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Entries in Green Deal (5)

Thursday
Dec202012

Jobs, growth and warmer homes reports energy efficient programmes will lift homes out of fuel poverty

Consumer Focus has issued a new report, ‘Jobs, growth and warmer homes’ that states fuel poverty could be lifted, if money raised by carbon taxes was invested in a significant energy efficiency programme.

Currently fuel poverty affects over six million UK households, and this number is expected to increase to 9.1 million households (one in three homes) as energy prices go up. It has been reported that energy consumers will see carbon taxes rise each year by an additional £4 billion by 2020, making it increasingly important to make energy efficiency affordable.

Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive at Consumer Focus, said: ‘We need to make heating our homes more affordable, cut carbon emissions and achieve economic growth. Using carbon taxes to ensure our homes leak less energy represents a triple-whammy. This would simultaneously improve the quality of life of millions of people, slash carbon emissions and generate greater economic growth than other measures. Consumers will be paying these taxes through their bills. They can and should feel the benefit. 

‘Fuel poverty leaves millions of households having to cut back on essentials like food and heating to make ends meet. The Government’s current energy efficiency and fuel poverty plans will only touch the tip of this iceberg. However, Government has the opportunity to use the large and stable revenues from carbon taxes to deliver the most breathtaking and transformative energy efficiency scheme that we have ever seen.’ 

The research shows:

  • Lift up to nine out of ten households out of fuel poverty
  • Reduce energy bills in all treated homes by at least £200 per year
  • Cut household energy consumption by 5.4 per cent by 2027
  • Quadruple the impact of the government’s energy savings schemes – Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation
  • Cut overall carbon emissions by 1.1 per cent, including household emissions reduced by around 5.6% by 2027

From next year energy firms through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will be urging households to improve their home’s heating and insulation by offering cashback (Green Deal Cashback Scheme). However, the government has predicted that this will only lift 250,000 homes, at most out of fuel poverty.

It has been argued by The Energy Bill Revolution and Consumer Focus that a majority of carbon tax revenue should be put towards energy efficiency schemes. The Jobs, growth and warmer homes report suggests that fuel poverty could be cut by 75% to 87% depending on the level of investment, by using 95% of carbon tax revenue (60% more).

Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign, said: ‘The Energy Bill Revolution is the biggest fuel poverty alliance that has ever been formed in the UK. We are united by our conviction that there is a financial solution which can end the suffering and generate more jobs than any equivalent investment. This is the Marshall Plan the UK needs to slash the energy bills of the most vulnerable and re-build the economy.’

The government is being urged to carefully look at the research and considered the suggestions made. The report stresses that actions taken in accordance with their suggestions will help to fuel the economic recovery and ‘give vulnerable households ongoing benefits from warmer homes, lower energy bills and better health.’

Tuesday
Dec182012

Claim £130 cashback with the Green Deal Cashback Scheme

Under the new Green Deal Cashback Scheme, households could be eligible to claim £130 cashback when replacing boilers with high efficiency oil fired condensing ones. The government has set aside up to £40 million for this scheme. The aim is to offer more cashback with every home energy improvement.

The government is hoping that the scheme will influence homes to improve their energy efficiency not only by upgrading their heating systems, but also by improving their insulations, front doors and windows. The Green Deal Cashback Scheme will be made available to households in England and Wales from January 28th 2013.

Qualification

Both owner occupiers and landlords are eligible for the scheme. To qualify for the cashback under the Green Deal Scheme, households must:

  • Undertake a Green Deal assessment – this can be done at any time before the scheme is made available
  • Arrange for the work to be done through Green Deal providers who have registered  with the scheme
  • Pay part of the installation cost

OFTEC is currently offering installers Green Deal registration to allow them to take advantage of the new scheme.

Registered providers can encourage customers to get Green Deal assessments early. This will allow customers to get approval for their Cashback voucher as soon as the scheme opens and before work commences.

Cashback

The Green Deal Cashback Scheme is a first-come, first-served offer and is limited while funds last. Packages could be worth up to £1000, with £100 cashback offered for loft insulations, £250 for cavity wall insulations and £390 for flat roof insulation. As the scheme is a limited offer, once the £40 million funding has been used, cashback rates could decrease. Up to £125 million has been assigned to the whole scheme.

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) “householders can choose to donate some or all of their cashback to a registered charity or community interest company signed up with the scheme.”

