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Brae energy survey

| Written by Shetland News

THE DEADLINE is fast approaching for people in Brae to give their views on the village's energy needs.

Locals have until midnight on Sunday (22 April) to complete an online survey as part of a scheme to develop a local energy plan in the area.

The plan will identify ways to reduce energy costs as well as strengthen the local economy, while it will also examine the possibility of Brae moving towards more community owned enterprises which could provide cheaper energy through renewables.

Other targets of the plan include raising awareness about how householders can save money from heating their homes, tackling the high level of fuel poverty in Brae, developing local energy projects and gaining support for funding bids.

Local Energy Scotland is conducting the study with support from Delting Community Council.

Brae is one of four communities in the Highlands and Islands being supported by the European Regional Development Fund to carry out a study as part of the COBEN project. The other areas are Oban, Barra and Vatersay and Drumnadrochit.

Chairman of both the local energy plan steering group and Delting Community Council Alastair Cooper encouraged anyone in the area to respond to the survey.

Two workshops have already taken place with "local ambassadors" for the project.

"We know that Brae has a high fuel poverty rate with some 58 per cent of homes paying more than 10 per cent of their income on home heating," Cooper said.

"Businesses have high overheads in their energy costs and local public transport is limited, with fuel costs continuing to rise. We hope to be able to find solutions through the development of a local energy plan for the Brae area.

"We're really keen to hear from people living in Brae who can give us their thoughts on local energy use and what would be best to help reduce their energy costs.

"The survey responses we receive will help us to develop funding bids that will help to make Brae sustainable in the long term."

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