Fuel bills will pay for eco-upgrades
By Louise Gray
More than 10,000 homes a week will be given ‘eco-upgrades’ under Goverment plans to make every home in Britain environmentally friendly.
Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said seven million homes will have insulation or renewable energy devices like solar panels fitted by 2020.
Energy companies will work with local authorities to carry out the ambitious refurbishment programme “street by street” and “house by house”.
Mr Miliband admitted households will pay around £50 per year to subsidise the nationwide scheme through fuel bills but insisted that this would be outweighed by savings in the long term.
But Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, said the Government are not in a position to guarantee bills will not go up even further.
“Whilst we support efforts to help people save energy, we’re concerned that consumers could end up footing the huge bill for this new strategy,” he said.
Mr Miliband also announced a Pay As You Save Scheme (PAYS) that will enable homeowners to pay for energy efficiency measures through their fuel bills. The ‘green loans’ will be availabe through supermarkets or DIY chains and will be attached to the house rather than the owner so costly work can be paid back over a period of up to 25 years.
Households can get a better idea of what work needs to be done to their home through a new website or telephone advice line, or even through a “virtual green makeover” online. A network of green show homes will also enable people to get an idea of energy saving measures.
Landlords will also be expected to ensure homes are more energy efficient and standards for rented properties will be introduced from 2015.
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