West Sussex County Council is looking to use a new government initiative to help householders with inadequate heating and insulation to have warm, energy saving homes at no upfront cost.
Green Deal is an innovative scheme which allows households, landlords and businesses to invest in energy saving measures for their properties, without having to pay cash up front. The scheme is based on a loan of up to 25 years during which the bill payer pays back the loan from the savings made on their energy bills.
West Sussex County Council wants to develop a scheme to offer the Green Deal locally to residents and potentially businesses.
Lionel Barnard, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member responsible for the programme said: “We have ambitions to target the Green Deal at thousands of households we know are in need of better insulation and heating. This will mean people living in those homes and who may well have health issues as a consequence, will have the opportunity to improve their homes, keep warm, and cut the cost of their energy bills.”
The Council is looking for a delivery partner to carry out the necessary works to retro-fit eco measures to private residential and social housing, and potentially business properties. Whilst it aims to target 250,000 homes over 25 years, the first phase will include 18,000 properties over three years, at a total cost of up to £75 million, depending on the actual cost of the measures required in each household or business.
Mr Barnard said: “We are interested in using the Green Deal to further our long term aims of economic growth, including growing West Sussex’s green economy and meeting our own and national carbon reduction targets. We want to be able to increase the health and wellbeing of all our residents as well as be mindful of predicted rising energy prices so that we shield our most vulnerable population from the hardship of escalating household heating and energy bills, and at the same time improve their lives.”
The scheme proposed by West Sussex County Council goes further than the basic programme outlined by the government and includes extra renewable heat and power schemes such as solar panels and biomass boilers.
West Sussex is also keen to see how the opportunities presented by Green Deal can develop the skills and job prospects of the county’s current and future workforce.
The Council is currently discussing with interested suppliers how the Green Deal may be delivered by the Council and other local authorities in partnership with the private sector. This market consultation is intended to inform a formal procurement process to contract with a delivery partner.