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Council signs £30m energy efficiency upgrade deal

A £30m ECO and Green Deal partnership has been signed between outsourced services supplier MITIE and Southampton City Council – one of the largest ever awarded.

ECO, the energy company obligation, helps reduce the UK’s energy consumption and supports people living in fuel poverty, while the Green Deal is about making energy-saving improvements. 

The initial £30m contract will help upgrade more than 2,000 council properties in Southampton over the next 18 months. Tenants and leaseholders will get better insulation, heating, new windows and other improvements.

The city council said it would cut both carbon emissions and fuel bills, “providing vital savings for low-income families”.

The scheme could run for a further five years, subject to ECO funding and legislation. 

Cllr Warwick Payne, Southampton City Council’s housing and sustainability leader, said: “MITIE has been chosen as our ECO partner after an exhaustive process to make sure we’re getting the right firm and the right deal. We hope to attract more than £30m of investment to Southampton with the potential for more to follow if Westminster extends the Energy Companies Obligation scheme.

“Using this investment we can shield low-income families from soaring fuel prices, improve the look of our council estates, create hundreds of local jobs and reduce Southampton’s carbon footprint. We can’t wait to get started.”

MITIE will also deliver a district heating scheme for the Thornhill Estate involving over 1,100 properties, under a unique delivery model that’s being rolled out to other housing authorities in southern England.

Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, chief executive of MITIE, said: “This new partnership with Southampton City Council will help reduce fuel bills and carbon emissions across their entire housing estate. We are really excited to be building on our existing relationship with the Council and look forward to providing residents with warmer and more energy efficient homes.”

Nick Cross, head of housing services at Southampton City Council, said:

“We’re delighted to confirm that MITIE will be our official ECO partner. ECO funding will significantly improve the standard of the Council’s poorest performing housing stock as well as reducing fuel poverty and improving the health and well-being of tenants in some of the most deprived areas in the south.

“The ECO partnership will have a sufficient scale to contribute to business growth, job and apprenticeship creation, safeguarding existing jobs, and developing a strong local skills base for local people in the City’s communities. By improving their homes, reducing their heating bills and offering opportunities for local employment our ECO partnership will literally transform the lives of thousands of our residents.”

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