Plans for "green loans" to help householders make their homes
more energy efficient by installing technology such as solar panels
and insulation were announced by the Government today.
The scheme will see the
loans tied to the house where the eco-measures are installed, so
they can be paid back over a long enough period that the savings on
energy bills outweigh the payback costs.
The Pay As You Save
programme aims to overcome the financial barriers - such as upfront
costs - people face in trying to make their homes greener and more
It forms part of a strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions
from housing by 29% by 2020, which the Government says will also
reduce energy bills for householders and boost jobs.
Some 65,000 jobs could be
needed in the green homes industry by 2020, ranging from
installation and manufacturing of technology including small scale
renewables to providing home energy advice.
Officials said there
would also be advantages for householders. Installing some measures
such as solid wall insulation could cut energy bills by an average
of £380 a year.
Under the Pay As You Save scheme, householders would pay back
loans in instalments which would be lower than the savings they made
from the energy efficiency measures.
With people moving house on average every
nine to 12 years, the payback period may not be long enough to allow
people to pay back the loans at a rate where they save more than
legislation will be introduced to allow the green loans to be tied to
the property instead of the person who takes it out.
The strategy, which
includes the green loans scheme, aims to improve the energy
efficiency of the UK's housing stock - which accounts for a quarter
of the country's greenhouse emissions.