Climate change minister Gregory Barker has taken steps to reassure local authorities they still have a key role to play in the Green Deal energy efficiency programme following the cancellation of a pilot scheme involving councils.
Under the Green Deal households will be able to pay for up to £6,500 of home improvements through reduced energy bills.
But last month the Department for Energy and Climate Change confirmed a local authority pilot project, promised by the Tories in December 2009, would be scrapped. It would have involved the Greater London Authority and 14 councils across the country.
In a letter to LGC Mr Barker said that the pilots were no longer necessary as details on how the Green Deal will work had been “broadly agreed”, with legislation scheduled for the autumn.
He wrote: “Many local councils have already built up great experience and expertise when it comes to boosting the energy efficiency of homes in their areas. That’s something we want to be part of the Green Deal, and certainly not something that we’ll overlook.
“Speaking at the Local Government Association conference back in July, energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne made clear that local authorities would be vital players in the Green Deal.
“That’s why we’re working with local authorities to see how their experience and local knowledge can best be used.”
This week Mr Huhne said companies such as B&Q and Scottish & Southern Energy had shown interest in delivering the Green Deal.
He estimated the programme could lead to the creation of around 250,000 jobs could be created over the next 20 years.