A huge government scheme to encourage homeowners to make energy-efficient improvements to their houses was launched today.
The Green Deal will allow millions of households to capitalise on 45 different types of home improvement, including insulation and new heating systems, with no up front cost.
Under the deal, householders would also be able to qualify for hundreds of pounds of cashback. The more work owners decide to have done, the more cash they could receive and packages could be worth more than £1,000.
The plan works by Green Deal assessors coming to your home to talk to you about energy use and see what improvements could be made to make your house more energy efficient.
Providers signed up to the scheme will then give you quotes for the recommended improvements, before your chosen provider writes up a plan. The cost of any improvements will be recouped from your electricity bill as a separate amount over 25 years.
Bill payers in a three-bed, semi-detached house could save as much as £270 a year if they installed solid wall insulation.
Stay warm for less
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "The Green Deal will help thousands of homes stay warm for less. Those people will benefit from energy-saving improvements - and their energy bills will fall."
The government anticipates 60,000 jobs to be created in the insulation sector by 2015.
However, some critics believe the government need to do more to spark the interest of the public in energy efficiency.
Guy Thompson, director at MyUtilityGenius, a energy price comparison website, said: "The Green Deal is poorly designed, difficult to implement and will run into a wall of apathy."
Ways to save
- Loft or cavity wall insulation will help your home retain heat.
- A new, energy-efficient heater or boiler system could deliver the same heat for less money.
- Draught proofing around your windows and doors, one of the simplest energy-saving methods, will keep cold air out and warm air in.
- Double glazing will prevent heat loss through your windows.
- The deal also includes renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels.