Yesterday (24 November) UK Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, published the consultation for the much anticipated Green Deal. The programme will launch next October with £14 billion of private sector investment promised over the next decade, including a new requirement on energy companies to provide £1.3 billion a year to help the most vulnerable and those with hard-to-treat homes, take part.
The Green Deal aims to help homeowners and businesses meet the upfront costs of energy efficiency improvements through long-term loans paid for out of savings to fuel bills. In addition to contributing to the reduction of fuel bills, it also predicted that the Green Deal could support 65,000 jobs in insulation and construction by 2015.
“The Green Deal is a massive business opportunity for firms up and down Britain,” said Huhne. “By stimulating billions of pounds of private sector investment, the Green Deal will revolutionise the way that we keep our homes warm, making them cosier, more efficient and all at no upfront cost.”
Huhne added that the government is considering offering up to £150 cash-back for homes taking part in the scheme and is looking at other ways of creating incentives for homeowners, businesses and providers to participate.
He also drew on new analysis which claims that from 2013, overall savings will start to kick in, as prices continue to rise, so that by 2020 the government’s policies contribute to a reduction in the average annual bill of around £94 or 7%. If prices rise faster than the analysis estimates, consumers will be even better off.
“There are certainly costs to replacing our ageing energy infrastructure with modern clean power stations, and we take very seriously any impact of our policies on what consumers and businesses pay,” Huhne said in his statement. “We’ve repeatedly taken steps to reduce this – by removing some planned levies on bills and making others more cost effective and within budget.”
To have your say in the Green Deal consultation, click here.