 

Tuesday
Jul032012

The Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation is too 'Hard To Reach' 

A new panel called "Green Deal Hard to Reach Households Panel" that includes members of organisations such as Citizens Advice, Which?, Age UK and Local Authorities have been tasked with the duty to ensure that the country’s poorest and most vulnerable can access the benefits of the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

The panel, chaired by South Thanet MP Laura Sandys are responsible for outlining to DECC Ministers the difficulties many households have when it comes to gaining the benefits provided by the Green Deal and ECO. Not only will this group highlight the barriers many households face and create awareness, they will also be putting forward the most effective and efficient measures to overcome them.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: "I want to ensure everyone is able to reap the benefits that the Green Deal has to offer. This means getting the message out right across the country, including to the most vulnerable households. I am delighted that Laura Sandys MP has agreed to chair this new group and I look forward to receiving their recommendations." 

Laura Sandys MP said: "The Green Deal has the potential to hugely reduce the number of people living in fuel poverty. Customers could be protected from rising energy bills by upgrading their homes so that they are cheaper to heat for good. Ensuring that the energy efficiency scheme can be accessed by those living in the hardest to treat homes will be vital if this scheme to succeed.

"With a wide range of expertise on board, this panel will seek to identify some of the key challenges that might prevent vulnerable households from accessing the Green Deal. The panel will be submitting a series of recommendations to the Minister in advance of the nationwide roll-out."

Friday
Jun292012

OFTEC to provide a registration scheme for Green Deal installers

OFTEC have been awarded with approval from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for its commendable persons scheme for the heating oil industry. OFTEC has become one of the first certification bodies to gain such recognition and has also been accredited to provide a registration scheme for Green Deal Installers.

Green Deal installers will be provided with OFTEC registration and come October the initiative will be available to households across the UK. However, this work will only be accredited to installers under the Green Deal name.

Working closely with UKAS and DECC, OFTEC can now extend their scope of services and will allow their registered technicians to add Green Deal to their registration. With this new accreditation OFTEC registered technicians can now cover upgrading systems to high efficiency oil-fired condensing boilers, energy saving heating controls and associated cylinder/pipework insulation.

Registration services director for OFTEC, Jacqueline Crawford said: "We've worked hard to gain the UKAS accreditation which is a milestone in OFTEC's development. It's rewarding to know that UKAS has recognised the work that we do and also reassuring for our technicians to know that OFTEC is independently assessed to make sure we're doing things right."

Sunday
Jul312011

Green Deal Trials Announced

HM Government energy efficiency trails aiming to make it easier for people to insulate their homes and reduce fuel bills will begin in September, according to a recent report. The Government has announced a series of business-led trials, which will include working local authorities will how best to encourage people to take up the Green Deal.

The Green Deal, which aims to provide households with the opportunity to invest in home improvements at no upfront cost, is expected to start in the autumn 2012. Repayments will be made through the expected savings on energy bills. The trails are outlined in a new report by the Government’s Behavioural Insights Team and will be carried out and evaluated in time of the Green deal initiative’s launch.

Energy secretary, Chris Huhne commented:

"The Green Deal's going to be a real hit and will be a fantastic way for people to upgrade their draughty and energy-wasting homes. But there are currently too many barriers standing in the way of people upgrading their homes - the cost, the hassle, and the lack of trust in the people who install the kit.

"It's great that high street names are getting involved at this early stage to road-test these exciting ideas about how to make it easier for people to take up the Green Deal and insulate their homes from rising energy prices."

Examples of the trials include:

•    B&Q and Sutton Council are considering offering a subsidised loft clearance service to test whether removing the 'hassle' factor of insulation motivates people to make efficiency improvements.
•    B&Q will also test the impact of offering collective purchasing discounts to households for buying energy efficient products.
•    Homebase and Carillion will team up with a local authority to test the impact of offering immediate rewards such as, one month’s council tax holiday or store vouchers to residents for purchasing energy efficiency measures.
•    First Utility / Opower will be conducting a randomised controlled trial to investigate the effect of behavioural feedback - including comparative consumption - on consumer energy use.
•    Government will work with British Gas and Alert Me to investigate which channels of communication most effectively motivate consumers to save energy.

A new design of the front page of the Energy Performance Certificate will be launched from April 2012, with the information most likely to motivate an individual's behaviour prominently displayed on the first page.

Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said,

"We risk losing our battle against climate change unless we make the built environment more sustainable. So it's right that homeowners and tenants across the country are given this opportunity through the Green Deal to make their homes warmer and cheaper to run.

"Making information about the energy efficiency of homes readily available and easy to understand is a vital first step in this process, and I welcome these changes to the Energy Performance Certificate, which will help motivate more people to take action and make their homes greener."