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Green Deal programme revealed

The Government’s Green Deal has now been published by the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, with the aim of cutting fuel bills and meeting climate targets.

The initiative seeks to encourage private investors to offer cheap loans for households to install insulation, with repayments costing less than the savings that would be made through lower fuel bills.

The Government wants 14 million households to sign up by 2020, involving up to £100bn and creating up to 65,000 jobs by 2015. The debt would be tied to the particular home and energy bill, not the owner or occupier.

Launching the initiative yesterday, Huhne said: “Our first task is to make our homes and businesses less leaky and wasteful. Earlier this year, the Energy Act 2011 received Royal Assent. The Act contains provisions for the Green Deal, the pioneering programme under which business will install energy saving measures in our homes, and will recoup the cost over decades from the energy savings.

“I am today launching a consultation on the secondary legislation that will allow Green Deals to begin next autumn, including the Energy Company Obligation to support those who need the most help.

“Improving our buildings is vital. But we must also change the way we warm them in the first place. We are determined to help consumers heat their homes and businesses securely and affordably, and will publish a heat strategy next year.”

Garry Worthington, head of Green Deal for Climate Energy, says: “Working in tandem, Green Deal and the ECO will drive the demand for improving the energy efficiency of our housing stock and businesses, and will create a practical framework for delivery both nationally and locally.”

However, some are concerned that the long-term loans would put off prospective buyers, and there are other barriers to energy-saving measures than cost, including the effort of arranging installation and trusting energy providers.

Recent research from the Centre for Sustainable Energy found that, on average, we use only two-thirds of the energy the Government assessment would have expected – meaning it would take even longer to pay back the cost of new energy saving measures.

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