Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Green deal scheme will mean cash and energy savings

AN ambitious programme which will help to protect 15,000 West Sussex households from rising energy prices has been backed by the County Council.

The ‘Green Deal’ scheme means homeowners and businesses can borrow cash from the Government to pay for improvements such as cavity wall and loft insulation, solar panels and solar technologies.

The savings they make would then be used to repay the loan over as long as 25 years.

The Government anticipates that households who take up the offer will pay £94 a year less than households who do not by 2020, ensuring people who sign up are financially better off.

West Sussex is the first shire county council to launch the deal, following in the footsteps of metropolitan authorities in Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester.

County Council Deputy Leader Lionel Barnard, who is responsible for Communities, Environment and Enterprise, said: “Once we convince homeowners, tenants, landlords and businesses their property can be made warmer and in the longer term their energy bills cheaper, the benefits for West Sussex will be spectacular.

“On top of saving people money, it will help dramatically reduce the county’s carbon emissions and stimulate the economy.”  

An analysis of the county’s housing stock will be carried out by the Energy Saving Trust to discover how much extra work is needed across the county.

The Council will then identify pilot areas of up to 15,000 homes to get the ball rolling.

West Sussex County Council’s cabinet has agreed to earmark £2m next year in support of the scheme.

The authority is the ‘anchor’ for the project and is seeking to transform its £2 million start-up fund into a £75 million investment pool, by attracting finance from both the public and private sector.

The long-term objective is to secure a private sector partner to expand the ‘Green Deal’, potentially to all suitable West Sussex homes in future years.

Lionel said:

“There is the potential here to create thousands and thousands of jobs.

“It represents a tremendous opportunity for students learning their trades at local colleges to equip themselves with the appropriate skills.

“We will work closely with schools, colleges and the construction industry to make sure the programme put together is fit for purpose.”

The aim is for the Green Deal to be available for residents in West Sussex from autumn 2013.