Housing Minister John Healey is backing the country’s biggest ever green home programme by pledging to build more than 600 new eco-homes.
The money will be shared by four areas to build the first eco-towns at Whitehill-Bordon in Hampshire, St Austell in Cornwall, Rackheath in Norfolk and North West Bicester in Oxfordshire. The funding will also be used for boosting the energy efficiency of existing schools, including a new green sixth form for the Cooper School in Bicester, and retrofitting of primary schools and libraries in Whitehill-Bordon.
The new homes will introduce nearly 2,000 people to green living, saving them hundreds of pounds on bills. For the people who live nearby, the construction of the houses could also potentially create and support up to 2,000 local jobs, including apprenticeships to help advance new green building skills.
“This is the country’s biggest ever eco-home building programme. As a first step, 600 will be built in these four areas – most will be for sale, but some will be permanent eco-show homes,” Healey said.
“By 2016, there will be 10,000 new eco-homes in these four pioneering areas. This means people will be able to experience green living for themselves and see how it can change their lives and save money.”
The people who move into the eco-homes will see first-hand the latest technology such as electric car charging points, systems for saving water, recycling and composting waste and smart meters to track energy use.