A STRATHEARN village was this week the launch site of a government initiative to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.
On Tuesday, Comrie welcomed the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Richard Lochhead, for the inauguration of the Carbon Reduction Challenge.
Financed by the Climate Challenge Fund, the shaky village is setting an example to other communities across Scotland with the groundbreaking green scheme, which includes a street-by-street home insulation project. This will see Comrie become one of the first places in Britain to dramatically cut its carbon footprint and help save householders money on their heating bills.
The Comrie Development Trust has received almost £300,000 from the fund supported by the Scottish Government along with the Scottish Green Party.
And, Mr Lochhead is urging communities across Scotland to look at what is happening in Comrie and to think about how they can follow suit and take advantage of the money available from the Climate Challenge Fund. He said: “The people of Comrie are setting a fine example for the rest of Scotland.
“This project is enormously wide-ranging and there is much for the people of Comrie to be proud of.
“There is a hugely ambitious community initiative here and not only will there be environmental benefits but social benefits as well, given the level of community engagement.
“I wish Comrie the best of luck with its plans to reduce the carbon footprint and cut household bills. Given the current economic climate, this is a very timely project.
“Such a radical move represents commendable action and there is much to be learned from their innovation.”
The Cabinet Secretary, MSPs, councillors and representatives from other communities soon to follow in Comrie’s carbon reduced footsteps visited the home of the Graham family in Burrell Street where the first energy audit has already been carried out.
A typical Scottish rural home, the Graham’s house was given an energy rating of less than five (ratings go up to ten with new builds generally achieving an eight or nine). The audit also provides a plan of low to high cost measures that the householder can take to increase the ratings and reduce carbon emissions, such as draught proofing, drylining, using condensers etc. In the Graham’s case, if they were to apply the lowest cost measures, they could reduce their carbon emissions from 16.7 tonnes of CO2 per year to 13.5 tonnes, and making the higher cost improvements would reduce this even further to 10 tonnes.
Following the audit, Ruth Graham said: “The Carbon Reduction Challenge has given us the opportunity to review our whole lifestyle in terms of our carbon footprint. We will certainly go ahead with loft insulation, which will help our fuel consumption as well.
“We hope that the small contribution we can make will encourage others to do the same for the benefit of our environment, for us and future generations.”
For further details and reaction turn to page four