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Heating our homes, reducing bills, creating new jobs - and saving the planet

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Heating our homes, reducing bills, creating new jobs - and saving the planet

By Jacqueline McLaren

Councillor for the Canal Ward

This week I had the privilege to attend a COP26 event here in the North of Glasgow, organised by our very own ng homes.

The visit was to see first-hand a newly installed District Heating System that ng homes have installed for their tenants in two tower blocks on Balgrayhill Road.

ng homes have housing stock across the North of Glasgow and are a very active landlord. Their aim with this new system is to help residents impacted by the scourge of fuel poverty. Through no fault of their own, too many Glaswegians still struggle to heat their homes.

Two of their 23 storey blocks have recently undergone a massive £25 million retrofit to upgrade the old heating systems and improve fire safety.

The tower blocks were built in the 1960’s and the current heating systems are already nearly 20 years old. This new District Heating System though is revolutionary and smart, controlled by cutting-edge artificial intelligence which can regulate the temperature to meet the demands of the building.

Working alongside cold water mains, again cutting-edge, it uses an Air Source Heat pump which provides savings of up to 60% of heating costs for tenants. And on top of that, it is great news for the planet, reducing emissions and reducing energy consumption by 70%.

It really is incredible.

The works will see six blocks benefit from the installation of the new system, making them amongst the most efficient tower blocks in the UK and the first tenants to have such a system installed in their homes.

The delegates at COP26 would be proud of this housing provider’s achievements in the global challenges we face in the world with climate change.

Systems like this one could be replicated in tower blocks across North Glasgow by other Social landlords with similar housing stock.

It could also be considered when we build homes across Scotland.

It is definitely something which should be discussed for homes fit for a 21st century city and country. One of the things the SNP City Administration wants from COP is to attract the investment this city needs to make those changes that future-proof us for the demands of climate change. Retrofitting our homes and providing new district heating systems is a big part of that and something we’re making plans to have rolled out across the city. But here we are, blazing the trail in the north of the city.

In areas like the North of Glasgow with many on low incomes and living in areas of high deprivation this quite simply could be a game-changer. Other Social Housing Landlords will definitely be following this lead in helping to alleviate fuel poverty within their own housing stock. When we talk about the new green economy, it's about providing our people with the skills in construction to make this happen over the next decade.

If we can bring down the cost of energy bills while lowering our carbon footprint with the introduction of this new innovative heating system during COP26, and at the same provide jobs and training, then it’s a win-win for us all.


As a little add-on, as part of my visit we were picked up by an electric bus which I must say is one of the quietest buses I’ve ever been on, it was pretty impressive.

COP26 gives us the opportunity to look at different ways in which we live, work and build homes for our future generations.

*This story and images featured on Glasgow Times website.

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ng homes is a social landlord based in North Glasgow with properties in Springburn, Balornock, Possilpark and Parkhouse.

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