Greg Barker, climate change minister, outlined the new measures which will include an advice line and independent body to ensure companies carrying out home insulation meet standards of quality and assurance.

From next year, people can access up to £10,000 to pay for energy efficiency improvements to their homes.

The government is also pledging help for businesses, vulnerable people and those in homes that need more work than the Green Deal grant alone would cover.

A new policy document, ‘Consumer Protection in the Green Deal’ sets out the plans to safeguard consumers.

The Green Deal Code aims to offer consumers protection at every stage of the process from initial assessment to installation.

The advice line will offer advice and referral to accredited assessors and deal with complaints.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) will be set up to outline and enforce standards for assessors and installers.

Greg Barker said of the Green Deal: “It’s vital people can trust it.

“I have heard too many cases of shoddy workmanship or dodgy technology from Government schemes in the past so from day one there will be strict rules about standards, information will be readily available and there will be a proper route for complaints.”

Consultancy WSP Environment and Energy believes that it is essential to tackle home energy inefficiency and if the Green Deal is to work, it must get homeowner buy-in.

WSP director, David Symons, said: “If the UK is going to cut home emissions to almost zero by 2050, then upgrading today’s houses is a priority as we’ll still be living in them in 2050.

“The UK is the first country to suggest a ‘pay as you save’ model for energy efficiency. It’s innovative and we need to see the full details to understand if the programme is going to be a success.

“The final package will need to be easy for home owners to understand, and also for energy companies to run. Householders will need to be confident that the Green Deal Code genuinely provides fair financing terms and that they won’t be caught out by the small print.”

Alison Brown

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