To accompany the new Home Information Packs that came into force yesterday, a new system was also announced that will help homeowners to save energy and money by modifying their homes with ‘green grants’.
Communities and Local Government say that most people are unaware that they could be entitled to a typical grant of £100-£300 towards the price of loft and cavity wall insulation to reduce energy consumption.
The new system is also linked to the new Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), which will give homeowners a ‘home energy rating’ – the combined systems will make it easier for consumers to get access to the grants in order to make the eco-friendly improvements recommended in the certificates.
Measures recommended by EPCs could save consumers as much as £300 a year off their energy bills, in addition to cutting the amount of non-renewable resources used in British homes, which could amount to a saving of one million tonnes of carbon a year by 2020, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said: “Energy certificates have the potential to cut family fuel bills by hundreds of pounds. But it can still be a real hassle getting the work done. Most people don’t know these grants are available or don’t know how to apply for them. This means it should be much easier for homebuyers to get help to cut their fuel bills and carbon emissions too. It could save hundreds of pounds on insulation and hundreds off pounds on their fuel bills too.”
To encourage more environmentally-friendly homes and cut fuel bills, the eight major fuel companies have agreed that home-buyers will have immediate access to information about green grants and the measures they can take to improve the efficiency of their homes. This will include a new function on the Energy Saving Trust’s website, whereby consumers can gain easy access to the help available in their area by entering their postcode.
Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK-BC (Green Building Council), has said:
“It’s really very simple. We will fail to prevent the worst effects of climate change unless we make huge improvements to the energy efficiency of our existing homes. The new Energy Performance Certificates provide an essential tool for doing this.
"By showing people, for the first time, how their homes rate in terms of energy consumption, and giving them user-friendly advice about the most cost-effective ways of improving their performance, we can all be equipped to do something meaningful to tackle climate change.”
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