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Pay as you save? Government helps home owners upgrade

[ Posted December 9th, 2009 ]

The government has just released details for a plan called ‘pay as you save’ that will help home owners to upgrade their homes to become more energy efficient. The plan is being piloted in Birmingham, Sunderland and some parts of London and the initial pilot scheme will cost £4million. This plan aims to target those who want to do their part for global warming but cannot foot the sometimes prohibitive prices of installing green technology. While some home energy saving measures such as loft insulation (a couple of pounds per square metre) and heat exchange pumps (a couple of hundred pounds for the pump and pipes) are not hugely expensive in of themselves, they are quite labour intensive to install and get working correctly. The plan will work essentially like a long term payment scheme in which the home owners pay back the money over time but the payments will be less than the savings home owners will make on their energy bills. Thus incentivising much of the market and encouraging everyone to get going and do their part. Though specifics are not quite clear this loan provision may be means-tested or only partly subsidised in some areas. The plan will focus on the increasing energy efficiency of homes by providing a range of options that conserve energy such as roof insulation or energy compliant glazing to energy production methods such as ground source heat pumps, solar panels and maybe even wind turbines. Britain currently expends one quarter of its energy on home heating, even if this figure were to come down a few percent then it would be worth it to stop the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of CO2 that would otherwise be pumped into the atmosphere. This plan is one of several other initiatives that have been revealed to help the UK hit the CO2 emissions targets for 2015.

 
 
 
 
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