Households missing out on green home improvements

Nazareth Mews

A new survey conducted by thinkinsulation.com has revealed that over two thirds of households have not yet invested into loft insulation improvements which have the potential to reduce energy bills by £175 per year.

According to the survey, around 44% of people didn't think it would generate enough savings to make the effort worthwhile.

However, many people are unaware that financial incentives are often available from your utility provider or the government. This added help with the cost of insulating you're your home make it a definite worthwhile investment, especially if you have the DIY skills to do the work yourself.

For many people, it is becoming difficult to keep up with bills, rent or mortgage payments, which makes energy efficiency an increasingly prominent issue when it comes to searching for rental properties or properties for sale in Newcastle.

It is important for landlords and sellers that their properties are reaching their potential energy rating as set out in the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to make them more attractive to tenants and buyers. This can be as easy as insulating your loft, replacing old boilers or draught proofing your property.

The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) is the current government scheme aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from UK households but the coalition government are soon to replace it with the Green Deal initiative, launching in the autumn and aiming to insulate all households within twenty years. Under the green deal, landlords will be at risk of facing charges if properties which are not energy efficient, in line with the new standards of the Green Deal, are rented out to tenants.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said, "The UK still has some of the most energy inefficient buildings in Europe. Fifteen million homes - more than half - are not properly insulated. That's costing us in carbon: a third of our emissions come from heating our homes. And it's costing us in pounds: adding hundreds, every year, to bills for the most inefficient homes…Very few of us really know how much energy we use. So we have replaced extraordinarily confusing Energy Performance Certificates with a much clearer document showing, in simple terms, the cost of fuelling your home and the potential savings of using less energy".

The idea behind the Green Deal is to encourage more people to sign up for home improvements to help benefit the environment without cost outweighing benefits.

Clegg said, "They will only begin paying for those improvements once they're complete. Payment will be made through their bills, over a period of time. And they shouldn't be out of pocket because their homes will be more energy efficient, allowing them to save on their energy bills each month. We'll ensure customers are never charged more for the home improvements than we expect them to make back in cheaper bills. Plus the charge is attached to the property, rather than the person, so if you move, you stop paying".

Prime Minister David Cameron has recently been considering scrapping part of the deal which proposed that any homeowners taking out home improvements such as an extention or conservatory would have to pay a mandatory extra 10% of the cost of the works towards energy efficient measures being completed in the property

The Energy Saving Trust has set up a new phone line for England and Wales to offer advice on ways to reduce your emissions from your property. You can call and speak to an energy efficiency advisor on 0300 123 1234 and calls are charged at a standard rate.

Walton Robinson
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