Home efficiency plan announced

The government has announced an initiative to improve the green credentials of homes and businesses across England.

The Green Deal will allow households to take out loans from their local councils to improve the energy efficiency of their homes such as installing double glazing or solar panels.

The deal will mean householders and landlords do not have to pay upfront costs themselves.

Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate change Secretary says the scheme will create over 100,000 jobs over the next five years and that the loans will be paid back through savings on fuel bills.

Landlords will be forced to take up the new improvements for their tenants though legislation.

Chris Huhne said: "At a time of increasing gas prices, energy efficiency is a no-brainer.

"It's also a massive economic and job opportunity, which could help Britain's economy turn the corner."

A three-part process for the home improvements was laid out. First a survey will need to be completed to give the best energy efficiency options. Then householders will be able to access the Green Deal finance and lastly homes will receive an energy efficiency package provided by accredited schemes.

The government says that the new deal is a solution to the problem of a lack of investment in energy saving measures resulting in buildings with poor energy efficiency ratings.

British Gas is already offering a British Gas Green Deal which will provide a survey to give recommendations for improvement options. They will charge no upfront costs and the ability to pay for the improvements for up to 25 years.

The government hopes to roll out the plan to Wales and Scotland later. Alison Brown



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