Nearly five hundred families in Paisley are expected to save around 20 – 30 percent on their energy bills thanks to an innovative project to replace a 1960s district heating scheme with a new energy efficient system.
The £6.8million project, currently underway in the Charleston area of Paisley, will replace the existing scheme with a state-of-art energy efficient biomass heating system, as part of a partnership between Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Gas.
Up to 500 homes in the area share a district heating system which was installed when the properties were built in the 1960s.
Now, residents of Calside Court, Hamilton Court, Rowan Court and Union Court high rise blocks, and the seven maisonette blocks in Alice Street and Calside, will see this replaced by a new, energy efficient biomass boiler which runs on wood pellets.
Each home will have conventional radiators fed from the new central boiler, which will also provide instant hot water to each property.
External insulation is also being fitted to the homes, to improve their energy rating and keep more of the heat in.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan visited the site to see the progress being made. He said: “Rising fuel costs are one of the main causes of fuel poverty with many families struggling to pay their bills. This council is committed to tackling the causes of poverty in our communities and this scheme will provide real benefits to hundreds of local people.
“This is a major project that will benefit hundreds of households currently sharing an outdated and costly heating system.
Not only will this save people money on their heating bills, it will make these building more modern and sustainable for years to come.”
Steve Gapik from Scottish Gas, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Renfrewshire Council and we are certain that this project will make a real difference for the residents of Charleston. Our funding will make a huge difference to local people – making sure their homes are warm and comfortable this winter and helping to keep energy bills down.”
In addition to the expected energy savings the servicing and maintenance costs for the new system will reduce significantly for both the Council and the 160 owners in the blocks. Also, by converting from gas to biomass, the project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by around 1,100 tonnes each year.
The improvements are being fully funded through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which means there is no cost to either the Council or the owners. ECO requires energy suppliers to provide energy efficiency measures to people living in hard to heat homes and lower income and vulnerable households. ECO is part of the government’s strategy for cutting the amount of greenhouse gases generated from burning fossil fuels.