PEEBLES is to become the first town in the Borders to benefit from an £850,000 energy-saving project.

Changeworks in Peebles aims to reduce gas and electricity usage and energy bills, improve warmth in local homes and trial new approaches to improve energy efficiency.

As reported in the Peeblesshire News last week, an advice hub will be opened at the Old Corn Exchange on Peebles High Street later this month to enable people to drop in to find out about the help available.

The pilot project, funded by Scottish Government, Changeworks and Scottish Borders Council will also look to promote greener living and working in the area.

Peebles High School will be among those set to benefit from the scheme, with additional loft insulation, thermally efficient glazing being fitted and changes to the heating systems to help reduce energy usage.

Donna Marshall, Peebles project manager at Changeworks said: “Peebles has been chosen because data analysis shows it to be a high energy use town, so there are potentially significant benefits for householders, businesses and community groups across the area.

“Data shows that Peebles householders have 14 per cent higher fuel bills, based on higher energy use, than the national average.

“We want to provide advice and support to householders and businesses to reduce these costs and help make a difference.

“We plan to run specialist advice sessions and workshops over the year from the local hub to help people access free and impartial advice on lowering energy bills and improving warmth in local homes.

“Advice will cover topics such as switching gas and electricity suppliers, insulation and keeping warm in older homes.

“We’re also interested in hearing from local householders and businesses about the type of advice and support they would find most beneficial.”

Councillor Mark Rowley (Cons), Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development added: “This innovative £850,000 project in Peebles, which will act as a pilot for Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme.

“This project provides a real opportunity for local people to save money, improve buildings and reduce carbon emissions.”

To contact the Changeworks team in Peebles, visit their Facebook page, or email