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Council Awarded £109,000 For Green Deal Scheme

Thursday January 24 2013

BARNSLEY Council has been awarded £109,000 to help to kickstart the 'Green Deal' in the area.

The Green Deal is a national scheme that enables the installation of a range of home energy efficiency measures such as solid wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and new boilers, with no up-front cost.

The bulk of the cost of the works will be met from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). This is a government requirement that the big energy companies fund that help to reduce the amount of carbon produced through heating homes.

The balance of the cost of the works will be funded through a Green Deal loan, with the loan repayments met from the resultant savings on energy bills.

To demonstrate the benefits of the Green Deal, the council's looking for a number of show homes. Households that agree to their home being used will get the opportunity to have the work carried out an at even lower cost.

The scheme, which will run until the end of March, will be focused on homeowners living in the Central, Old Town and Kingstone wards.

If you are a home owner and would like to be considered for inclusion in the scheme you can register your interest by contacting Sophie Hughes on 01226 772639 or by email to sophiehughes@barnsley.gov.uk.

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Reply Posted by Mick on Thursday January 24 2013 at 17:34
Why those wards? Surely it should be focused at homes that may benefit the most, wherever they are.

Reply Posted by greenginger on Thursday January 24 2013 at 17:59
I think Mick it is more to do with politics and the MP or MP's linked with those wards rather than anything else.
There are tons of houses that require these measures and will never get them. It also seems to be that the closest wards to the Town Hall get everything too.

Reply Posted by Mick on Thursday January 24 2013 at 18:37
I must admit that my first thought was that these wards may have some Independent Councillors that they would like to unseat. This cynicism does me no good i'm sure.

Reply Posted by LV on Thursday January 24 2013 at 22:14
most of the houses in the town centre are old terrace houses - they have rubbish insulation and are freezing cold in winter even with the heating on, more modern homes are better build to maintain heat even when it's freezing outside. I've lived in terrace houses and semi's, terrace houses are ridiculously cold - my heating can be on max and it'll still be cold. insulation would help this and it will stop the outer walls being so cold and thus combat the massively common mould issue with terrace houses.

Reply Posted by MichaelChamberlain on Friday January 25 2013 at 11:52
grenginger - with the requirements of the scheme it has to be aimed at owners rather than tenants, who will be able to take on the loan and make the repayments. There have been other thermal comfort measures offered by energy suppliers in recent times open to all. A lot of improvement measures have been aimed at households in need, particularly around the Derne Valley areas. I believe your statement suggesting the "closest wards to the Town Hall get everything" seems a little misguided but I will check back on here if you would like to evidence this? The wards selected will be down to dwelling type and occupant profile. Different schemes are aimed at different areas for example what Warm Homes Healthy People targets would not necessarily suit the improvements Green Deal provides, the same with the Fuel Poverty works which would have been aimed at a different ward profile.

Mick - I'm sure that the wards selected would have been the wards which best suited this type of scheme, and similar schemes following a different MO would be aimed at deprived areas or vulnerable people. Ideally everyone would get a slice of cake to enjoy, it is just that different people may want a different type of cake.

Reply Posted by Guesty Mcguest on Friday January 25 2013 at 14:20
The wards didnt need to be restricted they could have just picked any houses, Kingstone and Old town are side by side for gods sake.

It will be interesting to see the results

I wouldnt worry about the green deal mind, Its looking like a white elephant. The launch has been delayed, what was promised and what will be delivered are different things and it looks like energy saving measures for old houses will be very expensive with a 6.9% interest charged on work done, not to mention 80 pounds up front just to get someone out to suggest the work that needs doing.

Reply Posted by guesty Mcguest on Friday January 25 2013 at 14:24
@Michael, not all thermal comfort measures are open to everyone, indeed anyone that owns an old terraced house can attest to that. I don't qualify anything from the energy companies due to the type of house I have.

the green deal was supposed to help people like me, and improve exisiting housing stock. Red tape and beureacracy will ensure this scheme fails from the get go.

Reply Posted by MichaelChamberlain on Friday January 25 2013 at 15:54
GmcG - I am aware of this. My house, Central Ward (I think - nr.Townend), has solid walls and is poorly insulated. I tried via Sainsburys (British Gas) for insulation et al. Obviously couldn't have cavity wall insulation but thought I would be able to have loft insulation. It turned out that a section of the loft is insulated to the top and the rest (which covers the majority of house including main living area) has nothing. They needed to provide two thirds so told me they couldn't do it. Cosyhome had a similar offer but that was judged on height of loft insulation, Because the small section that was insulated was recorded as 100mm they couldn't provide anything either. As a private rented tenant this scheme also not viable for me. But as far as I'm aware this is a pilot scheme in the named wards which, if succesful, could be open to all - maybe it will point out some of the issues you have raised as barriers which would mean changes prior to a full rollout. Eitherway I just thought I'd keep my eye on it and see how it goes. Addressing the issues in anyway is better than nothing at all for everyone; with the associated health issues tied to energy inefficiency and thermal comfort. Apparently it is estimated that in England there are 27,000 additional deaths over the winter months, of which one fifth are directly attributed to cold homes. In Barnsley alone, last year this figure was approximatley 120. In these difficult times of recession, with the government cutting local spending powers drastically, it will be worth keeping a watchful eye on how new alternative schemes can bring success (if they succeed) at least highlighting the issue and trying to address it - if nothing else pointing out areas for improvement but attempting none the less to tackle the issues. I'm sure the monetised benefits to residents' health, and to wider society, of investment in energy efficiency and thermal comfort would outweigh the costs. Maybe something for the 'bloody council' and The NHS commisioning bodies to consider. Despite all the apparent barriers I hope this succeeds and the health and wellbeing of Barnsley people improves.

Reply Posted by Guesty Mcguest on Friday January 25 2013 at 16:15
I with you there totally, I really want it to succeed and I have been keeping tabs on the Green Deal for the last 2 years.

There was initially going to be a golden rule in the funding process that ensured that the cost of the work could not exceed the cost of the savings that would be made - which I thought was brilliant, it looks like this has now been removed, which adds financial risk to the equation as well.

I've visited the Think Low Carbon Centre at Barnsley college on a course a couple of months back and the stuff they have there is amazing, speaking to one of the guys it seems that they are ready to go with the green deal and it should be a great place to train businesses on how to implement the technology but the barrier will be cost. It seems that the government are going to cherry pick suppliers and utility companies to do the work - even the assessors will have to work for these selected companies and pay for the training themselves. I suspect that the companies chosen will have strong political ties and will sub out the work, whereas I think it should be the small and medium businesses which would inject a lot into local economies.

We are in danger of things getting worse however as I believe when the green deal kicks in properly the energy companies will no longer have to provide energy saving measures as I believe they will be footing some of the bill for the scheme.

The government should have been tougher on the big energy companies to allow people like you and me to have insulation in our houses, its crazy to think the homes that are the least efficient get the least help.

Reply Posted by We Are Barnsley on Friday January 25 2013 at 15:57
The council's asked us to post this on their behalf...

Barnsley Council comments: The Green Deal Pioneer Places scheme is in effect a pilot scheme for the national Green Deal Scheme which is to be fully launched next week.

As is the nature of pilot activity, the Green Deal Pioneer Places scheme is relatively small scale in nature and, given this, restricted to homes within specified wards, and will run until the end of March this year.

However, the national Green Deal programme is likely to last for a number of years and there is likely to be ample opportunity for households across the borough to benefit from a range of home energy efficiency measures funded through the Green Deal.

The Green Deal Pioneer Places scheme is only the start and Barnsley Council will help to support and promote the national Green Deal scheme over the coming months.