The national website of Scotland, icscotland.icnetwork.co.uk, reports that a new action plan aims to boost the use of a type of green heating system installed in the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village in Glasgow.
The Scottish Government has launched the blueprint to support the development of district heating systems. The systems work by supplying heat and hot water to buildings through underground piping. They can help cut environmentally harmful carbon emissions but can also reduce heating bills, helping to tackle fuel poverty.
Energy minister Fergus Ewing also highlighted the potential for jobs to be created, thus benefiting the economy. A £10 million district heating system will provide the heating and hot water for the 2014 Games Athletes Village.
John Gallacher, spokesman for Glasgow’s City Legacy Consortium, said the system helped the development win a green energy award. “The Athletes Village development has just won the best green initiative at the Homes for Scotland Awards and much of this is attributed to the innovative district heating energy system which powers all 700 homes in the Athletes Village and provides heating and hot water through underground pipes,” he said. “The energy centre will result in bills around 40% lower than any other power methods, making a huge impact on fuel poverty.”
As the action plan was unveiled, Mr Ewing announced that a Fife housing association will receive almost £3.75 million of European cash towards the cost of installing such a system. Ore Valley Housing Association was awarded the money from the European Regional Development Fund to help with its £32 million renewable district heating system.
Mr Ewing said: “The money invested will have a beneficial long-term effect on driving down fuel poverty, a concern for too many households in an energy-rich nation like Scotland.”
District heating systems are “an important means of achieving both carbon emission and fuel poverty targets as well as contributing to the development of a low-carbon economy and local economic regeneration,” he said.
The action plan will see the creation of a heat network partnership to support projects from the planning stage onwards. It is said the partnership will also help bring in money from sources such as the Green Investment Bank Renewable Energy Investment Fund, as well as identifying other potential sources of cash.