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The Government has published its consultation document on the forthcoming Green Deal energy efficiency incentive scheme, revealing further details of its plans.

The aim is to reduce carbon emissions in the UK by revolutionising the energy efficiency of British properties, including homes and businesses.

The scheme will act as a financial incentive to businesses, landlords and households, by covering the upfront costs of installing energy efficiency measures such as loft insulation, with repayments made through the savings made on electricity bills, over a period of up to 25 years.

The repayments will be set at a lower rate than the total savings made as a result of the energy efficiency measures, to ensure that all participants benefit from their involvement.

Consultation

The Government’s 238-page consultation document, published as part of energy secretary Chris Huhne’s annual Energy Statement last week, outlines proposals for implementing the scheme.

It is now open for comments and feedback until Wednesday 18 January, and the resulting Green Deal framework will be published next autumn.

Proposals include an initial £150 cashback 'sweetener' to encourage people to take up the deal, to be paid for an extra £200 million of funding announced by the Government. A new qualification for home energy efficiency installers has also been recommended.

Although the Green Deal will operate in much the same way for domestic and non-domestic properties, the Government has proposed that the non-domestic scheme should differ slightly.

For example, energy efficiency assessments could be more complex, and a wider range of efficiency measures could be eligible for the finance, including low-energy lighting, low-flow taps and showers, or natural ventilation systems.

An Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme will run alongside the Green Deal, to incentivise energy companies to meet carbon-saving targets by providing £1.3 billion a year to help lower-income and hard-to-insulate households with energy efficiency.

The Government has also recommended that the main energy companies should be required to allocate up to half of their Energy Company Obligation (ECO) work to smaller providers, to help open up the market.

'Great news'

The Government expects the Green Deal to provide a significant opportunity for businesses, supporting at least 65,000 jobs in insulation and construction by 2015.

Fund manager for the North West Fund for Energy & Environmental, Adam Workman also commented: "This is great news for both businesses and consumers in the North West. Across the region there are a significant number of businesses with the expertise to deliver the cost benefits outlined by the Green Deal.

"One of the initial perceived barriers has always been where the capital to fund these installations will come from. Here, the UK Government has chosen to take a leading role in providing the initial £200 million of finance, which will hopefully unlock the £14 billion of private investment outlined by the energy secretary, Chris Huhne."

Rising bills and emissions

According to the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), approximately 43 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings.

Mr Huhne also announced last week that he expects corporate energy costs to rise by almost 20 per cent by 2020, putting mounting pressure on businesses to install energy efficiency measures.
 

Posted 30 November 2011