A LARGE scale eco project for Dudley homes is getting under way after a £1.5m payout to the council from British Gas.

The cash was handed over through ECO (Energy Companies Obligations) to carry out work on 397 council houses which include properties in Kates Hill, Priory, Pensnett and Brockmoor.

The British Gas cash will be added to £2.3m from the council to fund the scheme which is worth £3.8 million in total.

Councillor Steve Waltho, Dudley cabinet member for housing, said: “This joint investment will help reduce energy bills for our tenants at a time when fuel prices keep rising and also help us to do our bit to reduce the borough’s carbon footprint.”

James Maden, head of commercial, British Gas, said: “The new scheme will bring real benefits to people in the borough. By providing the funding from the Energy Companies Obligation, we’re helping people to live in a comfortable, warm environment whilst keeping their energy bills down.

“Dudley residents can expect to see a real improvement over the coming months as the partnership invests on a large scale to tackle fuel poverty and a wide range of energy problems.”

Work will include external wall insulation, the replacement of single glazed windows and loft insulation and is expected to be completed by the autumn.

It is estimated the project will save almost 15,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 30 years.