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UK plans up to £3.5 billion for greener homes

uk-homesTwo Government programmes will see extra investments that bring funding for energy efficiency and “whole-house” green makeovers to British homes up to £3.5 billion by 2012.

The increases will go toward the Government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme and the new Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP).

CERT and CESP will see extra investment by energy companies to promote energy efficiency. The aim is to help the UK meet its carbon targets under the Climate Change Act, as well as help the nation meet its fuel poverty targets.

The changes to CERT include:

  • A 20-per cent increase in the carbon emissions reduction target, leading to a revised target of 185 million lifetime tonnes of carbon; the average annual savings of the programme are equivalent to the annual emissions of about 1 million homes;
  • The inclusion of Home Energy Advice as a measure that can be offered, where experts will visit householders and audit current energy efficiency to help households take simple, easy steps to reduce energy consumption and cut fuel bills;
  • An estimated 60-per cent of the total funding available under the enhanced scheme will go to low-income and elderly householders, who will receive free or substantially discounted energy saving improvements such as insulation;
  • An increase in the amount energy that suppliers will be able to devote to innovative energy efficiency methods, such as microgeneration and solid wall insulation — from 6 per cent to up to 10 per cent of their total target; and
  • Removal of direct mail-outs of low-energy light bulbs from1 January 2010; these bulbs will still be available at discounted prices at retail outlets.

The Government today also announced the details of the new Community Energy Saving Programme, to begin this autumn, helping householders in low-income areas receive “whole-house” energy makeovers.

The introduction of CESP will see:

  • Up to 100 community schemes set up benefiting around 90,000 homes and delivering a savings of nearly 2.9 million tonnes of CO2 by December 2012;
  • The promotion of partnership working between the energy companies and local authorities and community groups;
  • Savings of about £330 per year on the energy bills of householders who receive help; and
  • Energy generators will be obliged to take part for the first time.

“Home energy efficiency has never been so important in achieving our long-term goals on climate change and to making a real difference to householder’s energy bills,” said Joan Ruddock, Minister of State in the Department of Energy and Climate Change. “Today’s announcement delivers a major part of the Prime Minister’s Home Energy Savings Programme that ensures people can save money and save energy, as well as reducing emissions.”

Ruddock added, “Community-level solutions are the key to fighting climate change and the roll-out of CESP later this year will teach us valuable lessons in how to provide help to every home in every street. By providing the tools for change, we are empowering the British people to play their role in tackling climate change.”

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