Glasgow residents union make major breakthrough in getting an energy price freeze

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Wyndford Residents Union have made major headway in their campaign to freeze their energy prices for around 1900 homes in Maryhill.

A tenants union in Maryhill, Glasgow, have managed to secure a ‘financial support package’ from their energy supplier after the community was thrust into fuel poverty from a 50% increase back in April of this year.

Wyndford Residents Union have been campaigning for months after their energy supplier, SSE, instituted a price hike in the low-income, high-density area of Wyndford in Glasgow.

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Since 2012, Wyndford Housing Estate has benefited from the installation of a 1.2MWe combined heat and power (CHP) system - an innovative energy plant that was touted to reduce energy costs by 25% for 1900 homes in the area.

The CHP system generates electricity which is exported back into the national energy grid, and contributed to 30% of Glasgow’s carbon reduction target when it finished construction in 2012.

Wyndford Residents Union claim that when the council were canvassing for participants in the scheme, it was touted as a way to ‘end fuel poverty’ in the area, but have since seen the implementation of a 50% price increase by third-party energy supplier SSE in April.

After four months of campaigning, which included the involvement of three local MPs and MSPs, protests outside the CHP station, and demonstrations outside the SSE’s shareholder meetings. the union has managed to negotiate a ‘financial support package’ for the 1900 local homes affected.

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Resident’s and union representatives have yet to be told the specifics of said package, but are determined to keep campaigning until they settle on a price freeze.

Nick Durie, membership secretary for Wyndford Residents Union, said:”There is absolutely no commercial justification for the price gouging we’re currently seeing from the SSE.

“Our homes don’t run on basic gas boilers, they’re heated via the power station, which actually makes money for SSE from the sale of electricity into the national grid, and a byproduct of that process is hot water, which is piped round our homes to provide heat.

“Other countries have similar systems, and their heating is essentially free, but SSE are instituting this price increase as if we’re all running gas boilers. The very mission and purpose of our scheme was to end fuel poverty in the area, and now by our calculations 100% of people in the area, are in fuel poverty.

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“The thing we’re most certain about is ending the 50% price increase. We literally can not pay for this and there is no justification for it.

“Our plan going forward is to join the don’t pay campaign, and while we’re not saying don’t pay yet, we are advising all of our members to cancel their direct debit with their energy supplier.

“The SSE have been given a 30 year lease on the power station, and we don’t know what the terms are.

“The executives don’t understand what it’s like to live without a tenner. It’s clear that they’re not interested in our scheme, but only interested in maximising shareholder wealth.”

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