“Double-glazing your windows really can improve the UK’s energy security” according to the Lib Dem Energy and Climate Change Secretary of State Chris Huhne

In a speech to the London School of Economics yesterday, Chris Huhne, the Coalition Government’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary heralded the “new” Green Deal. However, having actually read his speech posted on the Liberal Democracts website, it does seem to me to lack substance, and though a commendable step in the right direction is rather full of wishful thinking and good intentions, as lacks detail and how the whole thing could not only actually be funded, but implemented.

Commenting on the content of his speech Mr Huhne stated â€ŔI want Britain to say goodbye forever to leaky lofts and chilly draughts. At a time of increasing gas prices energy efficiency is a no-brainer. It’s also a massive economic and job opportunity which could help Britain’s economy turn the corner. With up to 100,000 green jobs up for grabs over the next five years, and even more in the long term, this is about growing our economy in a way that’s good for jobs, the environment and energy security.”

Nothing wrong with good intentions Mr Huhne as long as they work, are thought through and well funded. According to Chris Huhne “A quarter of UK carbon emissions come from housing. We use more energy heating our homes than Sweden. Our homes may be our castles. But they shouldn’t cost a king’s ransom to run. In houses across the country, boilers are firing up earlier than they need to. Burning more gas than they have to. Producing more emissions than they should do. And all because our outdated housing stock leaks heat and wastes carbon.”

The Coalition’s response is “the Green Deal, a radical programme to bring our houses out of the dark ages.”. As independent double glazing manufacturers and installers, who specialise in supplying and fitting energy rated, energy efficient double glazing, as well as triple glazing, we can only hope Mr Huhne’s Green Deal works!

He says that “Over the next two years we expect to insulate 3.5 million homes, with a renewed focus on those in fuel poverty – and those who need it most. Then, from 2012 onwards, energy saving packages worth thousands will be installed in millions of homes, with the capital and interest costs covered by savings on energy bills. And we will look at how we can apply the Green Deal model to businesses, too — enabling them to cut carbon, and cut costs.”

I am not so sure as to his claim that the Green Deal will create 100,000 new jobs mind. More likely it will help keep folk employed, which in itself is to be welcomed, plus Mr Huhne cannot guarantee that the majority of any new jobs created will go to British workers, so as always the British taxpayer will reserve judgement as to whether any government spends our money wisely.

However, on the positive side the Energy and Climate Change Secretary of State reckons that “The most inefficient households could save £550 a year on their fuel bills; if every household took up the Green Deal, spending on gas would fall by £2.5 billion per year.” And as the Minster states “double-glazing your windows really can improve the UK’s energy security.”


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