Secretary of State backs Birmingham’s green work

By on 06/06/2012 in Cllr McKay, News

Birmingham City Council's efforts to be at the forefront of the green revolution took centre stage during a Ministerial visit on Wednesday (June 6).

The council hosted a visit by Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, during which he learned about the authority's pioneering Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) scheme, ahead of the launch of the Government's own Green New Deal later this year.

BES has already enabled more than 1,000 homes and other council buildings to benefit from environmentally-friendly retrofit work including energy saving measures such as solar panels, and a project partner for the next BES phase - improving 15,000 owner-occupied homes - is due to be named in the autumn.

The visit saw Mr Davey meet Council Leader Sir Albert Bore, members of the BES team and officials from other local authorities who are interested in becoming part of Birmingham's plans due to the benefits that economies of scale bring when planning such work.

He heard how the scheme could be worth £1.55billion if all of the interested public bodies join Birmingham's scheme, creating 3,000 jobs for the city in the process.

Mr Davey also spent time with community groups and health agencies in Bordesley Green, inspecting work done on social housing in the area before touring a centre in Balsall Heath which is equipping long-term unemployed people with the skills needed to work within the green technology sector.

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said: “The foundations for a green revolution have been laid in Birmingham, but now is the time to accelerate the pace of change.  The benefits we can reap are huge.

“The Minister saw for himself the work we have done on the BES Scheme, and the ways in which it is helping cut emissions, moving families out of fuel poverty and creating employment opportunities - making it something all individual households, public bodies and local businesses should consider getting involved with.

“It is particularly essential we equip citizens with the skills to work within the emerging green technology sector because it is going to be one of the key areas of growth within the jobs market, and a cornerstone of our efforts to make Birmingham the nation's enterprise capital.”

Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, added: “As Green New Deal starts nationally in October, Birmingham is making some great strides on all aspects of the carbon reduction agenda. This work will ensure that the city is amongst the pioneers of the green industrial revolution, just as it was at the time of the original industrial revolution.”

Pictures from today’s tour are available from the Birminghamnewsroom Flickr feed.

Ends

Notes to editors

A shortlist of four bidders has been named by Birmingham City Council as part of its ongoing search for a delivery partner for its pioneering Birmingham Energy Savers scheme.

The council launched its search in response to the Government's Green Deal proposals in September 2011 for the project - which has a maximum capital value of £1.55billion and involves up to 26 contracting authorities (including other local authorities and public bodies).

From the 90 organisations that expressed an initial interest in the scheme, four bidders are about to enter the next stage of the procurement and develop their detailed proposals with the City Council. Those selected are:

– Carillion Energy Services
– E.ON Energy Solutions Limited & Amey Community Limited (consortium)
– RWE npower Plc & Enterprise Management Services Ltd (consortium)
– SSE Energy Solutions & Mark Group Limited (consortium)

The appointment of a Green Deal 'Delivery Partner' will be an important step toward meeting the council's commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2026 (when compared to 1990 baseline levels), as the delivery partner will seek to deliver energy saving measures to15,000 households during the initial three-year period of the contract.

The value of the project is approximately £100million, which could increase to £1.55billion if all of the interested local and public authorities join forces with Birmingham for the scheme.

For more media information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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