Ormlie Community Association

The Group
Ormlie Community Association Ltd, founded in 1997, is based in the Ormlie estate on the western edge of Thurso, Caithness.  In 1998 a community survey was carried out to develop a profile of residents, their situation, and what they would like to see in the community.

What were they trying to achieve?
In this particular piece of research the group were concerned with the issue of fuel poverty and were keen to establish the extent to which there was fuel poverty on the Ormlie estate, what were the causes, and what could be done to eliminate fuel poverty in the Cathness area.

How did they go about it?
With partial funding from SCARF, the group visited 75 households and looked at the way fuel was used, which suppliers were used and the insulation levels of the houses themselves.

What did they learn?
The group gathered a considerable amount of evidence about:

  • how different age groups use electricity
  • how lifestyle changes that produce energy savings can be easily identified (although this is not always possible due to illness, disability or infirmity)
  • householders were generally not aware that significant energy savings could be made without switching supplier
  • households do not have the confidence to contact suppliers to have programmers or controls altered
  • there was a significant lack of knowledge of insulation grants or of social tariffs and the Priority Services Register operated by energy suppliers

What difference did it make?
In the first instance the work of the group helped the households involved save an estimated £17,000 in energy consumption.

The group has widened the number of partners they are working with and have secured funding from a number of sources to carry on and further develop their area of work.  Their stated aim is to work with two new communities a year helping them to establish similar projects in their own areas with the aim of reducing fuel poverty.

Angela Craig
Caithness Energy Advice
Davidsons Lane
T:  01847 896524