Green Deal home efficiency government plan announced

According to an article on the edie.net website entitled “Home efficiency plans announced” dated 2nd November 2010, the UK Government has announced an initiative which should hopefully “improve the green credentials of homes and businesses across England.”

Apparently the “Green Deal” will allow householders to take out loans from their local councils to improve the energy efficiency of their homes such as installing energy saving double glazing or solar panels. It seems the idea behind the deal means that home owners and landlords do not have to pay upfront costs themselves.

Whilst Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate change Secretary appears to be claiming that the scheme will create over 100,000 jobs over the next five years and that the loans will be paid back through savings on fuel bills, I do have serious doubts whether the savings made on fuel bills will be able to repay both the capital and any interest within 5 years? For example if the property concerned has no floor, cavity wall or loft insulation, heat, energy and money will still be lost, however efficient the replacement double glazing or solar panels are!

The plan seems to suggest that landlords will be forced to take up the new improvements for their tenants though legislation, but what is to stop them recovering any outlay they are “forced” to expend by recovering this in increased rent or charges?

Whilst Chris Huhne may say: “At a time of increasing gas prices, energy efficiency is a no-brainer.” and “It’s also a massive economic and job opportunity, which could help Britain’s economy turn the corner.” – any property improvements still need to be funded, and will all local councils a) buy into the scheme, and b) be able to afford it with all the cut backs they are having to make?

My concern is that although this scheme seems a jolly good idea, the devil could well be in the detail, so as with any home improvement or energy saving scheme, it is always worth thoroughly checking it out before making any commitment.

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