Thursday 30 November 2023

COP28: a key test of the process and Scotland’s climate credibility on the world stage


As world leaders gather for COP28, a coalition of over 60 organisations is calling on the First Minister to seize the opportunity to bolster the international leadership Scotland has shown at previous COPs, by supporting the priorities of countries most impacted by the climate crisis and driving progress by making ambitious announcements on reducing emissions and delivering a fair transition away from fossil fuels.

Mike Robinson, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: 


“2023 will soon be confirmed as the hottest year ever recorded, with increasingly extreme weather devastating lives and livelihoods across the world, yet emissions continue to rise along with temperatures. With current international climate pledges failing to keep the planet below 2 degrees of heating, we need COP28 to step up – to break our perilous reliance on fossil fuels and to deliver much-needed financial support to people around the world who are suffering its worst impacts.   


“However, with the talks being hosted by one of the world’s biggest exporters of fossil fuels, many are very doubtful that we will end up with agreements anywhere near what is needed. In addition, it would appear that the whole COP process is currently in serious jeopardy, with reports that the host nation have been using these talks as a vehicle to promote its oil interests with other nations, which is deeply concerning, and the venue for next year’s talks is still undetermined after another Russia vetoed agreement on the host.

“With this background it is more vital than ever that Scotland continues to play a role in demonstrating leadership on the world stage and pushes ahead with action at home.  The First Minister has confirmed his commitment to strong climate action, but we are yet to see this translate into sufficient investment in the actions needed to reduce emissions quickly and fairly here in Scotland. 


“COP28 presents a key test of climate credibility on the world stage, and to protect this we urge the Scottish Government to get on with the things they can do now, such as reforming the funding system for agriculture, accelerating peatland restoration, making our homes warmer, and enabling more sustainable transport options.


“In addition, we want to see Scotland bolster the leadership it has shown at previous COPs by committing to raise new money for climate finance by making the biggest polluters pay, backing the development of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, and raising global ambition on the need to deliver a just transition.”

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Existing Homes Alliance Open Letter to First Minister

An open letter organised by Existing Homes Alliance (EHA), an alliance of housing and environmental organisations and businesses has been sent to Scotland’s First Minister, Humza Yousef.

The letter is intended to show the range of businesses that support policies for improved energy efficiency and cleaner heating. EHA’s business supporters have signed it, as well as other businesses across the heating and energy efficiency industries. Organisations’ names and logos, including the Energy Agency, appear on the letter.

By signing the letter we are calling on the Scottish Government to deliver on its promise to consult on new mandatory standards and find a place for a ‘Heat in Buildings Bill’ within the next year.

The full press release from Existing Homes Alliance can be found on their website here

The open letter to the First Minister can be accessed here:

Open letter to First Minister October 23

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Climate Manifesto published by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland issue press realease highlighting largest Climate Manifesto

Click here to view the press relase 

Mike Robinson, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said: "the Climate Manifesto is an attempt to identify what we think needs to happen to transition to a low carbon, fairer Scotland." 

You can download the full Manifesto here

Monday 9 October 2023

Energy Agency Proud to be a Finalist in the Ayrshire Chamber Business Awards for Active Travel at Work

The Energy Agency, a leading charitable organisation dedicated to promoting sustainability and energy efficiency, celebrated being a finalist in the Ayrshire Chamber Business Awards for the Active Travel at Work Award. While they may not have claimed the top prize this time, the Energy Agency remains determined to make a positive impact on the community and the environment.

The Active Travel at Work Award acknowledges a business that has encouraged their staff to change their travel habits, becoming a more active and healthier workforce. The nomination is testament to their efforts in advocating for both staff wellbeing and sustainable transport solutions that align with their mission to reduce carbon emissions and promote greener living.

The award ceremony, held on the 6th of October 2023 at Ayr Racecourse, was a night of celebration and recognition for businesses and organisations that have made significant strides in various fields. The Energy Agency's presence as a finalist in the Active Travel category is a reflection of their commitment to fostering sustainable mobility options and reducing the carbon footprint in Ayrshire.

"We are immensely proud to have been recognised as a finalist in the Active Travel at Work Award category at the Ayrshire Chamber Business Awards," said Liz Marquis, Director of the Energy Agency. "Congratulations to the deserving winner who shares our vision for improving staff wellbeing and in turn, a greener, more sustainable Ayrshire. We look forward to continuing our work and making a positive impact on our community."

