A new scheme is to be piloted in Sunderland to allow social housing residents to pay for energy saving measures through their electricity bill.
Gentoo, and British Gas have joined forces to roll out the offer to 1000 customers who are currently part of their Energy Saver Bundle pilot scheme.
British Gas will add the cost of energy efficiency works to customers’ energy bills, meaning that they can install good heating systems, double glazed windows and Solar PV systems to Gentoo’s social housing stock.
Sally Hancox, director of Gentoo Green said she was delighted about the partnership, and looked forward to delivering measures that were beneficial to all parties.
She said: “Prior to creating the Energy Saving Bundle, and in shaping its delivery, we conducted a poll using 600 Gentoo customers called the Green Debate with the aim to gain insight into attitudes around paying for energy efficiency improvements through a weekly charge.
“It found that 84% of customers asked would be prepared to pay for improvements and of those, 45% said they would pay more than £5 a week for measures such as photovoltaic panels, efficient boilers and double glazing.”
Repayments would be paid over 15 years, and are never more than the amount of money saved per week.
This partnership will give utility companies and social landlords invaluable practical knowledge of how the Green Deal could work in the social housing sector.
Climate change minister, Greg Baker, said: “The Green Deal will be the biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War.
“It will be more ambitious than anything that’s ever been tried before, reducing energy wastage and saving people and businesses money on fuel bills.
“This is why it’s vital we test how it will work in practice and I welcome the work that Gentoo and British Gas are doing to add our understanding.”