The Green Deal: "bringing our houses out of the dark ages"
Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, has announced further details of the Government’s proposed Green Deal, describing it in a speech to students at the LSE as “a radical programme to bring our houses out of the dark ages”.
Support for the Green Deal
Proposals for the Green Deal have won the support of businesses and NGOs. British Gas has committed to with expressions of support from businesses and other organisations. British Gas has announced its intention to “go early” on the Green Deal, while David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF, said:
“The Green Deal has the potential to become a game changing policy. WWF view the Green Deal as crucial to ensuring the UK is able to meet our 2020 carbon budgets – but, it needs to be attractive enough to encourage everyone to take action. A highly ambitious Green Deal will contribute to a green recovery, create numerous new jobs around the country, and of course move the UK closer to becoming a more sustainable, low carbon economy.”
Tackling energy waste
With £3 billion worth of energy wasted every year in the UK and the country’s housing stock accounting for around a quarter of all UK carbon emissions, the Green Deal aims to dramatically improve energy efficiency in order for the country to meet its carbon reduction targets.
The Green Deal is aimed at both the owned and rented sectors: landlords will face no upfront costs when improving their properties, tenants will have the right, from 2015, to demand reasonable energy efficiency improvements, and local authorities will have powers to insist that landlords improve the worst performing homes.
Non-domestic buildings account for a further 10% of carbon emissions and the Green Deal will also be available to business.
How the Green Deal will work
Under the Green Deal, work to upgrade properties for improved energy efficiency will not be paid for up-front, but over time from the savings on energy bills.
The Green Deal is expected to be available from Autumn 2012, and will involve the following process:
- Step 1 – an independent energy survey of the property, giving clear advice on the best energy efficiency options, such as loft or cavity wall insulation.
- Step 2 – Green Deal finance to be provided by a range of accredited providers, which will be repaid through savings on energy bills, making properties cheaper to run from day one.
- Step 3 – Homes and businesses will then receive their energy efficiency package. Only accredited measures will be installed by appropriately-qualified installers, overseen by Government, giving consumers confidence that the deal they are getting is high-quality and will save them money.
Reduced carbon, financial savings and more jobs
In addition to the financial and carbon savings, the Green Deal is expected to provide new jobs, with the current 27,000-strong insulation industry workforce rising to up to 100,000 by 2015.
British Gas has announced its commitment to the Green Deal and its intention to “go early” by recruiting 3,700 new “green-collar” workers by the end of 2012 and investing £30 million in installing energy efficiency measures in customers’ houses, to be repaid through savings in energy bills.
- The Green Deal: energy savings for homes and businesses – more information and leaflet available to download from DECC
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