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Green deal to spur local energy efficiency schemes

Latest figures reveal that 8,371 homes (12.2%) in the Harrogate local authority area have now been insulated under Government CERT scheme, with 4,296 cavity walls filled and 5,466 lofts lagged.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker issues call-to-arms to local authorities to prepare for the launch of the Green Deal later this year, the home makeover scheme aimed at revolutionising the energy efficiency of millions of houses at no upfront cost to the householder.

Local authorities are being encouraged to learn more about the Green Deal, the Government’s plan to upgrade the nation’s draughty homes.

Today, updated figures have been published by the Energy Saving Trust showing the amount of lofts lagged and cavity walls filled under the Government’s current insulation scheme, CERT, on a regional, council and constituency basis since April 2008.

Lagging lofts and filling cavity walls can save households more than £100 in fuel bills every year but the Green Deal will go further than CERT. It will offer far more than these sensible measures, allowing the potential for a full home energy efficiency retrofit.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

Councils have an important role to play in helping their residents and businesses to realise the benefits of the Green Deal. The Green Deal alone is expected to support 65,000 jobs by 2015 and is expected to unleash £14bn of private sector investment over the next decade. Local authorities have the expert knowledge in the villages, towns and cities they govern to know where help is most needed to reduce fuel bills and where the scheme could help local economic regeneration.

The figures show while some local authorities like Kirklees in Yorkshire, the Isle of Anglesey, Carmenthenshire in Wales, and South Ribble and Wyre in Lancashire have insulated between a fifth and a quarter of their housing stock, there’s still a long way to go for others.

The Green Deal, when it launches later this year, will provide a massive opportunity for local authorities to help increase economic growth and support thousands of jobs.

The Green Deal will take insulation work out of the hands of solely the Big Six energy companies and spread it amongst the wider market including well known high street names, small businesses and local authorities. Councils could benefit through:

· new sources of revenue to deliver energy efficiency retrofits;

· help to reduce fuel bills for local residents and businesses;

· opportunities for local economic and physical regeneration;

· support for wider local strategic priorities (better health outcomes, reduced fuel poverty);

· support for the maintenance and generation of local jobs and skills.

The top five performing local authorities under the CERT scheme over the past three years, in terms of percentage of housing stock insulated, are Kirklees in Yorkshire (28.6%); Isle of Anglesey (22.8%); Carmarthenshire in Wales (21.3%); South Ribble in Lancashire (21.2%); and Wyre in Lancashire (21%).

Harrogate Borough Council has teamed up with the Yorkshire Energy Partnership to offer free home insulation to residents in the Harrogate district. See Free cavity wall and loft insulation for further details.

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