Great news that a Bristol group have been awarded Government funds to promote home energy efficiency. Bristol Green Doors has secured £78,000 from the Local Energy Assessment Fund. My Lib Dem colleague Energy Secretary Chris Huhne is today announcing the first 80 beneficiaries of the £10 million fund.
The funding comes as the Government gears up for the launch of the Green Deal later this year, the first scheme of its kind in the world, aimed at radically overhauling the energy efficiency of millions of homes across the UK.
The LEAF is managed by a consortium of community networks administered by the Energy Saving Trust. Money is intended to be used for understanding energy efficiency at a local level and renewable energy generation issues. More awards will be made later this month and the projects need to be completed by end of March.
Bristol Green Doors showcase houses where the owners have done something to reduce their energy consumption. They bid for funds so that they could help people clad four properties in a terrace with external wall insulation. The project will promote and normalise low-carbon retro-fitting on ‘hard-to-treat’ private sector homes; and capture key learning points for communities and businesses for the successful delivery of multi-property installations. Three owner-occupied houses and three rented apartments in a 4th house will be supported to jointly procure the installation, funded by the grant and part matched with secured private finance and in-kind support from partners, providing improved energy use and CO2 emissions on a solid-wall terrace considered ‘hard-to-treat’.
The installation will coincide with the second Bristol Green Doors city-wide open homes event on the weekend of 17th and 18th March 2012, becoming a ‘live’ teaching tool in real homes, where technical details usually hidden to visitors can be seen clearly as work in progress. The householders have agreed to participate to share their experiences, motivations and learning with the public visitors to their home, becoming part of the ‘Green Doors’ network of homes across Bristol.
I’m delighted that Bristol Green Doors have secured this funding. I spoke at their launch event in 2010 and visited several homes that had taken action to reduce their energy consumption. I’ve also seen a terraced house in Easton where the Technology Strategy Board have completely revamped the house with every possible energy saving measure.
Retrofitting houses in Bristol West will be a major challenge. Like the majority of my constituents I live in a house built over a century ago, which has solid stone walls. I can reduce my fuel bills and my carbon footprint with draught insulation, double glazing and so on but my walls will still be cold. Cladding is expensive and in conservation areas or on listed buildings would have to be done internally – huge disruption as well as costly.
Anyway 2012 will be a major year for the Coalition Government’s energy saving policies. As well as the Green Deal we will also see the Green Investment Bank making its first investments. We will find out next month if the Bank HQ is going to be in Bristol. I working hard with many others from the city to make that happen.
[note – I wrote about Bristol Green Doors in September 2010 -http://stephenwilliamsmp.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/in-praise-of-bristol-green-doors/]
UPDATE 14th February – I’m pleased to say that in the second round two Bristol West organisations have been awarded grants – the Easton Energy Group and Transition Montpelier.