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Saving carbon with Gate Church International

People speaking at a community event

Gate Church International is a vibrant church group in Dundee. Their carbon saving project is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund. It aims to improve energy efficiency in their church building and across their community by supporting those in fuel poverty.

Gate Church International is a member of Eco-Congregation Scotland and aspires to be Scotland’s greenest church. Their work focuses on delivering engagement events and home energy efficiency visits to vulnerable people within their community, which often results in referrals to Home Energy Scotland.

Gate Church International started working with Home Energy Scotland in 2014, after receiving their first Climate Challenge Fund grant, and the partnership has flourished ever since.

The partnership means community members can access free home energy efficiency resources, and check if they’re eligible for government grants for further improvements. As Lynsey Penny, Gate Church International’s Project Coordinator explains:

“Our relationship with Home Energy Scotland has been invaluable, from steering us towards the correct training programmes, to giving their advice when we needed it. And all the resources they create for community groups have been so helpful!”

Gate Church International used part of their Climate Challenge Fund grant to make a range of energy efficiency improvements to their building. They were supported by Resource Efficient Scotland who produced an energy audit of the identified measures that the group included in their grant application.

One of the tools Gate Church International found most useful was the Home Energy Scotland referral portal. The online tool allows organisations to refer clients to us for advice and grant eligibility checks. Gate Church International refer two or three people a week to us, a quick and easy process which only takes a couple of minutes.

There’s no doubt that the Carbon Saving Project has had an effect. In 2017/18, Gate Church International saved more than 19 tonnes of carbon dioxide. After making all the energy efficiency improvements in their building, they reduced gas usage by 63%, electricity usage by 67% and water usage by 20%. They have also helped people in fuel poverty to reduce carbon emissions, lower their energy bills and support them to get out of long-term debt.

The heart-warming examples of community members who have benefited from life-changing home improvements really demonstrate the value of the partnership, as Lynsey explains:

“We referred one particular client that we met through a food bank. He ended up getting all sorts of energy efficiency measures, including cavity wall insulation and a new boiler. He said it had completely changed his life! With help from Home Energy Scotland, it means turning on the heating isn’t quite so expensive and can help people to reduce their fuel debt.”

We work closely with community groups and partner organisations all over Scotland. Find out more about partnering with us.

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