Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey has joined Carillion and local community groups to discuss how Green Deal will benefit households and businesses in the North East.
The free event at St Gabriel''s Church in Heaton, Newcastle, attracted considerable interest.
It was organized by Newcastle-based Carillion Energy Services, the UK''s leading independent energy services provider and one of the first companies to register as a Green Deal provider.
Due to be launched this autumn, Green Deal is a Government-sponsored framework designed to make energy efficiency easy and affordable. It aims to reach up to 14 million households by 2020 and cut carbon emissions from the UK housing stock by 29%. With no up front costs for households, Green Deal will be paid for through the resulting savings on energy bills.
Ed Davey said: "This event showcased how businesses and community groups can work in partnership to deliver the benefits of Green Deal. Whether it''s through insulation, better heating or renewable technologies, improving the energy efficiency of our homes is by far the best and most sustainable way to keep fuel bills low. The growth of Green Deal will also help generate green jobs at a local level, and I am delighted that companies like Carillion are putting in place skills and training courses to help job-seekers."
As a pioneering Green Deal provider, Carillion was also one of the first companies to become a member of The Green Deal Finance Company - a public-private sector initiative set up to provide access to low cost finance to fund the energy efficiency improvements.
Nigel Taylor, Managing Director of Carillion Energy Services, added: "Green Deal, and the accompanying Energy Company Obligation element to tackle fuel poverty and carbon reduction, has the potential to overcome traditional barriers such as cost and take the scale and uptake of energy efficiency improvements to an entirely new level.
Across the UK it could be the nudge millions of people need to make their homes greener and more affordable to heat - and in partnership with others we are ready to help."
Other organizations attending the event included Newcastle-based National Energy Action (NEA), Citizens Advice Bureau, Northumberland Women''s Institute, The Conservation Volunteers, The Fire Rescue Service, Neighbourhood Police and Age Concern.