Checklist for Reducing Energy and Carbon Emissions

Reduce the energy needs and carbon emissions of your community building

We are often asked where the path to Net Zero begins, but there is so much information available that it can be difficult to know where to start. In order to help you get started with lowering your emissions and your energy consumption, we have prepared a checklist:

  • ✅ First, organise an energy audit.
    • Currently, Business Energy Scotland provides audits to small and medium enterprises free of charge.
    • An energy audit will generate a number of recommendations and help you to decide what to prioritise. Even an B-listed building like Glasgow Women’s Library was able to make significant changes.
  • ✅ Find what funding is available to improve the structure of your building.
    • GCVS runs a directory of environmental grants which is updated every month.
    • The CARES scheme provides capital funding for many insulation and renewables projects, so get in touch with them for advice.
    • LED lighting is a good place to start and uses much less energy.
  • ✅ Consider low and no-carbon alternatives to gas heating. First prioritise insulation, including windows.
    • You will use less energy for heating if less escapes.
    • Using heat pumps in place of boilers emits 60% less carbon, but requires proper insulation.
  • ✅ Consider who supplies your energy.
    • Some suppliers use ‘greener’ energy sources than oil and gas – your emissions will be lower, especially with renewables.
    • The oil and gas market changes rapidly, and the energy price from renewables and ‘greener’ sources varies separately from oil and gas caps.
  • ✅ Consider solar panels if your roof is suitable.
    • CARES funds projects to install them.
    • Solar energy cooperatives, like Community Energy Glasgow, install solar panels and redistribute profits from the energy generated to their members.
  • ✅ Reducing your energy use.
    • Install a smart meter to have more control and knowledge of how much energy is being used and when.
    • Your Energy Audit will have covered how energy is used in your buildings; is the heating on in rooms that aren’t used?
    • Get your team involved in becoming ‘green champions’ reviewing energy usage, energy bills, waste content, and so on. GCVS and Business Energy Scotland can provide support and training on this.
  • ✅ 80% of third sector groups have no environmental policy – so, if you don’t have one, that’s an important first step. Contact us for help on this.
    • The most meaningful commitment to include is to regularly review your environmental impact. Cost and emissions changes will then be tracked.
    • Encourage your whole team to be on board – energy saving is everyone’s job.
  • ✅ As part of your environmental policy, you want to write up an environmental management system. This is a document which details the steps you take to manage energy use, energy efficiency, waste, reuse and recycling, procurement, and so on in your operations.
Red Sandstone Tenement Flats in Glasgow


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