In the largest scheme of this kind to date, improvements such as solid wall insulation and better heating systems will be made to 9000 social homes in Manchester to make them more energy efficient.
The cost of the work will be paid upfront by the housing association – tenants will then meet this cost through the money they save on energy bills, which could be up to £500 per year. The project could create more than 1800 jobs and bring a £100million boost to local businesses carrying out the home improvements.
The project will test key features of the Green Deal – the Government’s new and radical way of making energy efficiency available to all, whether people that own or rent their property. Under the Green Deal, which will begin next year, the expected cash savings for homeowners and tenants will be greater than the costs to upgrade the property over the lifetime of the improvements.
Upgrades will initially be made to 2500 properties within the Greater Manchester Housing Retrofit Programme, and will prepare the way for Greater Manchester’s 260,000 social homes to take up the Green Deal.
Shapps said: "The scheme in Manchester will save tenants hundreds of pounds on energy bills, and create hundreds of jobs for local people. It shows that going green is not just an environmental necessity; it’s also a huge economic opportunity for UK companies to expand their businesses, and become world leaders in the shift to a low carbon economy."
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