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First Village Energy Project

A south Warwickshire village is to pioneer a new project aimed at helping local communities save energy and help the environment. Stratford District Council has selected Bishops Itchington to take part in SWEEP (South Warwickshire Energy Efficiency Project), which provides free advice on reducing fuel bills as well as discounts and grants for improving fuel efficiency.

Bishops Itchington is the first and only village in the district to be included in the scheme so far, which runs for three years with different villages being selected for future years. It is expected that over 30,000 will be made available from government grants that will go towards implementing up to 2,000 individual home energy improvements in the village.

"The idea behind SWEEP is to help local residents in the village reduce their fuel bills, improve the comfort of their homes and conserve the environment," said Alan Savery, director of environmental health and housing at Stratford District Council.

"One of the key areas of the scheme is to encourage residents to improve their homes making them less wasteful on fuel and therefore reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Free advice and information is being provided by Tracy Dexter, the council's home energy efficiency officer.

"Grants will also be made available, with recommended skilled contractors carrying out the work, in addition to a package of discounted energy efficiency measures such as loft insulation, hot water jackets and low energy light bulbs.

"Every home in Bishops Itchington will receive details of SWEEP through the post, and we will also be holding a number of presentations around the village to explain the scheme, with the first home improvements starting in the next month or so."

SWEEP is a joint project led by Stratford District Council in partnership with Warwick District and Rugby Borough Councils. The scheme was put forward as a competitive bid for funds from the Energy Savings Trust and was one of around 30 successful schemes out of over 100 submitted from local authorities all over the UK.

Mark Lepkowski, press officer on 01789 260104
Tracey Dexter, home energy efficiency officer 01789 260863

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