As the country’s main energy suppliers are set to increase their prices by up to 20% this year, The City of Edinburgh Council is doing its bit to help council tenants cut their household bills.

A huge modernisation programme totalling over £600,000 has provided a gas connection and a new and efficient gas central heating system for around 110 council houses in the Gateside area of Kirkliston.

The improvements will save the tenants there around £500 a year on energy.

A further 107 households in Kirkliston who have purchased their homes from the Council are also set to benefit as they have been offered a connection to the gas supply for a significantly discounted rate.

Councillor Norman Work, Vice Convener of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Housing Committee and local ward councillor, welcomed the investment. He said:- “The residents in Gateside have campaigned for many years to have gas installed in their homes and this Council has listened to their pleas by getting a supply put in.

“This could not have come at a better time for many families as in the current economic climate some people are finding it very hard to pay their bills. In some cases, people are torn between paying bills and putting food on the table.

“One major supplier has already announced a sharp increase in prices with others set to follow. This is the kind of investment that makes a real difference to people’s lives, as well as making a contribution to cutting carbon emissions.”

Fiona Alexander, who lives in Maitland Hog Lane, has benefited from the new central heating system. She said: “The new central heating system has been great because we used to have these old electric storage heaters which weren’t good at all because they just ate your money! In fact, they were quite horrendous, but now it’s now much warmer and I’ve really noticed an improvement with my bills.”