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Bicester's Green Deal gets an early boost

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced the winners of the Local Authority Green Deal Competition and Cherwell District Council is celebrating a win of more than £280,000 in funding.

Green Deal (GD) will fund home owners and businesses to save money through energy efficient improvements using a network of accredited local providers. It also allows for repayment costs to be spread over a period of time, through additional payments on electricity bills. The scheme is based on the rule that repayments will not be more than the value of the energy savings the household is expected to make by having the work done.

Cherwell's successful bid to the 'Pioneer Places Fund' was developed in partnership with sustainability experts BioRegional and will initially enable the establishment of a Green Deal network of local assessors and installers in Bicester. Through a competition, to be launched later this month, 100 local homeowners and five businesses will receive free specialist advice on how they can save money and enjoy greater comfort in their home or workplace. Twelve of these will also see the installation of their chosen Green Deal completely free.

Councillor Debbie Pickford, lead member for housing said: "We want Green Deal to benefit every resident of Cherwell. Setting up a local provider network is the first step as this will help us to make it as easy as possible for people to access a service they can trust.

"The funding allows us to kick-start the initiative locally with Bicester residents being the first to benefit. Green Deal covers a wide range of improvements from the installation of a new boiler, double or secondary glazing, loft and cavity wall insulation and solar panels.

"At a time when high energy bills are a concern for so many, I would urge anyone interested to get in touch for a free assessment - there really isn't anything to lose."

Full details of how to enter the competition will be released later this month. Bicester residents and businesses can pre-register now by visiting the Eco Bicester website via the link on the right by calling 01295 221644.

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