As the Energy Agency continues its vital work in promoting sustainable living and reducing energy consumption, they remain grateful for the support of the Ayrshire community and are dedicated to making the region a greener and more sustainable place for all. Promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transport continues to inspire and drive change in the region. The Energy Agency extends thanks to Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and their sincere congratulations to all the winners and finalists across the various categories.

For more information about The Energy Agency and their ongoing initiatives, please visit



Thursday 10 August 2023

Energy Agency Publishes Health Impact Study

Health gains from home energy efficiency measures: The missing evidence in the UK net-zero policy debate

Pictured L-R – Paul Slater, Energy Agency Board; Elaine Caldow, Public Health Programme Lead; Liz Marquis, Energy Agency Director; Alan McGonigle, Energy Agency Deputy Director

In partnership with Glasgow University and NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Energy Agency conducted research into the impacts of home energy efficiency measures on resident’s wellbeing and hospital admissions in South West Scotland. The two part study took place over ten years monitoring the health of occupant’s pre energy efficiency works and post installation of External Wall Insulation (EWI). This work, on behalf of South and East Ayrshire Councils, is managed by the Energy Agency.

After a lengthy peer review process, the results have now been published in Public Health in Practice

The findings suggest a small but significant improvement in the health of residents’ and provides evidence that home insulation improvements not only lead to reduced emissions, lower energy bills and a lower carbon footprint, but also a corresponding reduction in hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.

This work also supports the All Party Parliamentary Group for Healthy Homes and Buildings’ call for better measurement of the economic and social impacts of healthier homes. It is one of the few UK Studies to provide evidence that shows the multiple benefits from energy efficiency works; reducing energy demand (and thus household bills), contributing to net zero goals, and alleviating pressures on health service bed-spaces.  This is an exemplar of joined-up policy with political and practical benefits.

Statement by Liz Marquis, Director Energy Agency:

We are delighted that close working with partners allows government funding to be used as effectively as possible to consider all aspects of housing, health and energy to benefit everyone. This practical work also provides real data analysed by academics and the health sector showing the many benefits.

Statement by Elaine Caldow, Public Health Programme Lead:

We know that in order to improve health and wellbeing and tackle health inequalities, we need to ensure everyone has access to a warm, dry, safe, affordable home which meets their needs. The pathway between housing and health is complex, however, home improvements which increase warmth and energy efficiency have the potential to improve health and wellbeing.

The Public Health Team in NHS Ayrshire & Arran has been working with the Energy Agency, in partnership with South and East Ayrshire Councils, to observe the impacts of the Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Scheme on health and wellbeing. This scheme aims to improve the energy efficiency of homes and reduce fuel poverty in the most deprived communities.

Within NHS Ayrshire & Arran, we looked at secondary data over a period of time for hospital admissions for conditions known to be affected by cold or damp homes and observed relatively lower hospital admissions for both respiratory and cardiovascular and circulatory conditions in the areas which received the home improvements, compared to the rest of the health board area. The study also found improvements in thermal comfort following external wall insulation, which was associated with self-reported improvements in physical health. The study is a further step in our understanding of how improving the warmth and the physical environment of our homes can contribute to health outcomes.

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Energy Efficiency Awards Success


At the recent Regional Energy Efficiency Awards for Scotland, held on 23rd June, we were delighted to be recognised for our External Wall Insulation projects.

Our fantastic team will always go the extra mile to help those in need and we are so proud to have won the category for Vulnerable Customer Support.

We were also Highly Commended in the category for Large Scale Project for our work in completing Energy Efficent Scotland: Area Based Schemes projects in Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway.

Tuesday 2 May 2023

Nethermills Hydro Scheme meets expected targets despite unusually dry year

It was our pleasure to welcome South Ayrshire's Community Planning Partnership Board to our Nethermills Hydro Scheme last week. And on such a beautiful spring morning Ayrshire really is a fantastic place to be.

Having been operational for a full year now, it was great to have the opportunity to share some of the lessons learned and data gathered during what has been an unusually dry year. Despite this, our first feasability and hydrological surveys predicted the site could generate 320MWh of electicty and this was fully realised with 321MWh of electricity produced over those first 12 months. 79% of this energy was used by the nearby Riverside Building at Ayrshire college, the remaing 21% being exported to the grid. Once initial capital costs are repaid, any future surplus funds will be used locally for fuel poverty and green energy projects throughout the south west of Scotland.

We would like to thank the CPP Board for taking the time to visit us.