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Energy efficiency measures reach one million homes milestone - four months ahead of the March 2015 target.
By the end of November, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Green Deal package had delivered new boilers, windows and insulation to 1,021,000 homes.
A substantial part of work under ECO helped people with chilly, damp homes at risk of fuel poverty and also had an impact in rural areas where leaky properties can cost over the odds to heat.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said:
“Helping to make one million homes in Britain warmer through energy efficiency is great news – and to hit our target early is even better.
“One million extra homes already have permanently lower energy bills – whether that’s thanks to better insulation or more effective boilers. The challenge now is to continue this drive – and our next instalment of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is coming soon.”
Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd said:
“More than one million homes across the country - including over 28,000 homes in rural areas - are enjoying a warmer, cheaper and greener winter thanks to our policies.
“I want to see energy companies continue to deliver their obligations so more people can reap the benefits and stay warm this winter and every winter.” The new figures were revealed in today’s statistical report on the government’s home energy efficiency programmes, covering the period up to the end of November.
On top of extending ECO to 2017, the 1 million milestone comes a month after the government allocated £24 million to help over 5,000 homes receive up to £4000 back for installing solid wall insulation, through the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.
Up to a further £6 million is still up for grabs – homeowners can apply for up to £1600 if they install two measures from a list of home improvements under the fund.
This £30 million fund is part of an additional £100 million pot announced in October 2014, with the next release expected in February 2015. This is all on top of the £450 million already set aside for household energy efficiency over 2014-7.
In addition, a new £25 million grant announced as part of the Autumn Statement will see an extra 8000 low-income households benefit from first-time central heating for off gas grid homes.