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Yell energy project starts

The project is now underway in Yell after first being announced last year. Photo: Shetland News

A PROJECT to develop a local heat and energy efficiency strategy (LHEES) for all properties in Yell is now kicking off.

Shetland Islands Council (SIC) has received around £140,000 from the Scottish energy efficiency programme to form the strategy, which will act as a pilot for the Scottish Government.

The funding will enable to the project to run until March next year as it examines the domestic and commercial demand for heat and energy efficiency in Yell with a view to finding ways to meet this from low carbon sources locally.

Last year it was announced that the SIC would use the information in developing a Shetland-wide heat and energy efficiency strategy, which will become mandatory for local authorities.

Work on the Yell project is now beginning, with public events due to take place on the island – which has a relatively high rate of fuel poverty – from late February onwards as the scheme moves into an implementation stage.

Homes and businesses in Yell will also be contacted soon about their energy use.

The council will work alongside international energy consultants Atkins on the project, which will give advice on technical aspects like hydrogen production.

North Isles councillor Ryan Thomson, who is also the SIC’s environment and transport committee chairman, welcomed the news.

“By participating early in the development of a LHEES, the council will be ready for any future statutory obligation in this area,” he said.

“We will also help to inform strategies which can support rural and remote communities in developing low carbon and affordable heating for their communities.”

Shetland Islands Council previously received £500,000 from the Scottish Government’s energy efficiency programme in 2016 to improve the efficiency of 40 properties on Lerwick’s district heating scheme.