Day in the Life: Home Renewables Advisor
Published: 10 Oct 2014
I don’t have a morning ritual as such; it’s just a case of having a coffee and heading off either to my first visit or to the office depending on the diary. Because my job is about assessing people’s energy use and needs in their own homes I’m on the move quite often. I usually get one visit done in the morning.
We carry out free home energy assessments, taking time to assess the property’s energy consumption and advising the owners on the best options for them.
After that, I catch up on phone calls and make my way to my next appointment.
Prior to this job, I was an estate agent, so I’m quite used to appraising people’s homes. Now though, I do this in much more detail and it’s a great feeling being able to tell someone they can save money and advise them on how to go about doing it.
Most of the houses I visit are north of Inverness, so in the winter I listen to the radio and check the weather before I go. In the summer, the only hazard I have to deal with is increased tourist traffic.
Lunch is pretty basic for me. Because I’ve got such a large area to cover I tend to just have a sandwich on the way to the next appointment.
The scenery in this area is stunning so I do like to stop and take a few photographs when I can.
I regularly come across herds of deer and abandoned ruins, which I love taking pictures of. In Gairloch there’s a sign that says, “Big Sand (No Beach)”. That’s the kind of thing you can’t drive past without taking a picture.
Another home visit – each takes about two hours, depending on the size and type of property. No two visits are the same. Typically, I’ll look at the roof space, check what kind of walls are installed to determine what kind of insulation they’d be suitable for, assessing the windows and discussing with the homeowners what they may want to consider and how to go about doing it.
People really appreciate the advice and sometimes I’ll be invited to join them for a cup of tea or something, just so they can chat about their options a bit more.
We also encourage people to join the Green Homes Network once they have installed a system, so people interested in renewables can arrange a visit to see how they work.
Later in the afternoon is when I like to get my outreach work done.
We work with people struggling to heat their home, so I’ll head down to the food banks, carers and health organisations to let people know we’re there and to see how we can help them.
There’s a real sense of reward when you’re able to help lift somebody out of debt or help them change their habits to save money.
After that, I’ll return to the office, catch up on paperwork and phone calls and check where I’m going the following day.
I don’t watch television, so I spend my time with the family or out in the garden. The kids are grown-up now, so it’s just the better half and the three cats at home. One of the cats has just been diagnosed as obese – I feel like a bad parent!
Before bed I tend to check the weather – just in case I’m facing an arduous drive in the morning.