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Welsh Liberal Democrats welcome funding boost for energy saving projects

January 26, 2012 12:52 AM

Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne has announced that Cwmdu Sustainable Energy Group and Llangattock Green Valleys in Powys will be receiving over £137,000.00 from the first £4m allocation from the Local Energy Assessment Fund.

The Cwmdu Sustainable Energy Group and Llangattock Green Valleys are two of the first of around 80 local energy projects to win funding from the new £10m Local Energy Assessment Fund.

Other winning bids include opening show homes to demonstrate solid wall insulation to the public, schemes to check the energy efficiency of homes and invest in renewable energy, and events to promote the uptake of energy efficiency in local communities.

Commenting, William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, said:

"At a time when people are worried about rising energy bills and uncertainty over the future of feed-in-tariffs, this funding is a welcome boost to help people save energy and keep costs down.

These projects will show people that going green is realistic, practical and will help them save money in ways that work in their area.

Local communities will be put at the heart of the UK's effort to rise to the enormous challenge to get clean and cheap energy on our efforts to halt climate change and to end our reliance on erratic market of imported oil and gas."

Commenting further, Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Assembly Member for Brecon and Radnorshire said:

"We face a gigantic challenge in the coming years to keep the lights on and energy bills down. This means nurturing cleaner, more secure, homegrown energy sources here in the UK so we are not so dependent on imported gas, and boosting the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses to cut out waste.

Local communities, with their energy, drive and innovation, are going to be at the heart of this effort, and I hope that this funding acts as a booster rocket to the winning projects."

Notes to Editors:

  • Organizations including parish councils, voluntary associations, development trusts and faith groups are all eligible to apply for LEAF funding.
  • 200 projects are expected to benefit in total and there is still time to apply - the second round will close to applications at noon on 20 January 2012 with successful communities notified at the end January. Details of how to apply for the second round of LEAF are available at: http://www.greencommunitiescc.org.uk/.
  • LEAF is managed by a consortium of community networks administered by the Energy Saving Trust. Money is intended to be used for understanding energy efficiency at a local level and renewable energy generation issues.
  • On average, there is £50,000 available for each successful bid but money allocated depends on the proposals put forward. Any work needs to be completed by end of March 2012.
  • The Local Energy Assessment Fund was announced on 7 December 2011: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn11_107/pn11_107.aspx.
  • Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said:
    "Showing people that 'going green' is practical and realistic is essential if we're to successfully refurbish the housing stock, and enabling people to see energy efficiency measures installed in real homes in their area is a key part of this.  It's also absolutely crucial that residents of local communities have a say in what will work best in their area, so they can have a stake in our more sustainable future. LEAF, on both counts, sets the groundwork for success."