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People in York Could Get Help To Tackle Fuel Poverty

York council

1:00pm 2nd April 2013

Vulnerable residents in York could be offered additional grant funding towards their energy bills, if City of York Council partners up with local authorities in the Leeds City Region (LCR).

City of York Council’s cabinet is being asked to approve the report which sets out in detail how the Green Deal can benefit residents over the next three years and beyond. The Green Deal is one of the Government’s flagship initiatives which will operate by providing energy efficiency and other works at no up-front cost to the householder across all tenures and businesses, says the City of York Council.

The scheme aims, say the council, in partnership with a private sector partner, to drive competition in the market, improve take up, to try and ensure that more vulnerable residents are offered additional grant funding (through the ‘Energy Company Obligation’) and could help drive down overall energy prices.  They add that the LCR option will allow the council to focus on helping the more vulnerable residents.

The costs of the improvements will be met by a Green Deal loan attached to the property, say City of York Council. They add that this loan is repaid by the savings made from the property’s electricity and heating bills as a result of having the energy efficiency measures installed. This is an innovative and significant step change from the previous grant culture.

Part of the Green Deal ensures the annual financial savings made as a result of the installed Green Deal measures must be greater than the annual loan repayment - therefore the net cost to householder/ business will always be zero, say the council.

They add that in some cases, especially where the properties are hard to treat, the financial savings alone will not cover the costs of the loan.  To overcome this, an ‘Energy Company Obligation’ (ECO) has been developed which will pay for efficiency improvements, say City of York Council.

In a joint statement - Cllr Dave Merrett, cabinet member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability and Cllr Tracey Simpson –Laing, Cabinet Member for Heath, Housing and Adult Social Services, said:  at City of York Council, said: “The scheme involves all Leeds City Region councils, including York, Leeds and Bradford and it continues our work in this area , which has already helped about 3500 York homeowners and private tenants  feel warmer by the installation of loft and/or cavity wall insulation. Helping us to tackle fuel poverty, create healthier warmer homes, and address the worrying Climate change challenge.”

Cabinet is being asked to agree in principle the release of £41,000 towards the total procurement stage cost at a meeting today.

This agreement will also see the city sign a memorandum of understanding, say the council. They add that in addition to the procurement funding, a further £5,000 is recommended to support the collation and analysis of data to target properties in fuel poverty or that are hard to treat. If the Green Deal goes ahead it is expected that there will be measures in 615-1,230 homes over the first three years, say City of York Council and that it is hoped that the scheme will see employment opportunities and local training across the city.

Proposals will now be put before Cabinet at a meeting today (Tuesday April 2) at the council’s West Offices. To view the report please visit http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=6883

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