HUNDREDS of tenants in Greenock's Broomhill were left without heating and hot water due to problems with a £7 million biomass heating system.

Greenock councillor Colin Jackson said 500 residents living in River Clyde Homes properties were affected.

They were left without heating and hot water on Friday and Mr Jackson fears this will not be the last time supplies fail.

He said: "On Friday night I received several calls from residents saying that they had no hot water or heating.

"I called the service desk and it was confirmed the biomass boiler had broken down again.

"I have now written to RCH for an update on the situation and am awaiting a reply.

"Unfortunately given the ongoing problems and the numerous previous complaints since this biomass boiler was installed, I fear this is a situation residents are going to encounter again and again."

Bosses at RCH have apologised to residents but they say the problem was quickly fixed and defended the energy system on the estate.

Heather McIlroy, their energy and compliance manager, said: “The biomass at Broomhill, along with the external insulation works, has seen residents enjoy significantly reduced fuel bills since being installed.

"Unfortunately, over the holiday period there were two short periods when the system failed due to power surges that were outwith our control.

"The first incident caused some damage which resulted in the failure of the emergency back-up on Friday.

"The issue was fixed within 40 minutes of being reported.

"Our contractors are working to resolve the problem and we are liaising with Scottish Power to identify the source of the power outages.

"We do, of course, apologise to all those customers affected for the inconvenience caused."

Back in February 2018, River Clyde Homes acknowledged problems with their flagship £7m heating system after the Tele highlighted the plight of residents.

The biomass boiler was opened by energy minister Paul Wheelhouse back in 2016 and hailed as groundbreaking.

Councillor Jackson added: "Last year our MP Ronnie Cowan and MSP Stuart McMillan were contacted by and met with the chairperson of Broomhill Tenants' Association and made aware of system failing.

"I have asked both of them what representations they made on behalf of the Broomhill residents and what response they received from RCH.

"I have also asked that they support a thorough investigation into why this state of the art system keeps failing."