Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Green Deal

Chris Huhne outlines another important green initiative:

"Today I am announcing details of the Green Deal, a new and radical way of making energy efficiency improvements available to all, whether people own or rent their properties. Through the Green Deal everyone will have a chance to save energy, cut their bills and tackle climate change, just as we promised in our manifesto.

Initially, over the next two years, we will almost double insulation rates, ensuring that an extra 3.5 million homes benefit from new installations. We are targeting support on the most vulnerable and low-income households, so that those who need it most can say goodbye to leaky lofts and chilly drafts.

Then from 2012 the Green Deal will enable all householders to improve their homes with no up-front cost, with the work being paid back from savings on energy bills. Householders will be protected by an independent energy survey and accredited installers to ensure that standards are high.

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Liberal Democrats believe that no one should miss out on warmer homes. Unfortunately many private tenants were let down by Labour. Over half a million private rented homes have the very lowest F or G energy rating, and yet they benefited from only two per cent of the previous Labour scheme.

The Green Deal will change this. Landlords will face no upfront cost and will benefit from improved properties. By 2015 every tenant should be able to be warm in their home. I hope and expect that landlords will respond positively to the Green Deal. But if the evidence shows that they are failing to take up this once-in-a-generation opportunity, we will respond. If necessary we will take powers so that by 2015, any tenant who asks for a Green Deal cannot be refused.

And we would give local authorities the power to insist that landlords improve the worst performing homes.Three years ago Andrew Stunell and I wrote a paper called Climate Change Starts at Home. As with many Liberal Democrat proposals, some dismissed our proposals as radical and unworkable. It is a privilege and responsibility to now be putting our ideas into practice – a win-win-win situation for homeowners, tenants and the climate."

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