Brown goes green with energy audit scheme

20 November 2007
The Government has unveiled plans to help property owners see how green their home is and how they can further improve their carbon footprint through a new system of “green audits”.

The Green Homes Service aims to help homeowners reduce the amount of rubbish they produce whilst providing a single, central point of contact for those who are confused about the number of eco initiatives run by their local councils as providing homeowners with more information on the simple steps they can take to improve the energy efficiency of their own homes.

The initiative follows Gordon Brown’s latest report outlining the new measures planned to create a greener Britain such as banning plastic bags, harnessing renewable energy sources and creating 100,000 zero-carbon houses across the UK in so-called eco-towns.

In the first instance, the Green Homes Service will offer a home health check, which will advise on the best methods of conserving energy and water, reducing and recycling waste as well as ensuring consumers know about the discounts available on certain energy-saving products and learning about how to minimise the impact they have on the environment through ‘green travel’.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn comments: "The Green Homes Service will cut through the confusion by providing a one-stop shop, including a green MOT for your home and a green home makeover. We need to make this as easy as possible for people to do. There's a lot of help out there in the form of grants, advice and other assistance, but it's hard to know where to start.

He adds: “We'll be backing this by making help and support available to even more households than in the past."

The scheme is the latest in a number of eco initiatives that hope to put Britain on the European eco map and help the Government meet its target to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2020. However, the latest poll by Travelsupermarket.com has revealed that the public is reluctant to curb behaviour in order to help hit the targets.

According to the travel insurance website’s survey by Travelsupermarket.com, as many as 93 percent of people admit they have never taken green issues into account when it comes to where they want to holiday while only 16 per cent of Brits would be willing to change their destination in order to go green.

Commenting on the figures, Bob Atkinson, travel expert from Travelsupermarket said: "It's unrealistic to expect people to give up foreign holidays altogether, but it's alarming how little people are willing to adapt. If it was made easier for consumers to make more informed decisions about greener flight and holiday options or if UK breaks were made more affordable, people might start to think about the planet before they book."

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