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Local councils, the business community and E.ON begin work to develop sustainable communities
A pioneering agreement to create more sustainable communities – improving energy efficiency and working to combat climate change across Exeter, East Devon and the whole of Devon county – has been signed at a landmark ceremony today (18 June 2011).
Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council and Devon County Council have formed a Low Carbon Task Force, together with energy company E.ON, to improve the energy efficiency of homes and to use renewable power sources to drive down residents’ fuel bills and cut carbon emissions.
The task force will be made up of a range of organisations in the Growth Point area, including Exeter Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which have a major part to play in the region’s future, promoting technical innovation and low carbon solutions in housing, business, transport, jobs and education.
The key to success will be promoting new skills and creating “green” jobs on projects such as large-scale solar power and district heating schemes.
Leader of Exeter City Council Councillor Pete Edwards, Councillor Paul Diviani from East Devon District Council, and County Councillor Will Mumford signed the partnership agreement along with Michael Woodhead, Managing Director of E.ON’s Sustainable Energy business.
Exeter City Councillor Pete Edwards said: “We are delighted that such a major player as E.ON has come forward to show its confidence and commitment to the area.”
Councillor Paul Diviani Chair of East Devon District Council’s
Development Management Committee added: “The scheme will create opportunities for local suppliers and help make the city, East Devon and the wider county greener and attractive to businesses.”
Commenting on the signing, Councillor Will Mumford, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Strategic Planning, said: “This agreement will ensure the Devon community benefits from cutting edge innovation and knowledge from a world-leading energy supplier.”
Michael Woodhead said: “Part of what we’re doing here is about helping people take control of their energy use and lower their bills – we call that being energy fit.
“But there’s a bigger picture as well; reducing the impact we have on the environment, and everyone – councils, communities and companies – has a part to play if we are to do that.
“Nobody knows a community better than the people who live and work there. If we can work together to build energy efficiency into our everyday lives – our homes and businesses, how we travel, how we shop – then we can really start to make a difference.”
Around 100 members of the business community witnessed the launch of the partnership today at a lunch event organised by Exeter Chamber of Commerce at the city’s Southgate Hotel which also launched the city’s Sustainability Network for business.
Chris Lorimer, the Chairman of Exeter Chamber’s Sustainability Network said: “Exeter Chamber fully supports this innovative initiative. The South West is home to a huge proportion of the UK’s environmental business sector but still more can be done to ensure business, government, communities and individuals work together to increase sustainability.”
E.ON has been part of the CosyDevon scheme since 2008, working with local authorities and Energy Action Devon to install about 10,000 insulation measures including cavity wall and loft insulation to homes.
The company is also one of the partners in the new Cranbrook development, constructing a £30m energy centre and district heating scheme at nearby Skypark. The project will supply renewable heat and hot water to up to 3,500 homes in the new community, as well as fuelling over 1.4million sq. ft. of office and industrial space at the Skypark Business Park.
Pictured in top image L-R:
Michael Woodhead, managing director of E.ON's sustainable energy business, Chris Lorimer, chairman of Exeter Chamber of Commerce's sustainability network, Cllr Paul Diviani, East Devon District Council, Cllr Will Mumford, Devon County Council and Cllr Pete Edwards, Exeter City Council and chair of Exeter and East Devon Growth Point Steering Board. Picturecredit: Harrera Images