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Tesco and B&Q join interest in 'Green Deal' to insulate homes

The UK government plans to get companies to pay to insulate energy inefficient homes - recovering the money from savings on the householder's energy bill. Almost every home in Britain - 26 million of them - will have to be refurbished if we are to meet our carbon reduction targets. So far, hardly any have been completed. The government hopes to break the deadlock with its 'Green Deal', which offers homeowners and tenants, plus business occupiers, the chance to borrow money to make their homes and business premises more energy efficient. What makes the Green Deal different to any other loan is that the borrower repays the money from savings on their energy bills, which should mean they can slash their carbon emissions without any cost to themselves. The Green Deal is part of the Energy Bill which got its second reading in parliament recently. The government hopes the first Green Deals will be made in autumn 2012, after consultations and secondary legislation is completed.

The Green Deal has been hailed by campaigners such as the UK Green Building Council, an alliance of architects, engineers, construction companies and property developers as 'A once-in-a-generation chance to reduce carbon emissions, improve the fabric of our homes and workplaces and create potentially hundreds of thousands of new jobs.' Yet campaigners are also worried that the Green Deal will fail to achieve the massive scale of refurbishments needed, because the incentives won't go far enough to get home owners and business occupiers on board.
Under government plans, those who take out a green deal loan would see a 'green deal charge' on their energy bills. If the property is sold or the tenant moves out, the payments are continued by the incoming bill payer. A loan would only be available if the expected savings can be shown to be greater than the costs attached to the energy bill. Independent, accredited advisers would assess what work should be done to a property and the likely savings that would arise, while the work itself, such as installing insulation and double glazing, would also be done by properly qualified and accountable companies.

Source : Mark Jansen - Ecologist

12 January 2011
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