Thermal imaging scheme aims to reducing heating costs

Thermogram of house. Pic by Science Photo Library Houses will be scanned to show where heat is being lost

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Infra-red technology is to be used to "photograph" homes across Scotland in a bid to cut CO2 emissions and make properties cheaper to heat.

The results from thermal imaging of 10,000 houses will be analysed and published online.

The pilot project is being spearheaded by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA).

It was unveiled as ministers launched a discussion paper aimed at addressing major issues in housing policy.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that "fresh thinking" was needed in the case of "sustained and substantial" cuts to public spending.

Start Quote

The use of cutting edge technology will enable housing providers to pinpoint precisely where heat is being lost and to put resources into work where it will have the most impact”

End Quote Andrew Field SFHA

She was speaking as she and Housing Minister Alex Neil visited a housing association tenant in Coatbridge, whose home has been scanned as part of the thermal imaging project.

His landlord, Clyde Valley Housing Association, is one of four Scottish associations taking part in the scheme which could be rolled out across the county if successful.

During the 15-month pilot, thermal imaging will be carried out by IRT Surveys of Dundee.

Experts will then analyse the results to calculate the levels of CO2 emissions and the amount of heat/money being lost through roofs, walls and windows.

It is hoped making the results available via the internet with allow landlords and the Scottish government to gauge the effectiveness of various insulation and energy management measures.

Discussion period

Andrew Field, deputy chief executive of the SFHA, said: "Substantially reducing carbon emissions in a relatively short space of time is challenging and this pilot project is at the forefront of efforts to meet the government targets.

"The use of cutting-edge technology will enable housing providers to pinpoint precisely where heat is being lost and to put resources into work where it will have the most impact, resulting in lower emissions, lower fuel bills for tenants and warmer homes."

The Scottish government has pledged to try reduce carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.

The wider housing policy document unveiled by ministers stressed the need to continue to increase the supply of housing, but added: "This will not be easy - projected government expenditure is set to be significantly reduced."

It also stated: "Imaginative solutions are needed to bring more money into the system and to reduce costs".

A discussion period will run over the summer, which could result in policy changes being put forward before the end of the year.

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