18 May 2011 09:49
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 (Wednesday).
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, Energy Action Devon and the Energy Saving Trust 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.
Notes to editors:
- E.ON is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies - generating electricity, and retailing power and gas - and is part of the E.ON group, one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies;
- E.ON's retail business is a leading energy supplier in the UK with around
5 million electricity and gas customers, covering domestic, SME and industrial;
- E.ON is one of the leading green generators in the UK, with 21 wind farms located from Cambridgeshire to Kintyre. It owns and operates one of the UK's largest dedicated biomass power stations at Lockerbie and is testing a wave power device off Orkney.
Photocall: images taken at the signing at the Southgate Hotel ceremony and at the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point exhibition on the Devon County Council stand at the Devon County Show Westpoint will be circulated immediately following the event.
Councillor Pete Edwards, Leader of Exeter City Council, Councillor Paul Diviani from East Devon District Council, and County Councillor Will Mumford will formally sign a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the energy partnership along with Michael Woodhead, Managing Director of E.ON's Sustainable Energy business.
Copies of the Low Carbon Task Force Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between E.ON, Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council, Exeter Chamber of Commerce and Devon County Council are available upon request.
For more information contact:
Andrew Barrow (E.ON) on 02476 183 677