THE MAYOR of Basingstoke and Deane is urging residents to take advantage of a Government scheme that aims to bring eco-friendly technology into borough homes.
As previously reported in The Gazette, the Basingstoke Energy Services Co-op has been given the green light by the Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change to run a project which would install either heat-generating solar panels, or a hi-tech ground source heat pump in homes, in Eastrop, South Ham, Popley West, Norden, Brighton Hill, and Ecchinswell.
Under the scheme, the Government would pay up to 40 per cent of the cost of installing the gadgets, which the co-op founders Andy Molloy, and Martin Heath say could halve a household’s annual energy bills. Residents who volunteer on the scheme will be expected to pay the remaining 60 per cent.
Speaking to The Gazette, Mayor Councillor Martin Biermann welcomed the project, and urged people to get on board.
“It looks like a splendid scheme for people with large energy bills that they want to reduce,” said Cllr Biermann. “The project is very well targeted at those people in the most need. I wish I was in an area that could qualify.”
Up to £200,000 of the Government’s £8million cash pot could be set aside for Basingstoke – as long as 40 homes register with the co-op expressing an interest.
But with the deadline today, Mr Heath said the co-op has struggled to drum up interest and they are calling for a last-ditch flurry of registrations.
Only 13 homes have registered, but Mr Molloy stressed that simply registering does not oblige people to see the scheme through.
“I genuinely think that this is a good deal,” said Mr Molloy. “We are not going to give up on it. We are going to keep going to make the best of it we can.”
The Government grant is only open to homes that rely on oil, coal, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), or electricity for central heating. Homes with mains gas are not eligible.
For more information, or to register, visit bes.coop or call 01256 614872.