What is LEAP and who am I?

Edhan for LEAP energyLEAP is a charitable, non-profit making organisation operating throughout Renfrewshire, delivering carbon cutting projects and initiatives which offer cost saving in your home and encourage people to take positive action within their own lives for the environment. Established nearly 10 years ago, LEAP was set up when climate change was a more marginal issue.  As LEAP has grown so too has the public awareness about the impact of climate change on the environment. LEAP also focuses on helping people on lower incomes, tackling fuel poverty in local areas, reducing people’s energy bills which also in turn links to climate change.

In partnership with LEAP I will be writing about various topics throughout the year. I’m Edhan, I’m 20 years old and currently in my third year at St. Andrews University studying Geography with a focus on human impacts and sustainability. I grew up in Lochwinnoch and have always been keen to be involved in projects close to my heart near to home.   I am going to be releasing articles on the LEAP website every month, talking about up-and-coming projects and ways in which you can make small changes to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

This month I’d like to talk a bit about what I found out when I visited the LEAP team at their Bridge of Weir office, to understand better what they do locally.

One of LEAP’s main services is to carry out Home Energy Checks in people’s homes. These are free of charge and take around an hour, they involve one of LEAP’s energy advisors coming to your house to assess ways in which you could make your home more energy efficient. These changes in the home can often be subsidised or made free with government and other grant funding.  LEAP is able to offer a variety of subsidised solutions from insulation and draught proofing to making changes in energy sources which I will go on to speak about in more detail in future months. These home energy checks are very worthwhile and I would encourage anyone to take advantage of having one done in your home as soon as possible. They reduce your own home carbon footprint as well as saving you money and make your home more comfortable to live in. Simply get in contact with LEAP and express an interest!

I have also found LEAP very capable of providing advice on energy use in the home, encouraging people to use different sources of energy such as heat pumps, solar panels, wind turbines and even grants to change old, inefficient boilers. The organisation also works alongside Citrus energy, a social enterprise energy comparison site, which removes the bias which can be found on other comparison sites due to the pressure of the larger energy suppliers, and really does find the best value energy plan for you.

Another area of LEAP’s community work is the Car Club – the road to car freedom! This allows members of the community to hire electric and hybrid cars by the hour.  These cars often have a much lower carbon footprint compared to each individual owning vehicles and avoiding the added costs and hassles of car ownership. There is a lot of evidence to show this has a positive effect on the environment, members are more likely to take public transport and more conscious of journeys they are making and if they are necessary or could be done on foot or bike. Along with the Car Club, LEAP is also promoting more bike use with an E-bike scheme as well as bike swaps which have been very successful organised across Renfrewshire.

LEAP is a great project to get involved with, they work alongside many other sustainable living organisations within Renfrewshire and beyond;

Over the coming months I will be writing about many different topics linked with LEAP and sustainable living;

  • Recycling and the change in bins
  • Dietary choices and going Cow free
  • Eco bricks
  • Palm Oil
  • Dog Food and Insects
  • Gum drop bins
  • Single use plastics
  • Sustainable home living: what works?
  • Music Broth musical instrument library
  • Tree Planting and Conservation with EADHA
  • Tradable energy quotas
  • Sustainable Christmas

Look out for my next article on Recycling and the new Renfrewshire bin scheme!