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Greater Manchester praised for energy efficiency success

Greater Manchester has gained national recognition for its Green Deal Communities Programme having exceeded targets and become the first authority in the country to complete delivery.

Greater Manchester has gained national recognition for its Green Deal Communities Programme having exceeded targets and become the first authority in the country to complete delivery. 

The £88 million Green Deal Communities initiative was launched by government in 2014 to deliver energy efficiency improvements to around 32,000 households on a street-by-street basis in predominantly low-income neighbourhoods.

Greater Manchester received £6.1 million for its 'Little Bill' programme, a partnership between all ten local authorities in the region. 

The government funding was bolstered by additional contributions from participating homeowners, local authorities and energy companies, making the net worth of the project £8.8 million.

The three official delivery partners for the programme, Keepmoat Regeneration, Wates Living Space and Willmott Dixon, worked with energy efficiency installers and assessors in the local supply chain to retrofit 1,302 households – beyond the initial 1,200 target.

Success

More than 900 ‘hard-to-treat’ households received solid wall insulation, making it the country’s largest external wall insulation project in the private sector to date.

The project is also estimated to have reduced Greater Manchester’s annual carbon footprint by 12,000 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

Following its success, Greater Manchester Combined Authority was awarded the Large Scale Project of the Year Award at the 2016 National Energy Efficiency and Retrofit Awards in September. 

‘Simple measures’

City Mayor Paul Dennett, chair of the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub, said: “It is absolutely fantastic we have been recognised nationally for the Little Bill campaign.

“We are passionate about doing all we can to protect the most vulnerable in our society from the cold and rising energy costs. Simple measures implemented as part of the scheme, such as loft and cavity wall insulation, have helped people save up to £300 a year. 

“This makes a massive difference to their lives – particularly those who are struggling to make ends meet. It really can be the difference between heating and eating.” 

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has produced a short film documenting how homeowners and private tenants have benefited from the scheme. 

Policy gap

The government’s wider Green Deal scheme, which offered funding and finance for installing domestic energy efficiency measures, had its funding axed in 2015

The sister Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which places an obligation on major energy suppliers to fund energy efficiency improvements in fuel poor homes, is due to expire in 2017. It is not currently clear what will replace either scheme.