Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland hopes to harness home-buyers' spending power to help cut carbon emissions and end fuel poverty.
An innovative scheme just launched gives Scottish home-buyers the chance to work out what their future fuel bills will be before moving in. A group of 250 potential home-buyers will get free energy audits on houses they are considering buying and ideas on energy efficiency improvements.
FoE Scotland will then go back to them a few months later to see if energy efficiency played a part in their final choice and whether they have carried out any of the improvements.
FoE hopes that eventually energy audits will become an integral part of the home-buying process. Over 700,000 Scottish people spend more than 10 per cent of their income on heating, said project co-ordinator Kirsty Shirra. At the same time buildings account for 40 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions.