Duns is on a mission to save the planet!

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Well, there’s nothing wrong with ambition, and the charity, A Heart for Duns (AHFD), has been quick in taking up the Climate Change Challenge.

It is now eight months into a year’s project funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), with matched funding from LEADER, Scottish Landfill Communities Fund, managed via BCCFEn, and Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund.

The first phase of the project is now complete.

It involved building works to the Volunteer Hall Duns, owned and managed by AHFD for the Duns community.

The work involved a new heating system, insulation, LED lighting and control systems.

The large drill hall and offices are now warmer, noise levels are lower and the hall looks fabulous too.

AHFD is also able to track and log energy usage and calculate reductions in carbon emissions, and will continue to do so.

The second phase has begun.

This could involve most of the community, and, potentially, if everyone made just a few small changes to how they conserve and use energy, it could make a big difference to Duns and District’s carbon footprint, and save people money.

Too good to be true? No, and it really is a simple process.

It involves home-energy visits that offer a free advisory service from an experienced energy advisor.

These advisors are from AHFD, with no hidden agenda to sell or coerce people into buying anything, just to give good advice.

They will provide advice about making energy savings that can save you money, help with comparing energy providers, support with working your heating systems efficiently, or advice on installing renewable electricity such as solar panels.

One couple who definitely benefited from a home energy visit were Alexander and Joan Wilson.

Joan explained: “Our household was one of the first to be visited by AHFD energy advisor.

“We read through a simple questionnaire and talked about energy use, our central heating system, double glazing, loft insulation and so on.

“One of the issues that emerged during our conversation was the draughtiness of the polished floorboards in the main living room.

“When the house was recently renovated, the lovely old pine boards were taken up to install new pipes for the central heating system and some boards were not returned to their previous positions, creating many irregular gaps, some quite large.

“We had just assumed this was a price you paid and put down a few rugs. Our advisor said she would do the research online to find a product that was a solution for our problem, and best value.”

Joan continued: “We were surprised that there were so many different products you could use to stop draughts.

“The advisor emailed the results, we chose a product and she even helped us install it.

“It was so quick and effective. There were also other products that increased the efficiency of our radiators which she helped us with.

“The packaging of the product that stopped the draughts included the following information: your main living room can cost a quarter of your total heating bill.

“We have calculated that the total area of gaps in an average room with bare boards can be 50 x 50cm, which is like having a window wide open.

“Preventing floor-level draughts creates a uniform temperature in your room so you can lower your thermostat by one or two degrees and still have warmer feet, which we did... and now have warmer feet.”

She added: “We have recorded some baseline readings from our electricity and gas metres and will continue to do so now we have made these improvements.

“We expect to see reductions in energy use reflected in charges from our energy supplier making a small, but overall significant contribution to decreasing Duns’ carbon footprint, and saving our planet.”

To find out more about A heart for Duns Climate Change project go to www.facebook.com/Aheartforduns.ccfproject.

Or if you would like to arrange a home visit email ccf@aheartforduns.org or telephone 01361 884935.