25th June, 2013

The first Green Deal has been signed in Birmingham, five months after Carillion launched its Energy Savers programme worth £1.5bn.

The city’s first Green Deal Plan was agreed last week, with two Northfield residents becoming the first in Birmingham to take advantage of the government’s flagship retrofit scheme.

Initial projections suggested up to 200,000 properties could be improved under the scheme.

The news will add to worries that public sector Green Deal contracts with large values attached may not yield as much value as hoped.

However, according to  Construction News Carillion has created 57 jobs through the partnership and engaged with 140 new SME suppliers, contracting 21 and negotiating with 19.

These firms are principally installers and Green Deal assessors.

The firm also carried out improvements in hundreds of properties through its pilot schemes before the official launch on 1 February.

Carillion was named preferred bidder on the scheme in October 2012 on an eight-year contract billed as worth an initial £600m, with the potential to be extended to the wider West Midlands under a framework worth £1.5bn.

Green Deal Plans are the final stage of the retrofit scheme before installation and after assessment.

Although some 19,000 assessments have so far been carried out – some free under incentivisation schemes – industry sources have told Construction News they expect the number of installations carried out to be around 200 when the first statistics are published.

Green Deal work is funded by a special loan repaid through utility bills, using savings each month generated by improved efficiency.

Mr and Mrs Collins, the first Green Deal Plan signatories in the city, were referred to the Birmingham Energy Savers partnership by the Northfield Eco Centre after requesting an assessment of their home.

After a Green Deal assessment, the BES partnership put together the plan.

Mr Collins, 77, said: “This plan is the first thing since our mortgage, that we took out for this very house in 1960, that we haven’t paid for upfront.  Our house is not energy-efficient and rising energy bills plus the need for us to keep warmer due to our age encouraged us to sign up for a Green Deal.

“With Green Deal, most of the work being done is being paid for by the savings being made, so really it isn’t costing us anything.”

BES account director Chris Hall said: “We’re really pleased that the Collins have signed up to our first Green Deal Plan, the first of many thousands we plan to deliver in Birmingham, keeping their house warmer and their bills lower.”

Birmingham City Council programme manager for BES Mumtaz Mohammed added: “This is a landmark moment for BES and we will continue to support residents to make their homes more energy-efficient.  We are glad that the Collins will be joining those who are benefiting from cheaper energy bills as a result of BES. We look forward to many more plans being signed in the near future.”

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