The eleven councils that make up the Leeds City Region have launched the largest Green Deal scheme in the country. The £100m initiative is expected to improve energy efficiency for more than 12,000 homes in the region over the next three years, as well as creating 600 jobs.
Under the government’s Green Deal – their flagship energy efficiency financing scheme – domestic and non-domestic properties can get work done that will cut carbon emissions and improve the energy efficiency of the property (such as loft insulation or energy efficient windows), without having to pay the costs up front. The savings on the fuel bills resulting from the improvements are used to pay back the cost of the work. The Leeds partnership intends to use its purchasing power to get a better deal for residents, keeping repayments down.
The City Region is expected to appoint a single delivery partner to manage the programme. The process of procuring a partner will begin next month. Over the following three years, the scheme is expected to create 600 direct jobs, while supporting a further 24,000 direct and supply-chain jobs through to the mid-2030s.
Leeds City Region lead on the Green Deal, Councillor Mehboob Khan, said, “We are taking a dynamic approach to tackling fuel poverty, reducing health inequalities and creating jobs.
“This is an effective way for businesses and residents to pay for energy efficient improvements such as insulation and new heating systems.”
The eleven local councils include York, Barnsley, Bradford, Selby, Harrogate, and Wakefield, altogether boasting a population in excess of three million people. The Leeds Region is among the first areas to agree to a ‘City Deal’ with the government, and since the launch of the Green Deal in January, is certainly the most significant. Coun Khan said, “Our scheme will be the largest in the country and our residents will be able to get a much better deal due to the economies of scale we are going to achieve by working collectively.”
The Green Deal had been quite heavily criticised when the government revealed that the interest rate for standard Green Deal loans could be as high as 7.96%, but collectively purchasing through City Schemes, as done by the Leeds partnership, is expected to drive household and business take-up by driving down the cost of improvements.
The Leeds City Region will be holding an event on April 29 for local construction, heating, and insulation businesses, including sole traders, to learn about the scheme.
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