Stockton-On-Tees Receives Insulation Boost

21 June 2013

Thousands of Stockton-On-Tees residents are set to enjoy warmer homes as the council extends its energy saving initiative.

The GoWarm scheme, which is run by Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council and Community Energy Solutions (SEC), was rolled out in 2012 to help improve the energy efficiency of homes in Stockton and Thornton through the installation of External Wall Insulation. Since then, 1,700 solid wall properties have been retrofitted with the insulation.

It has now been confirmed that the scheme will be extended to cover the entire borough, potentially paving the way for another 5,000 properties to benefit from improved wall insulation.

“We can now look forward to transforming thousands more people’s homes – making them warmer, better insulated and cheaper to heat – and regenerating streets,” explained Cllr David Rose, Cabinet member for the environment at Stockton Council.

“Even in tough times, councils can take innovative and ambitious steps to help the people we serve. Extending this work across the borough and targeting thousands of privately-owned homes shows we are committed to doing things differently.”

The scheme was initially implemented under the Government’s Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) which concluded on 31 December 2012. It will now be operated under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Green Deal banners.

Installation of External Wall Insulation at the 5,000 properties will be fully funded by energy supplier E.ON, making it the UK’s largest fully-funded ECO and Green Deal agreement. The scheme had previously been funded by Eggborough Power Ltd, a smaller Yorkshire-based supplier.

In addition to External Wall Insulation, the GoWarm scheme also promotes the installation of Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation, new heating systems, replacement boilers and updated heating controls.

The news will be a boost to the Government, which is looking to improve the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock by promoting carbon-saving measures such as Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation, and External Wall Insulation.

But Stockton Council is hoping to extend beyond its current scheme. In a guest post for Green Alliance, Rose explained how he hoped to use a ‘City Deal’ to further improve the carbon footprint of the region.

At the beginning of 2012, the Government introduced City Deals across eight ‘core’ cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield. The purpose of these deals was to promote growth but also to look at lowering carbon growth.

By the end of 2013, the Government hopes to have offered a City Deal to 20 more cities, including Tees Valley.

While much of the Tees Valley deal is likely to focus on industry – the region is responsible for 30% of the nation’s process industry – it is also hoped that the local council can continue to help reduce carbon emissions from the residential sector too.

Rose writes: “We have realised that we do not need a distinct new strategy for greening our city deal. We have a golden green thread running through it already, one that holds the key to the Tees Valley’s economic future.”

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