Shining a spotlight on safety and sustainability
SELECT played a key role in the second Green Home Festival, stressing the importance of using a qualified Member to carry out electrical work
The second Green Home Festival not only gave SELECT an invaluable opportunity to speak directly to homeowners about renewable technology, it also meant we could reinforce the message that they should always use a Member to install it.
More than 500 delegates signed up for the five-day renewables event organised by the Construction Industry Collective Voice (CICV), of which the association is a key member.
Held from 14-18 August as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the event delivered 11 in-person and online shows about low-carbon living, with a greater emphasis this year on speaking directly to the public.
SELECT Managing Director Alan Wilson, Director of Technical Services Bob Cairney, Specifier & Client Relations Manager Yvonne Wilson and myself all helped organise things behind the scenes.
Technical Adviser Robert McGoogan was also in the spotlight for the first show of the week, Ingredients for a Greener Kitchen, which advised homeowners how to make their cooking spaces more eco-friendly.
Sharing the stage with Scottish Water, SNIPEF and Scotland’s Home of the Year presenter Anna Campbell-Jones, Robert provided the electrical perspective on kitchen equipment, with pointers on the design and location of appliances and fixtures.
Delivering a vital message
Later in the week, Robert also hosted a special SELECT show, Powering the home of the future, in which he advised on solar PV, battery storage, heat pumps and EV charge points and how homeowners could become ‘prosumers’ by feeding back stored energy to the grid.
In addition to practical advice, the event continued the week’s message of only using competent tradespeople, stressing the importance of seeking out qualified industry professionals who are members of relevant trade associations.
Robert said: “It was invaluable to be able to speak to homeowners and community groups face-to-face and reinforce that they should only ever employ fully-qualified electrical professionals who are Members of SELECT.
“There is still a significant degree of confusion and misinformation around the costs and benefits of low-carbon technologies, much of which hinders people from making informed decisions about sustainable living.
“Therefore, we were all keen to get across the message that competent, trusted tradespeople will deliver quality advice and work – a message which was certainly well received by the members of the public who attended.”
A vision for the future
SELECT staff were also among delegates who attended the opening ceremony on 14 August at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in central Edinburgh, which saw a speech by Minister for Housing Paul McLennan.
The MSP for East Lothian told the assembled audience: “Climate change is the defining issue of our time; the climate emergency is already here and we know that we have to act for our generation and also for future generations.
“However, events such as the Green Home Festival – offering live demonstrations and guidance – can play a huge part in increasing understanding of the changes we need to see in our building stock and of zero emissions heating systems in Scotland.”
Other sessions which drew crowds to Charlotte Square included shows on microwave heating, taking a fabric-first approach to retrofit, garden rooms and offices, community heat networks and converting disused churches.
The event included a dedicated heat pump day, with two separate shows on how to reduce bills, access grants and install the technology, as well as options for hybrid heating. And a webinar also advised what consumers can do to reduce their energy consumption and bills.
As well as trade bodies, guest speakers included representatives from Built Environment – Smarter Transformation, Home Energy Scotland, Page\Park Architects, the University of Edinburgh, Worcester Bosch and Edinburgh Napier University.
Selected presentations from the Green Home Festival are available to download at www.greenhomefestival.co.uk and the webinar on reducing energy usage can be watched again on the Built Environment – Smart Transformation YouTube channel.
INFORMATION IS AT HAND
The Green Home Festival is the latest practical initiative from the CICV since its creation in March 2020. Made up of 28 industry bodies, including SELECT, it has maintained a supply of information, advice and resources while maintaining dialogue with the Scottish Government. Find out more at www.cicvforum.co.uk