Huhne Presents Green Deal Benefits to Parliament
During his the Energy and Climate Change Secretary’s Annual Energy Statement to Parliament, Chris Huhne stated that £14 billion worth of private sector investment in home energy improvements over the next decade would protect households against increasing global energy prices in addition to creating thousands of jobs in the British insulation and construction industries.
The Energy Secretary said the Green Deal initiative will jumpstart £14 billion in investments over the next decade and will provide home energy saving upgrades to householders at no upfront cost.
Huhne said, “The Green Deal is about putting energy consumers back in control of their bills and banishing Britain’s draughty homes to the history books. By stimulating billions of pounds of private sector investment, the Green Deal will revolutionize the way that we keep our homes warm, making them cozier, more efficient – and all at no upfront cost. I want to insulate Britain’s homes not just from the cold weather, but also from the chill winds of global fossil fuel prices. It’s these that are pushing up consumer energy prices, and it’s why our balanced package of policies aimed at achieving energy savings and shifting to more home grown alternatives is the right one for the economy and all of us who pay energy bills.”
Huhne acknowledged there will be considerable costs to replacing the UK’s aging energy infrastructure “with modern, clean power stations, and we take very seriously any impact of our policies on what consumers and businesses pay. We’ve repeatedly taken steps to reduce this – by removing some planned levies on bills and making others more cost effective and within budget. But a crucial – and too often ignored – priority of our whole strategy is to reduce the amount of energy we use in our homes.”
The Green Deal is scheduled to be implemented in October 2012 and will offer homeowners a number of benefits. For example, every British home and business will be able to install energy-saving technologies such as insulation at no upfront cost. The repayments will be made over time out of the energy savings.
Energy companies will be required to contribute £1.3 billion a year to ensure everyone is able to benefit from the Green Deal regardless of their income or the type of house they live in. “Additional help will be available to ensure the fuel poor get better boilers and fix draughty homes, while subsidy will also be provided to help tackle homes that are hard to insulate – including solid wall homes.”
Also published was the annual estimate of how energy and climate change policies impacted energy prices. According to the research, by the end of 2011 household electricity prices will have increased more than 15 percent since the start of the year, with household gas prices increasing by 25 percent, due primarily to global fossil fuel prices.
The report also found that Government policies have contributed very little to these recent price increases and in 2020 “the average household bill will be seven percent, or £94, lower than if the Government was not pursuing policies to achieve energy savings and incentivise the shift from fossil fuels to alternatives.”