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Funding boost for energy projects

Funding of almost £3 million has been awarded in the last year to 25 green energy projects aimed at tackling fuel poverty.

The cash came from the Scottish Government's £50m Warm Homes Fund, which provides grants and loans to help with the cost of installing renewable energy systems.

Among the organisations to benefit was the West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative. It received a loan of £1.5m towards a £7.5m scheme which aims to connect 543 homes in Cambuslang to a renewable biomass boiler.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: "Rising heating bills are a real concern for households across Scotland and the Warm Homes Fund is a key part of what the Scottish Government is doing to help."

David Stewart, policy manager at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: "We welcome the Warm Homes Fund as a potential source of (loan) funding to support renewables projects that can help address fuel poverty by providing finance to meet the capital costs of investing in renewable energy projects."

Cash from the Warm Homes Fund is available until March 2015, and Energy Saving Trust Scotland director Mike Thornton urged councils and housing associations to see if they could benefit.

He said: "Many people the length and breadth of Scotland will have warmer, more efficient homes and lower fuel bills."

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