NEW project to finance energy efficiency improvements

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LEEF’s joint initiative will reduce energy bills by approximately 56%, securing average annual personal savings of £980 for over 1500 tenants.

The London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) is one of three ‘Urban Development Funds’ (UDFs) procured by the European Investment Bank (EIB) on behalf of the London Green Fund through the JESSICA initiative and managed by the Amber Infrastructure led Amber Green Consortium, is pleased to announce that it has agreed to provide a £4.6m loan facility to the London Borough of Hackney’s RE:NEW project to finance energy efficiency improvements.

The senior debt facility will support the installation of communal heating networks across ten separate social housing blocks, designed to alleviate existing fuel poverty for Hackney residents.

In addition to an Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) grant for individual home works financed by NPower, tenants will benefit from the replacement of inefficient electric and gas powered systems, with anticipated carbon savings of 40% due to a corresponding fuel switch. Heating installation will also cut maintenance costs for Hackney Homes.

Cenergist, the Borough’s retained energy advisor, were responsible for the technical and financial design of the project and supported the competitive tender process through which Lakehouse has been announced as the preferred contractor to deliver the works.

LEEF, a £100m sustainable investment fund with £48 million remaining to invest in energy efficiency retrofit projects in London by the end of 2015, recently became available to the private sector, in addition to public, voluntary and third sector bodies.

The widening of the application scope of LEEF’s activities has enabled an even greater range of buildings and bodies across the UK’s capital to benefit from flexible and competitive long-term financing terms and Energy Savings (kWh) of at least 20%. LEEF is able to provide investment of either debt or equity to successful applicants with requirements between £1 – 20 million.

Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Hackney Homes and Regeneration Estates, said: “These new communal heating networks will help to make homes more energy efficient, cutting carbon emissions and at the same time easing financial pressures on our residents.

“Hackney has a strong track record of securing grants like ECO and CESP to deliver greener and more efficient heating systems, and this cost effective LEEF loan allows us to continue delivering these improvements to even more residents.”

The partnership is the first transaction delivered jointly by LEEF and RE:NEW, both programmes established by the Mayor of London. The works are likely to be completed by the end of 2014.

The Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property, Richard Blakeway, said: “Retrofitting London’s homes with energy saving measures is essential to help cut rising fuel bills, keep Londoners warm, and lower CO2 emissions.

With the Mayor’s support, this latest initiative in Hackney is set to help around 1500 householders in the Borough to save money. Over 440,000 homes in London have been retrofitted since the Mayor was elected and there are plans to work with other organisations across London to make similar improvements in many more properties.”

Leo Bedford, Director for LEEF at Amber Green said, “LEEF is proud to support Hackney Homes’ efforts to reduce fuel poverty in Hackney. This reiterates LEEF’s commitment to providing dedicated finance designed to tackle rising energy bills and improve carbon efficiency in public and private infrastructure.”

More information at www.leef.co.uk