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Worcester's flagship green deal project collapses
A FLAGSHIP deal to help thousands of householders across Worcester save on their heating bills has collapsed, it has emerged.
Your Worcester News can reveal that Carillion has pulled out of a major seven-year deal with the city council to help people get better insulation.
The project, which was backed by the council’s Labour leadership in September, would have led to the construction giant sending assessors into homes to improve their energy efficiency.
But the agreement has now been scrapped after the company cited concerns about a poor take-up elsewhere.
The project had been rolled out to other parts of the country and so far, only 700 people have taken out loans for it and just 12 projects have actually been completed.
Under the offers, householders get means tested for possible improvements like better insulation or replacement boilers.
Those residents who pay for it get the option of taking out a loan, which is then paid back as money comes off their utility bills.
Councillor Adrian Gregson, city council leader, said Carillion had “withdrawn” from the talks before the contract could be signed.
The firm had been proposing to sign up all the councils in Worcestershire, saying it would lead to an investment of £140m.
Coun Gregson said: “There is now a gap in this area and a Worcestershire project group is urgently looking into what we do now.
“There are a number of options which may allow for a solution to be found.”
The news has been described as a “massive disappointment” by Worcester Green Party, which was pushing for it.
Councillor Neil Laurenson, the city council’s lone Green politician, said: “When energy bills are rising the last thing people want is to hear this.
“And I believe that’s not just from a Green Party point of view but a general one too - this would have saved people money.
“It’s a massive disappointment.”
Carillion would have been promoted as the city’s official Energy Obligation Provider if the deal was struck.
Richard Howson, Carillion chief executive, says the process is proving to be too time consuming.
“The assessment of the property, the evaluation of the amount of money saved, the credit checking of the owner, and the undertaking of the work are all too complicated,” he said.
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