A Government minister was in Alnwick last week to take part in a forum with owners of small and medium energy businesses.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey discussed a whole range of issues relating to renewable and alternative technologies with specialists from the field in Northumberland.
Speaking to the Gazette after the event on Wednesday, the Lib Dem MP, who worked for Sir Alan Beith MP for a number of years, said it was useful meeting those working in the industry in the region.
“I’m impressed by the innovative approaches they take in terms of being entrepreneurial and taking on new energies,” he said.
“It’s good to talk to people at grassroots level to discuss what is working and what isn’t working so well so I can go back to my department in Whitehall and make sure we are doing the right things.
“It’s also interesting how many people they are taking on. Yes, there are problems, but it’s a thriving sector.”
He also talked about the Green Deal, his Government’s flagship energy policy, through which you can make energy-saving improvements to your home or business without having to pay all the costs up-front.
Mr Davey said that some of the issues raised at the forum, which can often lead to fuel poverty, ‘show the need for doing the things we are arguing for’.
“I think people need help with their energy bills and I’m determined to help people – I would really encourage people to take up our support,” he said.
“There are issues are to take back that are relevant for the whole country,” he added.
Neil Harrison, of Alnwick-based re:heat, raised what he sees as a key issue around the education of consumers, rather than being swayed by the first company offering large subsidies.
“I was impressed (by Mr Davey) actually,” he said.
“He definitely knows his subject and seemed receptive to the issues being raised.”