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Southampton Council bosses look for eco partner in £50m scheme
IT is the bold vision to make Hampshire one of the country’s most energy-efficient counties.
And civic chiefs in Southampton will now search for a company to run the £50m deal which could save families large amounts of money on their fuel bills and create hundreds of new jobs.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) initiative has been in the pipeline for many months, but now city council bosses have started the process to make the ambitious project a reality.
New responsibilities have been introduced for energy companies, with the Government now obligating them to carry out work to improve homes’ energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
Up to £50m is available to spend on improvements in the Solent project region, meaning that thousands of Hampshire residents could have improvements carried out to their homes over the coming decade.
Most of the funding will be put in by the energy company chosen to carry out the work.
Last night, Southampton City Council’s Cabinet gave approval to officers to start the process of finding a preferred contractor. It is expected that a two-year contract will be signed in November, with the option of an extra five years.
As well as providing funding for improvements to 21,000 Hampshire homes, which would include the introduction of more efficient heating systems and housing panels with high thermal performances, the scheme is likely to create between 590 and 760 jobs.
Cllr Warwick Payne, the city council’s Cabinet member for housing and sustainability, said: “This is a hugely exciting project and the aim now is to appoint an eco partner.
“This scheme will have three benefits. Firstly it will liberate tenants from fuel poverty. Secondly it’s going to create a lot of jobs. And the third point is that it will reduce Southampton’s carbon footprint.”
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