North Lanarkshire takes action to remedy old and cold homes

A local authority in Scotland is acting to make its older solid wall housing stock warmer this winter. North Lanarkshire Council is applying a new insulation system called Matilda’s Blanket, which has already proved effective in combatting cold and damp in social housing across England, as well as a tower block in Glasgow.

The retrofit will help the council bring the first tranche of more than 200 of its properties up to the new Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH).

North Lanarkshire Council’s announcement comes after an alliance of more than 50 civic organisations called on the Scottish government to take a long-term approach to address the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes. Facilitated by the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland, the alliance has called on the Scottish government to commit to bringing all homes in Scotland up to a minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of C.

Des Murray, head of housing property with North Lanarkshire Council said it was achieving good results from the retrofit: “People already staying in our homes fitted with this product have noticed a significant difference in both warmth and lower fuel costs and we are looking forward to expanding this programme to other suitable locations.”

While traditional internal wall insulation (IWI) systems are not recommended in the guidelines for EESSH, because of the potential for disruption to households, Matilda’s Blanket can be fitted without wet trades or associated upheaval, removing the need to displace tenants during works. The company’s SAP modelling of Scottish housing types has shown that energy usage in gas-heated flats can be reduced by between 33% and 43% by using Matilda’s Blanket, with electric-heated properties in line to save 50% or more on energy bills.

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