Responsibility

Landmark £200m energy project warms up North East households

Up to 50,000 households in the North East will benefit from warmer homes and lower bills thanks to the UK's largest energy efficiency project.

The £200m scheme, launched today by British Gas and nine North East local authorities will create 75 direct job opportunities regionally, as well as creating up to 500 further jobs in the local supply chain.

Based in Newcastle, the 75 strong Warm Up North team will tackle fuel poverty, and will help to lower energy bills and make keeping warm more affordable for thousands of North East homes and businesses. Local small to medium-sized companies will be identified as contractors to complete the installation work.

Eligible residents1 could benefit from free measures that could be installed in their homes making them more efficient and reducing their energy consumption. Measures could include hard to treat cavity wall, solid wall and loft insulation, new ‘A-rated’ boilers, and boiler repairs.

The North East is the first region in the country to benefit from a scheme of this scale, as Warm Up North is the largest and most advanced regional response to the Government’s Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

The ground-breaking initiative will cover private and rented homes, and social housing as well as extending to publicly owned buildings, including offices, health and educational properties.

The Warm Up North partnership comprises of nine local authorities: Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Newcastle, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside and Sunderland and is supported by the Association of North East Councils (ANEC).

Jon Kershaw, head of Warm Up North, said: “Warm Up North will make a difference to up to 50,000 homes over the coming years. With the winter months approaching, now is the time to contact us free* on 0800 294 8073 to see how we can help. Warm Up North will provide advice and home improvements to those most in need.

“We are committed to helping those most in need across the North East heat their homes for less; a lot of people who are struggling to heat their homes may not even realise the difference that making small changes can make, for example, just insulating a loft could save up to £145 a year on heating bills.”

“We are also helping to create high quality new jobs throughout the region providing apprenticeships, training and skills opportunities, focusing especially on helping long-term unemployed and young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs).

“As we will be using local companies to undertake work on the ground, we are helping to set the foundations for further stimulus in the North East economy, providing work opportunities for local tradesmen.

“We’re very much looking forward to working with our nine partner local authorities to tackle fuel poverty, help reduce energy bills and make heating more affordable for homes and businesses operating in the area.”

To find out more about how Warm Up North could help make your home more energy efficient call the team on free* phone 0800 294 8073 or visit http://www.warmupnorth.com/.

Local businesses who are interested in finding out more about the opportunities available working for British Gas on the Warm Up North scheme can attend a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event being held locally. To find out more visit http://www.warmupnorth.com/.

Media contact: Alex Donaldson, OPR
Tel: 0191 232 5690 Email: alex@opr.co.uk

  • Calls to an 0800 number are free from a BT Landline. Calls from other lines and mobiles may vary.
Notes to editors:

Through Warm Up North, residents will benefit from a wide range of energy efficiency measures, such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and boiler repair or replacement, following a whole house assessment of their energy needs.

Many of the energy efficiency measures for eligible people, areas and properties will be part or fully funded by British Gas’ Energy Company Obligations. Additionally ‘Green Deal’ funding will be available to everyone else, enabling householders to pay as they save by absorbing up-front improvement costs through their energy bills.

Eligibility

1. Warm Up North offers fully or partly funded home improvements to eligible home owners, and tenants. Eligible householders may live in a property that is very energy inefficient and hard to treat and is in an eligible area or if the householder themselves may be eligible if they receive a means tested state benefit. Following a home visit to check eligibility, a Warm Up North assessor will recommend a tailored package of improvements to help make the property warmer and save money on energy bills. These may include a new central heating boiler, loft insulation, cavity wall or solid wall insulation, or renewable energy technologies.

About ECO and the Green Deal

· The Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme runs until 31 March 2015.

· The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) focuses on providing energy efficiency measures to eligible low income and vulnerable consumers and those living in 'hard to treat' properties.

· ECO replaces the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target and the Community Energy Saving Programme.

· Warm Up North seeks to lever a combination of direct funding from British Gas under ECO and third party funding via the Government’s Green Deal scheme.

· The amount of funding provided and the number of jobs created will depend upon factors such as the uptake of the scheme and the number of eligible homes.

· Please also see attached Warm Up North consumer factsheet.

Typical Savings

• Solid wall insulation (houses with no cavity walls); potentially saving up to £490 on annual energy bills, and reducing 1.9 tonnes of CO2 from a home*

• Replacement of an inefficient boiler with an ‘A’ rated boiler; potentially saving up to £300 on annual energy bills and reducing 1,200kg of CO2 emissions from a home*

• Replacement double-glazed (A-rated) windows and composite doors; potentially saving on average £165 on annual energy bills and reducing 680kg of CO2 emissions from a home*

• Loft insulation; installing 270mm of insulation could save up to £180 and reduce 730kg emissions annually*

  • *Average savings and reductions as detailed by the Energy Saving Trust.