Government Launches Green Deal Communities Scheme

25 July 2013

The Government will make £20 million available to local authorities in a bid to further promote its latest energy efficiency initiative, it has been revealed.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has unveiled the Green Deal Communities scheme, a programme designed to help local authorities drive the Green Deal forward on a ‘street-by-street’ basis.

Under the new scheme, local authorities can bid for a slice of a £20 million pot being offered to those that make ‘ambitious and innovative’ moves to promote the Green Deal to local residents and businesses.

Launched in January, the Green Deal was set up to improve the energy efficiency of the nation's housing stock. Energy efficiency measures such as Solid Wall Insulation, Cavity Wall Insulation and Loft Insulation can be financed using the scheme, with householders repaying a loan via their fuel bill.

The Green Deal itself is innovative. Under the scheme, those that take out a loan can expect to repay no more than that which is saved by making the energy efficient changes in the first place. This essentially means a householder will not be out of pocket as a result of the scheme.

With uptake being slow, DECC is looking to further market the scheme and its benefits. The Green Deal Communities scheme is the department's latest approach.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“If we are going to deliver the Green Deal at real scale then we need a ‘street-by-street’ vision and a ‘street-by-street’ plan! It starts here! However, local authorities really know their areas best. They know which streets and properties could most benefit from a Green Deal to improve their energy efficiency, and what local people need to provide them with a greater choice.

“The Coalition is committed to helping hard pressed consumers and this £20 million funding will help more families benefit from the Green Deal, making homes warmer and more efficient, and protecting consumers against rising energy bills.”

Local authorities have until 31 December 2013 to bid for funding.

Suggestions as to some of the innovative approaches that could be taken include: refunding Green Deal assessments for those that make energy efficient changes such as Solid Wall Insulation, Cavity Wall Insulation and Loft Insulation; creating a show home to advertise the changes available; and offering further financial incentives.

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