Scottish Greens' plans for mass home insulation need a rethink – Helen Martin

When we would normally have expected a couple of heat waves throughout April and May, instead we’ve been hit with freezing temperatures, cold winds, hail and snow.

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 4:45 pm
Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie should reconsider plans to increase insulation of homes, says Helen Martin (Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

It’s logical that the Green party, focusing on climate change, is trying to enforce insulation in homes in just a few years’ time. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t possible.

The Evening News has had readers’ letters from those in rural, historical cottages, or traditional country houses, where insulation isn’t possible unless the outside of the building is ruined to accommodate it. Perhaps the Greens don’t realise the same goes for cities, including Edinburgh.

We live in the Grange, a conservation area. Some years ago, an insulation service was subsidised to provide an economic service to home owners.

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Readers letters - Green manifesto is old homes disaster

In our part of the area, the homes were built on the former Earl of Lauder’s estate in 1936. The walls facing onto streets are covered with sandstone coverings, behind which is one brick layer. On the back and sides of the buildings, seen only in gardens, there are two brick layers topped with harling rather than sandstone.

The insulators (who were pumping in tiny, grey, polystyrene balls) admitted it would only work in the harling walls. And when years later, during the installation of our new wooden double-glazing (no uPVC allowed) the polystyrene balls flooded out of the wall and were chucked in a bin! So, insulation gone.

Another Green suggestion is that by 2025 houses not insulated to a certain standard cannot be sold. It seems they may have to re-think that part of their manifesto.

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