By Claire West

Welsh councils and Registered Social Landlords will today (Wednesday 17 June) come together with the UK’s “big six” energy firms at a major summit in Cardiff, convened by Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant.

The event follows a series of meetings the Minister has had with the leading energy companies to discuss how they can work more effectively with the Welsh Government to tackle fuel poverty.

With almost a third of Welsh households in fuel poverty a key focus of the discussions will be about working together to maximise investment into Wales from the energy company obligation (ECO). The energy company obligation (ECO) (external link) places legal obligations on larger energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures to domestic premises, such as loft insulation.

Carl Sargeant said the summit is an opportunity to develop schemes that will bring much needed investment to Wales.

Carl Sargeant said:

“Action to leverage investment from ECO is just one of the actions that we are taking to increase the energy efficiency of all sectors in Wales. It is important that we work together to maximise ECO investment into Wales and deliver wider benefits for our communities. We want to develop schemes that deliver multiple benefits for local communities, schemes that create new, sustainable, local jobs and training opportunities.

“Energy efficiency offers a considerable opportunity to deliver green growth through new jobs, skills and a vibrant supply chain. Arbed alone has created over 470 jobs and 60,000 hours of training so far. I am confident that it will create more opportunities this year through the potential schemes that we have come here today to discuss.”

The Minister added that he was investing an additional £36 million this year intoWelsh Government Warm Homes — the newly branded initiative that will include the Nest and Arbed schemes. He will also launch a consultation on the new energy efficiency strategy, which he said would give a fresh focus to the increased investment and commitment the Welsh Government is making to improving the energy efficiency of businesses, homes and public sector organisations across Wales.