Energy Efficiency

Energy and Climate Change – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 26th January 2012.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour, Huddersfield 10:30 am, 26th January 2012

What steps he is taking to engage charities and social enterprises in projects that will reduce their energy consumption.

Photo of Christopher Huhne Christopher Huhne Liberal Democrat, Eastleigh

All property types, including those belonging to charities and social enterprises, will be eligible for the green deal which begins later this year. Charities and social enterprises will be eligible for up-front support to cover improvements, which will be paid back gradually through savings on energy bills. We are also running a £10 million fund to support communities, including charities and social enterprises, in understanding their current energy use and the opportunities to reduce demand, as well as in developing renewable energy schemes locally.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour, Huddersfield

Charities and not-for-profit groups up and down the country have enormous in-house expertise on this matter and are ready and willing to do more work with businesses and local authorities on the green deal. Good firms such as Morrisons do a great deal in partnership work. Could the Secretary of State do more to encourage more partnerships between local authorities, the private sector and charities such as Urban Mines, which I chair?

Photo of Christopher Huhne Christopher Huhne Liberal Democrat, Eastleigh

I am very happy to join the hon. Gentleman in encouraging the third sector in this regard. However, I point out that we recently announced 82 community winners in the first tranche of DECC’s £10 million local energy assessment fund, which share in £4.2 million to undertake feasibility studies for proposed community energy and energy efficiency schemes. The winning communities in the remaining, second tranche are due to be announced in early February.