On 19 October 2012, DECC launched a competition for Local Authorities to bid for £40m of funding to deliver projects to reduce fuel poverty, help kick start Green Deal delivery and help consumers to save money on energy bills through Collective Switching. Organisations were able to submit stand alone bids for one of the funds, or joint bids across two or all three of the competitions.

DECC received a fantastic response, with bids received from the majority of local councils in England either for funding for individual projects, or as part of regional based applications. All three elements of the competition were heavily oversubscribed. In response we have been able to allocate £46m to the fund.

  • £31million to help vulnerable householders keep warm this winter

DECC has been able to increase the funding available for the fuel poverty element so that we can support 61 outstanding projects, helping 169 local authorities across the country improve the thermal efficiency of homes in their area. This money will be targeted at low income and vulnerable households, helping them cut their energy costs and keep warm this winter and in the future, by installing efficient heating systems and insulation.

In addition to this funding Government is making sure the most vulnerable households get direct financial help from their supplier. Over 1 million pensioners will get £130 off their fuel bills this winter as part of the Warm Home Discount scheme, with the wider scheme helping around 2m households overall this year. And direct from the Government, all pensioner households under 79 will get £200 Winter Fuel Payment this winter and those over 80 will get £300 – these payments will be paid out to an estimated 12.7 million older people in more than 9 million homes.

  • £10 million to kick start Green Deal ‘Pioneer Places’ projects

The Green Deal, the Coalition’s exciting new, innovative plan to help households in Britain improve their home and save on energy bills goes live this month. For an introductory period, householders taking out a Green Deal will also be eligible for a cashback incentive. Householders who use the Green Deal to make improvements such as loft insulation, solid wall insulation and new heating systems will qualify. Packages could be worth over £1,000.

To help kick start the Green Deal, funding has been awarded to 40 successful bids for Green Deal projects covering over 150 English councils. The money will be used for Green Deal household energy efficiency assessments, whole house retrofits to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency, and local events and other activities to raise awareness of the Green Deal. This ‘Pioneer Places’ scheme builds on the £12m investment already being channelled into seven Green Deal Low Carbon Cities, announced last September, enabling even more areas to benefit.

  • £5 million to set up collective switching schemes – ‘Cheaper Energy Together’

Money has also been awarded to 31 successful bids under the ‘Cheaper Energy Together’ scheme, covering 94 local councils and eight third sector organisations in England, Scotland and Wales. Collective purchasing and switching is an innovative way for consumers to group together (through a trusted third party) and use market