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The ‘UK’s largest’ Green Deal scheme launches in Leeds

11 councils that make up the Leeds City Region have launched the UK’s largest Green Deal scheme, predicting that more than 12,000 homes in Yorkshire should undertake energy efficiency improvements over the next few years.

The £100m initiative is designed reduce the energy bill and cut carbon emission of domestic and non-domestic properties, while maximising economies of scale for the programme through collective purchasing.

The City Region expects to appoint a single delivery partner to manage the programme, this is following a procurement process that will kick off next month. It is predicted that the scheme would create 600 jobs over three years, while supporting a further 24,000 direct and supply chain jobs through to the mid-2030s.

“We are taking a dynamic approach to tackling fuel poverty, reducing health inequalities and creating jobs,” said Councillor Mehboob Khan, Leeds City Region lead on the Green Deal.

“This is an effective way for businesses and residents to pay for energy efficient improvements such as insulation and new heating systems.”

The 11 local authorities who are part of the programme include Wakefield, Barnsley, Bradford, and York and together boast a population of more than three million people.

Leeds City Region is one of the first areas to agree a so-called ‘City Deal’ with the government to pilot its flagship energy efficiency financing scheme, which offers property owners loans to cover the up-front costs of installing measures such as loft insulation or energy-efficient windows.

The government originally faced criticism when revealed that the interest rate for standard Green Deal loans could be as high as 7.96 per cent! But, collective purchasing through City Schemes is seen as one way to drive household and business take-up by driving down the cost of improvements. It is also expected to improve the reach of the Green Deal’s accompanying ECO grant scheme, which offers subsidised property improvements to households suffering from fuel poverty.

The Leeds deal comes as energy company Sustain announced it has teamed up with plumbing and heating giant Wolseley UK to launch a new Green Deal service.

The Plumb Center-branded scheme will provide funding and support to property-owners looking to fit energy efficiency measures.

The government confirmed last week that 48 Green Deal providers have now been certified with a further 831 registered to carry out installations. Over 9,000 assessments have been undertaken since the scheme launched in January, although the government is setill yet to announce how many full Green Deal financing packages have been taken out.

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