UK Households Street-by Street Green Deal
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
The Green Deal has decided to take a new approach to curb ever increasing energy bills. It has been decided that energy efficiency experts will go door-to door in a bid to promote the Green Deal, with installers on site to advise consumers on the best methods to improve energy saving and consumption. All of this is in a bid to get households to take advantage of loans to upgrade their energy efficiency, with many British households falling short of the latest technology that will lead to considerable savings on their energy bills.
The home energy efficiency package offered by the Green Deal enables households to take advantage of loans to improve their dwellings, thus saving energy and also lowering the carbon emissions which need to be reduced drastically if the UK is to meet targets set for transformation. At present the Green Deal relies on consumers coming forward to apply for loans. This has had a very low response. Almost 40 000 assessments have been conducted to date, with only 240 loans being finalised.
With £20m being made available by government, the project should be able to get started in earnest. Business blocks will also benefit with the Green Deal with large block installations being more cost effective than individual installations. There will also be special benefits for lower income households, or older properties where upgrading will be extensive. Benefits will be in the form of subsidies. This new approach will mean that households will have to opt out instead of sign up. The Committee on Climate Change are determined to move towards meeting low carbon targets in the foreseeable future.
Councils are being encouraged to get actively involved with the new programme; one option is to refurbish show houses to allow consumers to see first-hand the improvements once they have been aesthetically completed and understanding the savings that will come with the transformation, and hoping for a snowball effect to occur. The idea is to make the upgrade irresistible and councils will be asked to assist in bringing change to their areas.
The major drawback of this Green Deal is that households may not wish to add debt to their already strained budgets. British Gas is already geared to this project, with Green Deal offers available, and other companies will follow suit once red tape has been overcome. ECO has already rolled out a similar low income scheme.
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