Government gives £50 million to community heating

The Government has announced that it is to provide £50 million for community combined heat and power (CHP) schemes, benefiting 100,000 people on low incomes and hospitals, schools and universities, and contributing to the UK’s target for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

The new programme, Community Energy, will consist of £20 million in 2002/03, followed by £30 million in 2003/04, and will include practical advice for organisations intending to implement community heating schemes. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) intends the scheme to stimulate a further private sector investment of around £200 million, and will help meet the Government’s target of at least 10,000 Megawatts of installed CHP capacity by 2010.

According to the DETR, the new scheme will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by half a million tonnes per year, provide a 40% cut in energy costs for participating communities, and will provide job opportunities in manufacturing, infrastructure and associated services, as well as a number of other advantages.

“Community Energy is an exciting new £50 million venture which demonstrates how we can improve people’s quality of life while working to protect the environment and tackle climate change,” said Prescott. “With Community Energy, people on low incomes living in social housing will benefit from low cost heat and electricity. And the initiative, which will not only link several buildings to one heat source, but use the highly fuel-efficient technology of Combined Heat and Power, will extend more widely – hospitals, schools and other community facilities will also be covered.”

Organisations interested in the Community Energy programme can obtain further information from Lola Fadina, Energy Markets Branch, DETR, 6/H10 Ashdown House, 123 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6DE, or by phoning 020 7944 6681, or by emailing [email protected].

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