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Government enlists local authorities to deliver green deal to fuel poor

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 14 April 2014 at 9:10 am

The government has a new ally in the battle to increase uptake of the foundering green deal: local authorities.

Greg Barker has just announced the winners of the bid for a share of the £88m set aside for their so-called green deal communities scheme. 

The scheme will give 24 local authorities a bundle of cash to improve energy efficiency in their communities, provided they access match funding and come up with a convincing street-by-street plan. 

The local authorities to be given a share of the green deal communities scheme are:

  • East Hampshire District Council
  • Dartford Borough Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • Bristol City Council
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Broadland District Council
  • London Borough of Hillingdon
  • Telford & Wrekin Council
  • Worcestershire County Council
  • London Borough of Lewisham
  • Woking Borough Council
  • Plymouth City Council
  • South Buckinghamshire District Council
  • Manchester (Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council)
  • Ashfield District Council
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Cambridge City Council
  • Peterborough
  • London Borough of Haringey
  • Bracknell Forest
  • Eastleigh Borough Council
  • Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council
  • London Borough of Harrow
  • Bath & North East Somerset Council

The local authorities will use the money to help bolster engagement in green deal measures either by making up any shortfall in green deal and ECO funding or by simply paying for measures themselves. 

Most authorities will use the money to work with private landlords and housing associations to install insulation and double glazing in large blocks of social housing.

Peterborough city council, where 80 per cent of city centre housing is solid walled, will use the funding, along with £8m from ECO and other sources, to install insulation, new boilers and double glazing in 2,000 homes. The homes fall into four areas where there is a high percentage of solid wall homes and high levels of fuel poverty.

Council leader, Marco Cerest, said: "This is a great opportunity for us to improve the quality of housing in Peterborough. 

"I hope landlords come forward and take up the options available. It makes perfect sense for them as they end up with energy efficient homes and happy tenants."

Announcing the bid winners, energy minister, Greg Barker said:

“Properties across the country are leaking hundreds of pounds every year through faulty boilers, draughty windows and insufficient insulation.

“By installing energy saving improvements we can help thousands of hard pressed consumers save energy and lower their bills.

“This is why we’ve quadrupled the green deal communities funding, so that local authorities can help many more people benefit from these improvements.”

But with green deal take up foundering and only 33 new finance plans signed in February 2014, is this a lifeline to a struggling scheme, or just a case of throwing good money after bad?

John Alker, director of policy and communications at the UK Green Building Council, said:

"This new support for the green deal couldn't come at a more critical time, following last month's disappointing statistics on uptake, and will undoubtedly help area based delivery of the scheme. Local authorities are a trusted voice and crucial to getting the message out about energy efficiency. However, the government could go further by stepping in to lower interest rates [on green deal plans] - helping local authorities to make the green deal a more attractive proposition for the consumer - or by introducing long-term structural incentives, such as variable rates of stamp duty."

More information

YouGen guide to the green deal

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