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Green deal should see thousands of bills cut
THOUSANDS of households in Worcester should see their heating bills reduced thanks to a new Green Deal for the city.
The city council is signing a deal with a major construction firm which will see households get either free or discounted insulation.
Under the agreement, Carillion will go into homes to advise people on what work needs doing to make it more energy efficient.
People on certain benefits could get it done for nothing via a means-tested grant, and those in work will get a quote for any improvements.
Carillion will be promoted as the city’s official Energy Obligation Provider in a deal which runs until 2020.
The scheme, spearheaded by the council’s Labour leadership, will also see loans made available to residents which must be paid back with interest.
A contract between both parties is expected to be signed by the end of October, and more details will then emerge about how Carillion will approach the city-wide project.
The Government has placed an obligation on the UK’s biggest seven energy companies to contribute to a national grant funding pot, which will go towards helping tenants without the means to pay.
Typical work includes boiler replacements, solid wall insulation or loft upgrades to keep in the heat.
The city council’s cabinet has backed the scheme, and has now left the contract signing in the hands of officers.
Carillion is also about to agree deals with all the other district councils in Worcestershire, and say £140 million of investment could go into it by 2020.
It comes as new figures show 19 per cent of Worcestershire homes are in fuel poverty – meaning that they spend more than 10 per cent of their income on gas and electricity.
Councillor Lynn Denham, cabinet member for customer services and communication, said: “An enormous amount of work has taken place to get us to this point, it’s a complex and complicated area and we are glad we have got this far.
“The Green Deal provides a real opportunity for residents to get better home insulation and better energy efficiency.
“We know how much people spend on their energy bills, and those bills are continuing to rise – this is our way of making sure that no community is left behind.
“It’s a partnership, not a financial contract and we will really benefit from having a provider which will hopefully provide value for money.”
Carillion will work hand-in-hand with the Worcester City Council in focusing on householders who are most likely to be eligible for grant funding, but can expand across the city.
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