Media Release: Tenants First wins climate challenge fund support

TENANTS First Housing Co-operative has been awarded £43,126 by the Climate Challenge Fund towards the costs of a project to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions across Britain’s largest housing co-operative.

The project, named Co-operation Green, aims to make savings of 75.55 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the first year.

A project officer, currently being recruited by Tenants First, will work with members to help them find ways to make significant reductions in their energy usage.

Commenting on the award, Eleanor McEwan, community development manager at Tenants First, said: “The key to Co-operative Green is our belief in the power of individuals to make a difference.

“The project will be focussing on the actions that our tenant members can take to reduce their energy usage and their carbon emissions.

“Tenants First has 1,380 properties, mostly in the North East of Scotland, so any savings in these individual households has the potential to produce significant results.

“The first stage will be to encourage our members to sign up to Co-operative Green and to make a commitment to change their lifestyles.

“In addition to the environmental benefits, reducing energy consumption is very important from a financial stand point. In recent years we have seen household energy costs more than double.

“With no sign of that trend changing, reducing energy consumption has to be a top priority for anyone living on a fixed budget.”

Co-operation Green is the latest initiative in Tenants First’s commitment to improving the energy performance of its housing stock.

Alongside encouraging energy-saving actions by its members, Tenants First has taken a lead in pioneering innovative technology to improve the environmental performance of its properties.

This programme started with a award-winning pilot project in 2004, building Dutch, factory-built homes in Ballater.

Last year, the housing co-operative completed its first projects in Aberdeen using the Canadian Super E system. The result of 30 years research and development their design focuses on air tightness, insulation and a mechanical ventilation system that makes best use of heat recovery.

Looking to the future Tenants First is currently working with the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow on a thee-year programme to develop a construction system that will meet the highest six-star rating in the Government’s code for sustainable homes.

Tenants First is a non-profit making organisation owned and run by its members for the benefit of members.

The Climate Challenge Fund forms part of the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Action Fund.

The Climate Challenge Fund is administered by Keep Scotland Beautiful and made funding of £27.4million available to communities across the three financial years 2008-11.

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