Baroness backs energy savings plans

By on 14/02/2013 in Cllr McKay, News

Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, today (February 14) met with city residents that are benefitting from energy efficiency work through the Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) scheme.

BES, a Birmingham City Council project launched in October 2012, is being delivered in partnership with Carillion Energy Services - and aims to cut fuel poverty, create employment opportunities and reduce the city's carbon emissions.

During the visit, Baroness Verma was also introduced to community organisations and firms that are involved with BES - which shares its aims with the Government's own Green Deal initiative nationally.

She then moved on to a visit to Greenworks – a Washwood Heath-based organisation training people for jobs within the field of energy saving home assessment – and met people who are on the final day of their training course to become Green Deal energy assessors, hearing about their experiences and future employment hopes.

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green Safe and Smart City, said: “We have a great story to tell with Birmingham Energy Savers - it is one of the leading energy efficiency programmes being developed within local government and I am delighted it is attracting interest at a ministerial level.

“The scheme will help families out of fuel poverty, it will create training and employment opportunities and also help reduce the city's carbon emissions.

“I look forward to continued government support for our aims on this agenda, as we attempt to help families meet the challenges they face as a result of the dire economic situation we continue to face.”

Baroness Verma added: “Birmingham is embracing the Green Deal and revealing the economic and social benefits it provides. The city has proven that it is leading the way on the important job of upgrading the country’s housing stock to become more energy efficient.

“I congratulate the efforts of Birmingham City Council particularly for scaling up delivery of the Green Deal – supporting new and existing jobs for local people and businesses.”

Pictures from the event are available on the Birminghamnewsroom Flickr feed.


Key stats/notes to editors

BES aims to reach 60,000 city households by 2020, helping 26,000 homes out of fuel poverty

It is the first example of a local authority delivering the Government's Green Deal, through which the cost of carrying energy efficient measures will be recovered in installments via the occupants'/ owners' energy suppliers

Delivery partners Carillion Energy Services have committed to create and sustain at least 360 jobs in the area and to help 600 people from priority groups into placements, training and work, many through Carillion's own investment and skills training but also by encouraging business partners to invest locally in a range of new green energy facilities

Through BES, 10 Green Deal Assessors have been appointed, half of which were unemployed or at risk of redundancy

A further 10 customer service advisors and 5 planning schedulers have been added to the growing team at BES as word continues to spread of its potential benefits

Those appointed have been given further training, bringing BES' ongoing training provision to the equivalent of 270 days.

In total, 36 people have been recruited directly to BES so far, 20 were unemployed and nine were previously in jobs at risk.

To date there have been over 1150 calls to the BES call centre and over 200 energy assessments have been completed, with a further 200 assessments booked.

Projected potential benefits of the programme are as follows:

– 2,000 jobs for the wider programme by 2020
– Annual saving in domestic fuel bills between £120 and £300
– Total annual savings for households and businesses of £1.2m (by 2015)
– 18,000 tonnes reduction of CO2 emitted per year (by 2015)
– In the first three years to 2015, the 15,000 houses will be improved as follows: 3,000 in year one, 4,500 in year two, 7,500 in year three

For more media information please call Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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