Whitehill & Bordon; supporting the Green Deal and ECO

11th December, 2013

Here in Whitehill & Bordon we are supporting the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation by making residents more aware about them, through press releases, social media and events. We hope that this will encourage householders to access the Green Deal and ECO.

East Hampshire District Council has also joined up with other councils in Hampshire to set up Solent Green Deal. This is a local framework to deliver the Green Deal, which is supported by three preferred Green Deal Providers ( unfortunately these can’t yet be named), and aims to reduce the barriers to taking up the Green Deal for Hampshire residents: councils are impartial and trusted by residents, recommended Green Deal Providers to call upon will make the process easier for the consumer, Green Deal Providers have been asked to use local trades people and there will be a good standard of customer service and joined up marketing which is clear and targets the local area. If you would like to find out more about this scheme please visit the Solent Green Deal website.

With 4,000 new homes being developed over the next 25 years, Whitehill & Bordon has a carbon neutrality target by 2036. So we are keen to make sure existing homes in the town are improved in terms of their energy efficiency, and the Green Deal can help us do this.

We have actually already run a few different energy-saving schemes, the lessons learnt from these we hope to apply to the Green Deal in order to carry out further retrofitting. We have run a free cavity wall and loft insulation, a Pay-As-You-Save revolving loan fund which meant that interest-free loans were given to 35 householders to purchase a range of energy-saving measures such as PV, new boilers and/or double glazing (thanks to DECC’s Low Carbon Communities Challenge) ; we are also running a boiler scrappage scheme at the moment.

We have also received particularly positive feedback from the householders who took up the loans and boiler scrappage scheme. Including comments from a householder who took up an interest-free loan, Mrs Crossley, who installed a new boiler, PV and double glazed front door: “The hall is very cosy now, it has made a big difference. The boiler heats up more quickly, it takes up less space in the kitchen and is quieter. It is really worth making these improvements, the house is so much better for it. I initially took up a loan because we needed to replace the boiler but then realised there were other measures we could use the loan for as well.

In fact we have a waiting list of householders who missed these schemes. So it seems that these were enticing offers. If you would like to know more about these past schemes please take a look on the Whitehill & Bordon website.

One of the main challenges is making people aware of these schemes so that they can benefit from them. Our experience from running these schemes has shown that to increase take-up, word of mouth and door-to-door engagement really help. Although, a variety of promotional methods should still be used to continue the campaign, not necessarily at a high cost.

DECC’s Green Deal Pioneers Places, which ran at the beginning of this year, has started the process of promoting the Green Deal. Although more work is needed to build momentum and awareness around the benefits of the different schemes under the Green Deal and ECO.

Pioneers Places meant that 25 householders received free Green Deal assessments; staff, members and volunteers received Green Deal training; an exhibition to show householders how they could make their home more energy efficient and an online energy tool (available on our website) were created. This has meant that householders can make an informed choice about how best to improve their home and the Green Deal could help them do this. We will need to do follow-up work to see if they have done so.

I hope this is an interesting first blog and I hope to be writing further blogs in the future about other schemes we are or will be involved in such as renewable heat and collective switching.

If you would like to know more about the Whitehill & Bordon Project please check out our website.

Source: DECC Blogs

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