Green deal to be tested on social housing
The government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme is to be trialled on social housing.
Arm’s-length management organisation Salix Homes will kick off the pilot of the green deal scheme on 2,500 properties in the Greater Manchester area.
The scheme will then be rolled out to up to 9,000 homes. The eventual aim is to include all of the city’s 260,000 social homes.
The green deal – due to start next year - is aimed at saving homeowners and tenants cash by making their homes more energy efficient. Householders can apply for up to £6,500 of energy efficiency improvements, with the money repaid through savings in energy bills.
Manchester’s retrofit programme is expected to provide a model for investors and social housing providers.
Housing minister Grant Shapps said: ‘We want to upgrade existing housing stock so everyone can enjoy the benefits of warmer homes and lower energy bills.
‘That’s why I’m delighted to announce for the first time, a large-scale project to upgrade thousands of social homes.
‘The scheme in Manchester will save tenants hundreds of pounds on energy bills, and create hundreds of jobs for local people.’
The homes in Manchester will be given improvements such as solid wall insulation and better heating systems.
Upfront payments will be made by social landlords but tenants will eventually meet the cost through the money they save on energy bills, which the government says could be up to £500 a year.
The project is expected to create more than 1,800 jobs for the Manchester area and bring a £100 million boost to local businesses carrying out the work.
Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne said: ‘Tenants in Manchester are getting an advance preview of key elements of the green deal.
‘They’re going to feel the real benefit of warmer and comfier homes at the same time as cutting their energy bills.’
Legislation to establish the green deal is currently before parliament.