University hosts debate over green energy revolution

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SHEFFIELD University has hosted a debate on Government plans to revolutionise green energy and efficiency of homes and businesses.

Richard Mellish, head of the Green Deal Programme at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, was among the guests at the event yesterday.

He joined representatives from Yorkshire councils, university academics and energy firms E-On, N-Power, Scottish Power, British Gas, EDF and Scottish and Southern, to discuss how to maximise the benefits that the Green Deal could provide to the region.

Details of the Green Deal are set to be announced next month.

Sheffield University and representatives of councils across the Yorkshire region are among groups who have helped develop experimental proposals under the BIG Energy Upgrade Programme - which has been used to develop ideas for the Green Deal.

Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “Our role has been to drive innovation in the energy efficiency supply chain.

“We’re also helping to alleviate fuel poverty in the areas of the Yorkshire and Humber region most in need, through our research in building and technology, energy and behaviour.”

Under the BIG Energy Upgrade, experimental measures were installed in homes of some of the most deprived areas in Yorkshire and Humber to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve energy efficiency.

The investment has totalled £14.7m, £7m of which has been funded by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme.

The BIG Energy Upgrade has installed over 829 measures into homes across the Yorkshire region to cut energy costs.

Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment, said: “The Green Deal is a major priority for Sheffield. We have a large housing stock that can be retrofitted and will benefit from the Green Deal. This will help to generate new jobs, develop new skills and stimulate the economy for our city.”