Headlines: February 7th, 2003

Ten projects designed by local authorities and other public bodies to cut energy bills and to combat greenhouse gases and fuel poverty are getting a five million pound boost from the government.The energy-saving schemes to heat low-income households and public buildings including – for the first time – a hospital, are the latest to bid successfully for cash from the Community Energy programme. The projects, which will cost around 23 million pounds in total, will share 5.2 million pounds of grants. It is estimated that together they will cut carbon emissions by four thousand tones a year.

The new grants include 800,000 pounds for a community heating network run on methane gas from a landfill site in Chesterfield and just over 93,000 pounds for the Royal Southampton Hospital. It becomes the first hospital scheme to be funded through the programme.Other successful bids came from Rotherham Borough Council, Midlothian Council, Woking Borough Council, Portsmouth City Council, the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Edinburgh and Dundee universities and the London Borough of Croydon.

Sustainable Energy minister, Lord Whitty said the schemes would heat 1,500 low-income households as well as the public buildings. “They have clearly demonstrated cost-effective energy savings. I look forward to many more quality bids in future rounds of our programme.”