The UK government announced a £40 million competition for local councils on Friday to support initiatives aiming to boost energy efficiency, reduce fuel poverty and encourage collective switching.
In response to growing criticism over the government’s failure to take action on rising energy prices and the lack of fanfare with which its flagship Green Deal scheme has been launched, remedial measures are appearing thick and fast.
On top of a £125 million fund announced on Friday to reward early adopters of the Green Deal, £10 million of the ‘blitz’ fund will also go towards kick starting Green Deal projects.
Local councils in England will be able to bid for funds to support ‘pioneer’ projects to demonstrate the benefits of the Green Deal and energy efficiency measures.
The government says the ‘Pioneer Places’ competition will build on the £12 million announced last month for seven cities in England to get to work on the Green Deal.
Meanwhile, £25 million of the fund will go to local council schemes aimed at helping low-income and vulnerable households cut heating costs this winter through the installation of replacement boilers and insulation.
The final £5 million will be open to councils and third sector organisations in England, Scotland and Wales to help set up collective switching schemes to get the best energy deal.
“With prices rising and temperatures dropping, we want to make sure we are doing all we can to help vulnerable householders keep warm this winter,” commented Energy Secretary Ed Davey. “As well as helping councils showcase the benefits of energy efficiency, this funding will support the launch of initiatives to enable local residents to save money.”
For further information:
Householders to get up to £1000 cash back in Green Deal offer (22-Oct)
UK consumer group Which? calls for energy price review (17-Oct)
UK Energy Secretary tells consumers how to save on energy bills (15-Oct)
Seven cities in England to share £12 million to kick start Green Deal (21-Sept)
22 October 2012