh World Heritage, eaga Charitable Trust and The City of Edinburgh Council, who have granted all permissions for the work.

Georgian tenement Edinburgh

Edinburgh has more listed buildings than any other UK city apart from London. Renewable energy installations in these properties are extremely rare, especially in multi-occupancy buildings such as tenements. Renewable Heritage is ground-breaking not only because the work is being carried out on B-listed tenements in the World Heritage Site, but also because the pipework will be run down to serve all flats possible. The panels should provide over 50% of the annual hot water requirement of 49 properties, even those at basement level.

Jenny Lewis, Chair of Lister Housing Co-operative, is delighted, saying: “This project will help reduce our tenants’ fuel consumption, save carbon and support Scottish jobs, without in any way jeopardising our B-listed Georgian tenements – it’s a win-win solution”.

The work is being carried out by AES Ltd, Scotland’s only solar panel manufacturer, based in Forres, and their local installer, Glendevon Energy. But this is just the first step. The project provides a model for others living in historic, protected homes to generate their own free, clean energy. The environmental charity Changeworks is producing a guide to installing all types of micro-renewable technology on older and historic buildings, which will be launched at a national conference in May.

Nicholas Heath from Changeworks said, ‘Nothing like this has ever been done before. Adapting historic properties can be complex, and tenements are one of the most common types of housing in Scotland. Edinburgh has shown a desire to lead the way in sustainability, and this is a fantastic step in the right direction. What’s more, the project can be replicated in historic properties across Scotland.’

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, agreed: “Fuel poverty and sustainable energy are very much on the agenda at the moment. 75% of the buildings within the World Heritage Site are listed, so it is essential to establish good practice and pass it on to the residents who make the Site such a vibrant place. This study will help dispel the myth that historic buildings are neither energy efficient, nor capable of being sensitively retrofitted with sustainable energy measures.”

Renewable energy is free, but installing the equipment can be expensive. Fortunately, grants are available to all Scottish householders wishing to invest in green energy, and can cover up to 30% of the costs. For free, impartial and expert advice on accessing grants and general home energy efficiency, call the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre on 0800 512012.

Edinburgh World Heritage


Scottish Parliament

Hotel Missoni

Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, 5 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh
Contact the EWH : 0131 220 7720

As part of the Renewable Heritage project, a comprehensive good practice guide for householders and professionals is being published in May 2009. This will be launched at a high-profile conference at The Hub in Edinburgh on Friday 15 May 2009.

Changeworks has received funding to lead the project from the eaga Charitable Trust. Additional funding for the pilot project and guidance is being provided by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, the UK Government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 2, and Edinburgh World Heritage. The contract is being managed by the Professional Team of: Lorn Macneal, Architects; David Adamson, Chartered Surveyors/CDM Co-ordinators; Robertson Eadie, Structural Engineers.

The Energy Saving Scotland advice centre South East covers Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, Fife and the Scottish Borders. It helps consumers save energy, carbon and money by providing free, impartial, expert advice on all matters related to energy efficiency, small scale renewables and low carbon personal transport.

The Energy Saving Scotland advice centre South East is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and can be contacted on 0800 512 012.
The Energy Saving Scotland advice centre South East is one of five advice centres in Scotland. The advice centres are funded by the Scottish Government and managed by the Energy Saving Trust.

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