Alford insulation

Donside residents are set to benefit from a new scheme which is offering free home insulations.

Members of the AB33 Alford postcode area are being offered free insulation in a new deal arranged by Gordon Rural Action with the enthusiastic support of Alford Community Energy, Donside Community Council and the Marr Area Partnership. Insulation is being provided by A & R Hepburn (Engineering) Ltd which is part of the Richard Irvin Services Group. This free offer is thanks to the sponsorship of Scottish Hydro through CERT funding.

Bill Slee of Alford Community Energy said: “This is an opportunity for people in Mid and Upper Donside that should not be missed. Improving insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways of saving on energy bills. The imminent changes in public support for insulation mean that we cannot expect such opportunities in the future. If you have no insulation or have poor insulation, here is a chance to do something about it at zero or heavily subsidised cost.”

Yvonne Buckingham, chair of the Donside Community Council, agreed that this was an important initiative for the residents of Alford and surrounding villages.

“In these times of economic difficulties it is important that we use every means to reduce our spending on energy. Energy costs will continue to rise and will be a drain on household expenditure, especially those on fixed incomes,” she said.

The insulation is being promoted by Gordon Rural Action who are building on the success of the existing scheme in Huntly by expanding the area to include the Alford area too.

The insulation is free to all income groups and includes standard loft insulation, insulation-top-ups to 270 mm and cavity wall insulation. For larger houses with more than four bedrooms there might be a small charge made. Suitable properties should have standard loft spaces or cavity walls. As the special deal is available only till September residents are urged to apply soon.

Loft insulation can save up to a quarter of heating costs. Cavity wall insulation can save up to a third of heating costs. Insulation keeps homes warmer in the winter and helps prevent overheating in the summer. This scheme is available to all owners and occupants of homes in the area but not Council or Housing Association tenants as these properties have their own insulation arrangements.

The usual costs for combined loft and cavity wall insulation for a three bedroom house would be £700. Loft insulation usually costs £300-400 and top up loft insulation costs £200. Only the insulation and its installation is free. Any “enabling measures” such as adding or enlarging a loft hatch, access equipment and installing loft vents if required, would need to be charged for. Cavity wall insulation is not possible if cavities are less than 50mm wide or have variable width. Hepburn’s free survey will advise you of any enabling work that might be required.

For more information contact Gordon Rural Action at 01466 793676 or

Home Insulation advice drop-in/phone-in sessions with Mary Scott are held at Gordon Rural Action, Huntly Business Centre, Gordon Street, Huntly on Tuesdays and Fridays 10.30–12.30.