The Green Deal will be as "easy as ABC", Chris Huhne said today as the framework for the multi-billion pound green makeover programme for UK homes and businesses was enshrined in law.
The Energy Act
legally paves the way for the Green Deal
to launch in Autumn 2012 and the Energy Secretary promised that the scheme would be affordable and easy to access for cash-strapped householders
and small businesses
"A huge hurdle has been passed in bringing the Green Deal closer to making homes warmer and cheaper to run," said Huhne. "When it’s introduced, the Green Deal will be as easy as ABC by making work affordable, providing bespoke independent advice and choice in the market from well-known and trusted high street names."
The Green Deal will enable homeowners and businesses to access loans for loft and cavity wall insulation, lagging and other energy efficiency
measures. The Government says it will see billions of pounds lent every year and create hundreds of thousands of jobs between now and 2020.
"It’s expected to attract capital investment
of up to £15 billion in the residential sector alone by the end of this decade and at its peak, the Green Deal could support around 250,000 jobs," Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said.
However, many people still don’t know about the programme and there are concerns that homes and small businesses
may find it difficult to access affordable loans or may be put off investing in energy efficiency measures unless the Green Deal is trusted and easy to understand.
Enshrined in law
The Energy Act aims to remove some of those barriers to success, through a number of legal measures, key amongst which is a 'pay as you save’ scheme. This will enable households and businesses to pay for the energy saving work over time through a charge on the home’s energy bill, which because of the so called 'Golden Rule', will never exceed the savings they make through the energy efficiency improvements they undertake. In addition, the Act ensures the energy companies provide extra financial provision to the most vulnerable and hardest to treat homes.
To protect consumers from 'cowboy’ operators, the Act lays down that all Green Deal participants have to carry a 'quality mark’ so customers know they can be trusted.
From April 2018, it will also be illegal to rent out a house or business premise which has less than an 'E’ energy efficiency rating.
Need to insulate
Action to insulate Britain’s buildings
is needed urgently, says the Government because of how much energy they waste
and because of the rising cost of fuel bills. According to DECC’s own 'Housing Energy Fact File’, published today, around 50 per cent more energy is used to heat and power homes than is used to power UK industry, and more than half of homes in the UK currently don’t have sufficient insulation.
"The coalition is doing all it can to bear down on energy prices, but insulation will provide the long term help to manage bills," said Huhne.
Green Deal Finance Company
Earlier this month, some of Britain’s biggest household names, including British Gas, EON, B&Q and HSBC, signed a memorandum of understanding to launch the Green Deal Finance
Company, a not-for-profit venture that will offer cheap loans to households and businesses making energy efficiency investments through the Green Deal. The unique venture is open to any Green Deal provider to join.
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