Whitlawburn is set to benefit from part of a £50million pilot project aimed at heating homes across Scotland.
The West Whitlawburn Housing Cooperative has been selected for the Scottish Government’s Warm Home Fund.
Along with a housing association in the Highlands, the Co-op will now receive Government assistance in helping around 550 households to heat their homes more cost effectively.
The grant provides loans for the installation of renewable energy measures such as biomass, hydro schemes, wind turbines and solar energy heating.
The Co-op will be expected to use any income generated from their schemes to improve the energy efficiency of their existing housing.
The news was announced by housing minister Margaret Burgess MSP last week. She said: ““Rising heating bills are a real concern for households across Scotland. The Warm Homes Fund is a key part of what the Scottish Government is doing to help.
“It will make a real difference to those struggling to make ends meet – helping to cut energy bills this winter and for years ahead.”
Deputy Director of West Whitlawburn Co-op, Stephanie Marshall, said: “For a long time West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative has been concerned that many of our members are suffering significant problems of rising energy bills and heating systems which are difficult to control.
“We are hopeful of developing an innovative solution to these problems through the provision of a biomass energy centre which will provide central heating and hot water to our multi storey and tenement properties which will benefit tenants enormously and significantly reduce carbon emissions.
“With significant financial support in the form of grants and loans from a range of partners, we are cautiously optimistic that this project could commence next year.”
Despite the news, Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP and Shadow Energy Minister, Tom Greatrex said more still has to be done to combat fuel poverty in the area: “It is welcome that West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative will be part of the pilot project, which is similar to projects happening elsewhere in the UK, particularly at a time when domestic energy costs are so high. Improving energy efficiency is very significant in reducing fuel poverty.
“Recent figures show that Scotland has the largest number of households in fuel poverty than any other part of the UK, and almost double that of London.
“Given that responsibility for tackling fuel poverty lies with the Scottish Parliament, the SNP’s record since 2007 is particularly poor.”