(1) The report provided an update on the energy efficiency housing retrofit activities of the Kent and Medway Green Deal Partnership. The potential for retrofit in Kent was significant. Over half of the homes in Kent were still insufficiently insulated and more than 13% of Kent’s residents lived in fuel poverty. If all Kent’s homes were retrofitted it could generate £914m worth of sales, with the potential for 7000 jobs, generating savings of over £80m for residents. In parallel the Government had been developing its flagship ‘Green Deal’ programme to drive retrofit nationally.
(2) The Green Deal was made up of two parts which were The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO); and ‘Green Deal’. To enable Kent to maximise an amount of the £1.3bn a year ‘ECO’ funding levered into the county, the Kent and Medway Green Deal Partnership (KMGDP) had been set up. The KMGDP brought together, at a strategic level, all the key partners who would be essential in delivering a successful retrofit programme. The partnership was chaired by Graham Harris, Managing Director of Dartford Borough Council.
(3) The purpose of the KMGDP was not only to ensure maximum ‘ECO’ funding for Kent residents but also secure additional benefits from a large scale programme of retrofit. This was not simply about physical measures, but low carbon regeneration with retrofit at its core. A two phase programme of activity had been developed by the KMGDP:-
Phase 1: Kent County Council, on behalf of the KMGDP would engage with an ECO funding provider to help facilitate early pilot projects. Each pilot would be approximately 200 dwellings in size located in communities of around 4000 homes over the next 12-18 months. The estimated cost of the pilots was around £11-12m, but the expansion to 5000 homes over the initial eco period (to March 2015) would result in far greater value (up to £40m). It was anticipated that the total cost of the pilots would be covered by the Eco Provider.
Agreed pilots were: Swanscombe, Northfleet/Singlewell, Sittingbourne/Sheppey, Ramsgate, Aylesham. A Medway pilot area was still being agreed. There would be cross cutting priorities for rural areas and affordable warmth.
Phase 2: Roll out of the process across Kent and the establishment of a long term relationship with an eco funder and/or Green Deal Provider
(4) The next steps for the KMGDP would be to:-
· Develop a Memorandum of Understanding for KMGDP partners
· Set up a KMGDP Project Board
· Fully engage with all key partners in the pilot areas including KCC Members
(5) RESOLVED that the Kent and Medway Green Deal Partnership and actions identified, be noted.