Ministers from the new Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department of Communities and Local Government are expected to publish plans to reduce energy use in UK homes and launch a consultation on the proposals.

Energy use in homes currently accounts for about a third of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

Media reports earlier this week suggested that under the plans, about seven million houses and flats will be offered a complete eco-makeover.

Reports also suggested that Government will commit to cutting a third of greenhouse gas emissions from households by 2020.

However, environmental campaigners have warned that these steps would not go far enough, and said they hoped Government will take a more ambitious stance on Thursday.

Friends of the Earth is arguing that the UK will need to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2020, compared to 1990 levels, to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Ed Matthew, head of UK climate at Friends of the Earth, told edie the organisation would like to see Government provide eco-makeovers to at least ten million homes, and introduce measures to cut household emissions by two-thirds.

“Although seven million homes sounds like a lot, they need to do more homes,” he said.

“But more important than that, the scale of cuts they are trying to achieve in those homes [according to the media reports] just simply isn’t enough.”

He also raised fears that the Government is not moving quickly enough, as reports suggest the measures in the consultation will not come into effect until 2013.

“We simply don’t have the time to faff around,” Mr Matthew said.

He added: “This is a big change from where [Government] have been. They are beginning to talk the right language, but it’s not ambitious enough, it’s not fast enough.”

Kate Martin

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