Boosting energy efficiency

Energy champions at work in the Bettridge Centre
Energy champions at work in the Bettridge Centre

Regular visitors to Newtonhill’s Bettridge Centre will feel the benefit of new insulation and draught proofing in the main hall this winter.

The centre received a £1,537 grant from E.ON’s Energising Communities Fund.

The Bettridge, built in 2003 following a major local fundraising effort, has been at the heart of community life.

Among the groups using it is an out-of-school club, providing for 70 pupils each weekday.

Some of the children recently became ‘Energy Champions’, taking part in a project focusing on energy saving measures and their impact on consumption and cost.

They monitor the effect on room temperatures of keeping internal doors and curtains closed and compare meter readings with lights turned on and off.

Bridget Scott, the centre’s development officer, said: “We get 57,000 people coming into the centre each year, with 20,000 of them using the hall, yet we’ve historically struggled to keep the main hall at a usable temperature.

“We realised that insulation and draught proofing were key, and once we secured the funding from E.ON to go ahead, we decided to combine this improvement work with an Energy Champions project for the children attending the after-school provision here.

“The intention was to demonstrate to the children taking part how much difference could be made to the amount of energy used, and the money this costs, with relatively simple behavioural steps, and for them to take this message home.”

E.ON spokewoman Suzanne Roe, said: “It’s wonderful to hear how the children got directly involved in the centre’s energy efficiency plans and saw for themselves the difference that insulation and behavioural changes can make.”