The Minister will address installers of renewable energy from throughout South Wales on Friday 8th June. He is speaking as part of a wider event aimed at providing information and advice to Welsh businesses on how they can tender for lucrative contracts associated with arbed phase 2.
This second phase of arbed, which is part funded through the European Regional Development fund, will see £45m being invested to improve the energy efficiency of around 4800 homes in some of Wales’ most deprived areas.
It follows the success of arbed phase one which saw more than £66 million being spent on measures to improve the energy efficiency of around 7500 Welsh homes.
Speaking ahead of the event, the Minister said:
“A continuing upward trend in fuel prices means we must do all we can to ensure that Welsh homes are fit for the future.
“As with arbed phase one, this second phase of the programme, which is funded by Welsh Government and European Regional Development Fund money will ensure that homes in some of the most deprived areas of Wales are fitted with energy saving and renewable energy measures such as solid wall insulation, energy efficient boilers and solar panels.
“This will help to make nearly 5000 Welsh homes much easier and cheaper to heat and is a key part of our efforts to tackle the very serious issue of fuel poverty.
“However arbed phase 2 will also provide a significant boost to the Welsh economy, providing opportunities for Welsh business to design, manufacture, distribute, install and maintain the necessary energy efficiency and renewable energy technology.
“This in turn means more training and employment opportunities for local workers in some of our less wealthy areas, something that can only be great news for Wales."
Under phase one of arbed, 70% of installed products were manufactured in Wales and more than 80% of the installers were primarily or solely based in Wales. The Welsh Government hopes that the events it is holding in north and south Wales will result in an even greater percentage of the work associated with phase two of arbed going to Welsh businesses.
The Minister also announced that the second phase of arbed would be delivered by two scheme managers; Melin Homes in the south Wales and Wilmott Dixon in north and mid Wales.