A PILOT project to give practical one-stop energy saving advice to householders on Teesside has been so successful that the Government has given £100m for similar centres to be opened across the UK.
Billingham’s Energy Savings Trust centre was one of three to be trialled in 2003 and has taken inquiries from more than 200,000 local people over the past five years.
“We hope in the next year to explore all sorts of new avenues,” said marketing officer Sarah Gent. “But there are still an awful lot of people out there we need to talk to.”
Over the next 12 months the centre will develop its business partnerships by offering a package of help, including pr and training, that reinforces the centre’s role as an access point for energy saving information for company staff.
“There are a lot of renewable messages flying around at the moment - as there would be with any new concept. We want to be a gateway for people accessing it,” says Ms Gent.
In addition to the advice centre network, the Government is also backing a Green Neighbourhoods initiative to give 100 neighbourhoods a green makeover and reduce their carbon footprints by more than 60%.
Delivered by the Energy Savings Trust, the Environmental Transformation Fund will call for local alliances between householder, community groups, local authorities, energy suppliers, private companies and banks. The projects can be run at street or town level.