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Supporting the Afro-Asian Community Energy Challenge in Aberdeen

People taking part in workshop discussion

The Afro-Asian Community Energy Challenge helps people in Aberdeen’s Afro-Asian communities to reduce their carbon footprint and become more energy efficient.

The project is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and managed by Aberdeen Multicultural Centre (AMC). AMC promotes racial harmony and supports all communities, particularly black and minority groups, refugees, asylum seekers and people with disabilities.

The project began in 2015 and was initially aimed at Aberdeen’s Bengali community. Households taking part in the project were given resources and advice to help them save energy, including three energy saving LED lightbulbs and a Bengali energy saving advice factsheet from Home Energy Scotland.

AMC’s Outreach Officer visited each household to complete a Home Energy Check with the householder and to refer them to Home Energy Scotland if they needed some extra support. An energy monitor was installed in each home to help the householder see the benefit of using their appliances efficiently. Meter readings were also taken throughout the project to track each household’s energy saving progress.  

The project was a success because of the strong links and trust between AMC and the community, helped by the technical support and expertise from Home Energy Scotland. Using our online referral portal, AMC could make sure householders who were worried about their energy bills or found it difficult to heat their home got the extra support they needed.

Project manager Dr Narayan Shrestha believes this has made a real difference:

“Home Energy Scotland has made a significant impact on households, especially in providing information on government grants and schemes to help householders make their home more efficient. Home Energy Scotland has also helped householders find cheaper energy suppliers, sort out dampness issues, and switch from pre-payment meters to smart meters.”

In 2015-16 the project focused on Bengali householders. Interest grew and funding was secured to extend the project and support another 160 householders the following year. A mix of workshops and home visits encouraged householders to make simple changes to save energy, like draught proofing, turning thermostats down and taking showers instead of baths.

Mr Yomi Adebowale received help from Home Energy Scotland through this project:

“Home Energy Scotland helped me to understand why my home was always cold and did not retain heat. They also provided me with information on available government grants that can help offset my bills and put insulation in the walls of my home. I am very glad as I now know there is financial assistance that can help bring a permanent solution to my high electricity and gas bills.”

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