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Switching on residents to energy savings

Issued: 1 Aug 2007

An Alness community could earn itself up to £10,000 if it gets into the habit of switching off lights and other appliances over a year long trial, thanks to a deal local resident groups have struck with Scottish Hydro Electric

West Alness in Ross-shire is to join an energy saving initiative being piloted by Scottish Hydro Electric to give power to local communities to help them, help themselves, save energy.

The West Alness, Firhill, Kirkside, Coulpark and Westford residents groups have been working in partnership with the Alness Initiative and The Highland Council Housing & Property Service to set up the ~West Alness SAVE (Save & Value Energy) Project~ which will see the group employing a full time Energy Advisor to help the hundreds of households in the area reduce their electric bills and learn how they can use their electricity smarter.

Jennifer MacLeod, Chair of the West Alness SAVE Project group, said this is an exciting opportunity for everyone living in the area.

"When we were first approached by Scottish Hydro Electric to see if we wanted to join the pilot scheme we thought of using the funding to provide households with energy saving gadgets but then we got switched on to the possibilities and decided to use the opportunity to teach people about how they can save money for themselves in the longer term," she said.

The SAVE project will be launched in November once an Energy Advisor has been recruited.

Russell Ogg, Scottish Hydro Electric's Efficiency Team Manager, said he was really looking forward to seeing the results of a project where the community takes the lead on saving energy and on bringing their energy bills down.

"Scottish Hydro Electric has been helping individual customers look at how they use and save electricity for some time now, but this initiative means a community is leading the way to help others save energy which is a new idea for us."

"And if the West Alness SAVE Project manages to reduce the community's energy use over a year, as well as funding the project itself, we will reward the group with a bonus payment of up to £10,000 to be spent in the community," he explained.

If you would like more information about the West Alness SAVE Project's Energy Advisor post please contact Helen Houston, Alness Initiative Project Officer on 01349 884224 or e-mail helen.houston@btconnect.com before the post's closing date of 24 August 2007.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme