Residents of the ‘steel estate’ in Sandyhills have had small sensors fitted in their homes to measure the benefits of different types of insulation in hard to heat homes.
Shettleston Housing Association has teamed up with Future City Glasgow and Strathclyde University to carry out the study which aims to identify the most effective ways to cut heating bills for people in older, poorly insulated properties.
Shettleston HA has been cladding tenants’ properties on the estate and helping owner occupiers access grants to have their own homes done. However, the work has had to be halted due to changes to ECO (Energy Company Obligation) grants.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Future City Glasgow, has written to Chancellor George Osbourne protesting at changes to ECO funding which will stall insulation projects, lead to higher bills for residents and threaten jobs.
Now Future City Glasgow has fitted small sensors in the homes of tenants and owners on the steel estate to measure humidity and temperature indoors and compare it with conditions outdoors. Some of the test properties have been fitted with external insulation but others have not had the work carried out.
Data collected by the sensors is being analysed by researchers at Strathclyde University. The information gathered will be used to show which insulation provides the biggest improvements in energy efficiency and living conditions.
Retired plasterer, George Cameron, was one of the first volunteers to take part in the study. He has had a sensor fitted in his living room and another in his kitchen plus a small weather station erected in his garden.
Shettleston HA clad the exterior of his two bedroom, end terraced house and also upgraded the insulation in his attic.
The 66-year-old said: “Taking part in the study is painless. The sensors are small and don’t make any noise. It took about 15 minutes to fit them and I can’t even see the one in my kitchen as it’s high up above the cupboards.
“It’s great that the project is monitoring the effects of the insulation and that Future City Glasgow is doing something to help people reduce their energy bills. I’m happy to help – it’s for a good cause.”
Councillor Matheson said: “It’s wonderful that city residents are supporting this research to help Future City Glasgow identify the most cost effective ways to help people cut their energy bills and keep their homes warm.
“I’m delighted that Future City Glasgow is able to harness technology to find creative ways to address problems which have a significant impact on the everyday lives of city residents. I hope the results will contribute to a reversal in Westminster policy over ECO funding.”
Chris Cunningham, Director of Shettleston HA, said: “We are very pleased to be involved in this research. Understanding the impact of insulated render systems is vital for the Government to understand the value of programmes like ours. The study will serve to bring home to all parties the need to ensure that funding, from whatever source, is available.”
Future City Glasgow is a Glasgow City Council led, £24million programme designed to show how technology can make life in the city smarter, safer and more sustainable. The city won the funding in a competition run by Innovate UK – the UK Government’s innovation agency.
The team will go on to work with other housing associations including GHA to monitor the benefits of different types of insulation in properties of different construction.
Glasgow City Council: ‘City residents turn homes into research labs’