Braes gas plan in pipeline to cut bills

Hundreds of homes in the Braes are to get gas central heating to help residents cut their fuel bills.

Falkirk Council has announced plans to install a gas supply and central heating in 238 households in Maddiston.

The area has been identified as a priority by the council following discussions with the area’s community council which raised concerns about the high cost of heating council houses.

Community council convener John Wotherspoon said: “The community council has been approached by some of the residents about the poor heating systems in the council houses.

“Many properties rely on electricity and night storage heaters or old solid fuel heating. Both methods are well recognised as being highly inefficient and expensive. This is despite the fact that there is a gas supply in the village.

“We have been advised that where night storage heaters are installed they are particularly expensive to run. High fuel costs and inevitable fuel poverty is an obvious problem in an area which has so much social housing.

“This is particularly relevant in the Braes given that the area has a high proportion of young families and keeping your house warm is a significant cost.

“We are of the opinion that the council should be sensitive to the need of providing efficient and least cost heating and welcome this news that homes will now be given a gas supply as an alternative, especially at a time when fuel bills are rising.”

The council has picked 238 properties in Craigend Drive, Forgie Crescent, Kendieshill Avenue, Lawson Place, Ochil Drive, Oronsay Avenue, Tarduff Drive and Toravon Drive to have new or replacement gas heating systems installed.

At the moment, 143 of the homes have no gas supply, but assuming that costs can be met by the council, the installation will begin early next year.

A council spokesman said: “Several streets currently have a gas mains, and a connection will be run from the mains to provide gas where required.

“The council has had discussions with Scottish Gas networks with costs awaited for the gas supply and mains. Once received, if the cost is acceptable, it is then planned that gas connections will be laid in early 2013.

“It is proposed that new heating systems could be installed to the homes of council tenants in the spring of 2013.”

Home owners in the affected streets will be able to utilise the new gas mains supply but will have to pay for the connection themselves.