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What does the new Green Deal mean for households?

Ray Cobbett

GREEN DEAL Ray Cobbett

By Ray Cobbett, coordinator of Hampshire Friends of the Earth
Published in the Portsmouth News on Thursday 21st February 2013

The long-awaited Green Deal has been announced aimed at making Britain’s 14m homes more energy efficient.

The idea is to provide advice to households reducing bills through greater energy efficiency.

The advice is not free and loans, between £10,000 and £25,000, are up for grabs from the newly set-up Green Deal Finance Company repayable from savings in electricity bills.

The golden rule is repayments will never be greater than the saving made from the improvements.

Some people can and have already made and paid for their own improvements such as solar PV panels, modern boilers and cavity wall filling.

For others the Green Deal may be a painless way of making gas and electricity more affordable to help the millions trapped in fuel poverty. Some experts estimate annual savings of up to £300.

The Green Deal does little to reduce fuel consumption.

As with petrol price reductions it usually means more fuel is consumed. Neither is the coalition helping by scrapping the higher insulation standards scheduled for 2016 for new homes in a country with one of the least efficient housing stocks in Europe.

There is help for the poorest households in areas like Havant, among the hardest hit in Hampshire.

Provisions are planned to provide the energy efficiency measures they need. These could include solid wall, loft and cavity wall insulation and other improvements.

People in rented properties must hope that their landlords will take action too.

The government has put £200m into scheme and 600 builders to sell it so it clearly means business.

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