There’s lots we can do that add up to big benefits for our pockets as well as the planet - Harry Mayers

As well as giving us the chance to highlight what Scotland has done so far, the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow is also an opportunity to raise awareness of what we still need to do.
Harry Mayers, Head of Home Energy ScotlandHarry Mayers, Head of Home Energy Scotland
Harry Mayers, Head of Home Energy Scotland

Climate change is the greatest threat facing the world. It’s not a distant, faraway problem – we’re seeing the effects here in Scotland. Together, we all have a responsibility to help mitigate its effects and to take action to help us reach net zero; which is when the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere balances with the amount we’re able to take out.

It’s not all doom and gloom. We’ve taken serious strides to tackle climate change. In the last 30 years we’ve more than halved Scotland’s emissions and many actions like recycling, reducing energy use and travelling more sustainably have become normal.

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But did you know that the way we heat our homes contributes to around 21 per cent of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions? Or that a poorly insulated home can lose more than half of its heat through its roof and walls?

These are all challenges that we as individuals will need to meet. The good news is that there’s help available to do it. What’s more, tackling these challenges will benefit your pocket too – and that’s especially important as we face rising energy bills and anxiety about the costs associated with being at home more.

Where should you start if you’re thinking of making changes? The Scottish Government’s free energy advice service, Home Energy Scotland, is a great option. They’ll help you navigate the range of grants and financial support available to make your home warmer and more energy efficient – from Warmer Homes Scotland funding, which can help people on lower incomes to benefit from around £5,000 in energy saving home improvements, to interest-free loans. They can also help with advice on improvements which have bigger impacts on emissions, like upgrading gas boilers to heat pumps or moving to an electric vehicle.

These can seem like big steps (although like recycling and sustainable travel, they’ll become normal too), but Home Energy Scotland can also recommend quick actions we can easily take. For instance, did you know that installing a full set of heating controls with an existing boiler could save you £70 and 305kg of CO2 a year? Or how drying your clothes on the washing line instead of in a tumble drier could save you £35 and 50kg of CO2 a year?

These changes may seem small, but the CO2 saved in those examples is the same as a return flight from Edinburgh to Oslo! If we all took these actions, we’d help to mitigate climate change and help Scotland reach net zero.

There’s lots we can do that add up to big benefits – for our pockets as well as the planet. The Scottish Government’s Let’s do Net Zero campaign has been raising awareness of the different ways we can help to tackle climate change, by making changes to the way we eat, travel, buy things and use energy. We all need to seize this opportunity to make some changes and continue to reduce Scotland’s emissions.

Find out what you can do to help tackle climate change and save money by calling Home Energy Scotland for free on 0808 808 2282 - or visit

Harry Mayers, Head of Home Energy Scotland



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