Severn Wye represent Gloucestershire at a European level as leading experts for affordable warmth work in this programme that brings the county 5 years of funding for this issue
Starting in 2016, this 5 year programme offers Gloucestershire a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to all the issues in relation to fuel poverty and sustainable energy, including finance; sustainable construction; health and well-being; and innovation.
The project involves two phases:
Phase 1 - Creation of a Regional Action Plan
Phase 2 - Implementation of the Action Plan
Through Build to Low Carbon we aim to achieve countywide emissions reductions of 25% and improve the health and well-being of residents.
It is important that the implementation of this activity considers the end user needs in addition to wider local economic opportunity that should be realised through delivery. Gloucestershire currently has around 31,000 people considered to be in fuel poverty, which represents 11.5% of properties across our county.
Clearly there are many different solutions, and this is why such a broad spectrum of experts will be invited to contribute to identification and implementation of the solution.
Not only is it vital that a significant increase in building retrofit activity takes place to provide more healthy, comfortable and affordable homes, but also that building standards for properties of the future are driven so that current problems are not replicated.
There will also be a programme of education, advice and advocacy for people most in need, along-side new innovative finance mechanisms that will enable the sustainable financing of solutions for the long term.
It is surprising how well this project demonstrates joined up thinking as it directly supports the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnerships ‘European Structural Investment Fund Strategy’ by enabling those aspirations to be actioned in a strategic way that offers medium – long term opportunities.
I have been enormously encouraged by the positive reception the aims and objectives of this project has received from those initially engaged. I believe that we have a fantastic chance to develop an essential piece of work that will help to keep Gloucestershire at the forefront of Sustainable Energy activity.