Flagship scheme to upgrade homes

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Hundreds of homes across Yorkshire are to be upgraded with new boilers, insulation and other energy efficiency measures as the Government launches the first trials of its flagship Green Deal scheme.

More than £3m will be spent on properties across Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, York, Kirklees and Calderdale under plans announced by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) this morning.

The Green Deal is a pioneering programme through which every property in the country will be eligible for a free survey by a Government-accredited assessor, who will draw up proposals for how the property could be made more energy efficient.

The upgrade can then be undertaken with no upfront fee for the homeowner, the cost being met solely through savings from the household’s reduced fuel bill.

With the scheme due to be launched in January, Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey will be trialling the project in key cities across the UK this autumn.

“I genuinely think the Green Deal is a radically new idea,” he said. “This is part of the wider Government agenda of working with local cities and giving them the chance to innovate.”

The trial package will see more than £2.5m spent on upgrading 650 homes across the Leeds City Region, including an innovative scheme in Bradford where GPs will be able to “prescribe” free energy efficiency measures for patients with chronic ill health conditions exacerbated by cold living conditions.

A further £550,000 will be spent upgrading 86 homes in Sheffield.

“These cities have come up with very different packages, which is exactly what we wanted,” Mr Davey said.

“This idea of linking with GPs is something that really caught my eye – there you’ve got energy efficiency on prescription. This is the sort of innovation that I think this programme will deliver.