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January 19, 2010

Easdale are green streets ahead

Another island community, and another competition winner in the race to tackle climate change. This time it’s the island of Easdale and the competition is Scottish Gas’s Green Streets Awards. Harnessing renewable energy and the potential of the island’s population was the winning combination that impressed the judges


A community group from Easdale Island has beaten almost 100 other applicants from across the UK to make it to the final shortlist of projects that will receive a slice of a £2 million funding pot as part of the Scottish Gas Green Streets programme.
Easdale Island has applied for funding to install a Wind Turbine adjacent to the Community Hall and Folk Museum, and a Ground Source Heat Pump that will use sea water to power several community buildings. There are also plans to engage with all the residents in the village and carry out both energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations.

Chair of Easdale Island, Keren Cafferty commented on the achievement:
“We think a combination of energy saving, community energy and Scottish Gas will make this project a blazing success.”  
The community group was up against five other projects in Scotland and pitched to the Scottish Gas Green Streets panel at the energy provider’s Training Academy in Hamilton yesterday.  The panel was made up of experts from the Centre for Alternative Technology, Scottish Gas and the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr). 
Projects were judged according to their potential for energy efficiency savings across the entire community, on local renewable power generation, and ability to engage their entire community and mobilise the support of other local residents.

Kevin Roxburgh, Director of Scottish Gas said:
“Scottish Gas Green Streets was established to give people to opportunity to develop innovative projects that save energy, generate energy and actively engage the local community.
“I was extremely impressed with the amount of hard work, effort and creativity from every project that made it through to Scottish regional final. It was really inspirational to see such a strong desire to make a difference to their local community. I look forward to working with likeminded communities going forward.”

Jim Mather MSP Argyll & Bute said:
“This is yet another great example of local people coming together in common cause, making things happen and triggering resource to aid their efforts.
“It will do Easdale good and it can do many other parts of Argyll & Bute good by simply following the model of Easdale, Tarbert and other places, where Community Projects are being tackled and positive transformation being achieved.”
The Scottish Gas Green Streets programme was launched earlier this year when ambitious community energy projects across the UK were invited to apply for a share of a £2 million energy fund.  Nearly 100 projects submitted detailed applications for funding.
Easdale Island is one of 14 projects from across the UK who will all receive a share of the £2 million funding pot.  Their progress will be monitored by the independent Institute of Public Policy Research (ippr) think-tank and the project crowned Britain’s greenest community after a year stands to win a further £100,000 in funding from Scottish Gas.