CLYDEBANK’S MSP is full of praise for a local housing association after its initiative which has resulted in reduced costs for its tenants, and extra money to spend on community-based projects.

Eight years ago, the director of Knowes Housing Association, Pierre De Fence, initiated a scheme to install solar PV panels and thermal external cladding on many of their tenanted and owner occupier properties in Faifley.

This has resulted in total annual savings of £48,900 to help reduce fuel poverty, and the scheme generates surplus energy which is sold back onto the electricity grid with the surplus budget used to fund community projects.

The Board of the Governing Body of OFGEM have been so intrigued by the initiative in Faifley that they travelled up from London recently, accompanied by their chief executive Dermot Nolan.

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OFGEM used the visit to find out more about the work Knowes HA do in the community, particularly in relation to their solar scheme and the support offered to tenants on energy efficiency.

And now, the housing association are researching other innovative ways to create income for the community.

Local MSP Gil Paterson, who has submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament to congratulate the housing association, said: “This is a fantastic scheme that has resulted in real, concrete advantage for Knowes Housing Association’s residents.

“Not only do they benefit from reduced energy costs they also have the added dividend of extra funds to improve their community.

“I’m really pleased that the excellent work Pierre and his staff have done on this has received recognition in terms of the visit from the OFGEM Board and chief executive.

“Their work most certainly deserves to be recognised and celebrated and to that end I was happy to submit a motion to parliament to raise awareness of their initiative.”