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Energy efficiency boost for council buildings; FINANCIAL.

Highland Council says it could save up to PS600,000 annually on energy bills thanks to new interest-free finance to invest in efficiency measures such as solar panels, upgrading inefficient oil boiler systems and LED lighting.

The PS3.5m interestfree loan is from government-funded Salix Finance and is the largest awarded in Scotland.

It match-funds the council's investments in energy efficiency to create a PS7 million Energy Efficiency Fund.

The council is currently rolling out a programme of solar panel installation on properties in its estate, with the intention of offsetting spiralling energy bills.

These include corporate buildings, schools and leisure centres.

Buildings need to have a southerly orientation and appropriate roof condition to be in line for the panels.

They work in daylight, rather than requiring full sun, with the council expecting bulk purchase discounts to add to the project's viability.

Plans for groundmounted solar arrays in Alness and Tain are at the tendering stage.

The council says it is looking at its land portfolio for areas where solar arrays would be suitable and could be used to supply nearby businesses as a form of income generation.

Councillor Gordon Adam, chairman of the council's commercial board, said: "The council must reduce its consumption of energy to protect us from future increases to our energy bills, therefore helping us protect our frontline services"."

"Helping us protect our frontline services"

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Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Date:May 27, 2019
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