The Government wants to improve energy efficiency by way of forcing proper and meaningful measures. It is understood that the Government will focus energy companies to offer energy efficiency improvements at no upfront costs with future repayments serviced by way of loans linked to the actual savings in energy usage. Those that borrow money from a scheme operator and repay through the properties energy bill will find that the debt will be linked with the property and transfer to any future owner. Any efficiency measures must be approved by an accredited advisor, as a way of consumer protection, and any recommendations must be specific to the property in question.
For further information from the DECC click here.
The national press have already dubbed the scheme as the 'green tax'. They believe that local councils will be given power to force additional measures on those wishing to install windows or upgrade a boiler when a planning or building regulation application is made adding to the extent of works and total cost.
Opposition to the proposals argue that the aim is good, but won't necessarily engage the general public to reduce carbon emissions and compulsory intrusion will be disliked by most.
I believe that measures to improve energy efficiency are a good idea. There is no sense in installing the most efficient heating boiler if the properties thermal insulation is poor. The approach must be holistic, considered, flexible and the cost benefits fully accountable. However, forcing costly or unwanted changes will no doubt discourage the general public. Properties are unique and each is different bringing a host of challenges . . . just like their owners!
The debate is complex and will no doubt continue for a while. It will be interesting to see how the Government and its partners resolve the 'Green Deal'.