Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands congratulated Ulladale residents who met officials from SSE and Albyn Housing Society to seek an end to huge heating bills for their modern 'affordable' houses.
Mr Gibson offered to set up a round table meeting after residents spoke out to the Ross-shire Journal. They approached his colleague Cllr Jean Urquhart when there electricity bills went sky high. Calum Macaulay chief executive of Albyn and Greg Clarke and his team from Scottish and Southern Energy met with eight residents last Monday 28th February who were able to attend to discuss a way out of spirally debt that has plagued many of them and several of their neighbours.
"I offered to set up this meeting. It was a frank exchange of views. Albyn learned a lot about the residents' concerns and about the flaws in their wet electric heating system that was also installed in Strathpeffer, Ft Augustus and Kiltarlity and perhaps by other housing associations across Scotland just three years ago.
"SSE promised to work with residents to ensure new meters were installed to replace faulty ones, to offer advice and help to heat their homes more efficiently. SSE has already pledged to plan longer smaller payments to cover arrears.
"I hope that this is the start of a new chapter for Ulladale Crescent. I will be keeping in touch with the residents and the agencies to see that progress is made. I will also inform the Housing Minister Alex Neil of the wider problems that have emerged for affordable homes. They may be affordable to build but must also be affordable to heat."