York already has a great reputation for being a very “Green” city, therefore the news that residents in York could be among the first in the region to benefit from Green Deal energy efficiency improvements as ‘demonstrator’ projects get underway has been welcome news to many.
The pilot schemes will allow key elements of the new Green Deal framework to be tested across Yorkshire and will provide grants and loans to residents to upgrade a variety of property types, including those that are classed as ‘hard to treat’.
A grant fund of over £2.5 million awarded to the Leeds City Region by the Department of Energy and Climate Change is funding the projects to be delivered by local authorities. The projects aim to help around 650 households, some of them in the most deprived areas.
Getting underway before the Green Deal is widely available to consumers, means the existing experiences of local authorities can be put to good use, trialling new Green Deal assessments, establishing new supply chains and assessing the appetite and marketing for energy efficiency schemes amongst residents.
Cllr James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council, said: “We fully support the Green Deal, which builds on the work we’re already undertaking to tackle climate change and improve York’s sustainable transport and energy efficiency. We welcome this opportunity, which will provide grants and loans to many people and families in parts of the city.”
Paul Hamer, chair of the LCR green economy panel, said: “Improving the energy efficiency of homes isn’t just a challenge, it’s a massive opportunity. But the only way to tackle the challenge and take full advantage of the opportunity is for the public and private sectors to work together. These council-run pilot projects will be a key proving ground for the Green Deal mechanism, but they’ll also show that the supply chain is there and give businesses the confidence they need to help us make the transition to a green economy.”
Four projects will run across Leeds City Region
In York, 50 homes, including solid brick homes fronting directly on to streets and former council homes will be offered loans and grants.
In Leeds and Kirklees 470 homeowners will be offered assistance. In both areas, zero percent loan packages to pay for energy efficiency improvements will be offered. In Leeds, grants will be offered to pay for solid wall insulation to whole streets in deprived areas. Four ‘hard to treat’ homes across Leeds and Kirklees will be offered full grant funding to become energy efficient show homes.
In Bradford, the council will work with the NHS to develop ‘insulation by prescription’. The project will identify a process to allow health professionals whose clients suffer from chronic conditions exacerbated by cold living conditions, to have improvements made to make 50 homes warmer.
In Calderdale, lower income households will be assisted through the programme. 40 traditional older stone properties could benefit from measures such as narrow cavity insulation, solid wall insulation, attic room insulation, renewables and boiler upgrades. A second project will provide energy efficiency upgrade works to 40 non-traditional ‘system built’ houses with steel frames or concrete panel walls’ properties with potential works including solid wall insulation, heating upgrades and loft insulation.