As talks aimed at securing a global climate deal kick off in Copenhagen, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband has announced steps to encourage people to cut household emissions. The Government's Energy Bill also had its second reading in the Commons yesterday.
Pay As You Save scheme
Homeowners in Birmingham, Sunderland, Sutton and Stroud will test out new ways to finance house energy makeovers under the Government's new Pay As You Save, or PAYS, scheme.
The Home Energy Pay As You Save pilots will give households the opportunity to invest in energy efficiency and micro-generation technologies with no upfront cost.
After properties receive energy makeovers, owners will notice their energy bills decrease immediately. They will then be expected to repay the cost of the energy makeovers in line with the savings they see on their energy bills.
Around 500 homes across England will take part in the trial as a stepping stone towards the Great British Refurb - the Government's plan to make 22 million homes in the UK more energy efficient.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said:
"The next two weeks in Copenhagen are crunch time for the planet. The UK has taken a lead in putting solutions on the table throughout the process and I'll not rest until we have the most ambitious, effective and fair deal possible.
"Our credibility abroad is based on our ambition at home. We're the first country to put carbon targets into law and our target of an 80% reduction by 2050 is one of the most ambitious.
"Many British householders want to reduce their emissions, but are put off by the upfront cost of installing insulation, solar panels or ground source heat pumps. Pay As You Save will trial different ways of paying for this work so it's affordable.
"One quarter of the UK's total emissions come from homes, so householders have to be a part of the solution to climate change. Increasing the energy efficiency of homes not only helps reduce emissions, but will also help reduce fuel bills."
The pilot is being managed by the Energy Saving Trust and will run with 5 partners: Gentoo Group Ltd (a Registered Social Landlord); British Gas; Birmingham City Council; B&Q UK; and Stroud District Council.
The Energy Bill also received its Second Reading in the Commons yesterday. The Bill has been designed with two objectives in mind: (1) protect vulnerable households; (2) develop carbon capture and storage technology. Read New Energy Bill To Protect Consumers for more information.