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Green View: Peter Gudde on the new Green Deal

Who remembers the winter of 1973 and the Oil Crisis? Like me, if you were a kid then, you could have been listening to Ziggy Stardust on your transistor radio by candlelight.

Who remembers the winter of 1973 and the Oil Crisis? Like me, if you were a kid then, you could have been listening to Ziggy Stardust on your transistor radio by candlelight.

Today, we rely on uninterrupted home energy supplies. But we still have political turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East and our own supplies came under pressure last week when the Brent Field pipeline, serving 27 North Sea oil fields, temporarily shut down. Four decades on from Aladdin Sane, the Government is launching its big idea to tackle our home energy demand, the Green Deal.

The previous way of fun ding home energy improvement, CERT, was a flawed and in some people’s view unfair universal cost burden on each household whether they directly benefited or not. It worked by getting the utility companies to subsidise things like loft and wall insulation. The cost of this subsidy was levied on each consumer.

Green Deal encourages householders to take out a loan to pay for energy improvements which are then paid for using the savings they should make in their energy costs. So, you can make energy-saving improvements to your home, or business, without having to pay all the costs up front.

Households who cannot afford the loan may be able to get the work paid for through the Energy Company Obligation, funding held by the energy companies.

This support will also help where the improvements do not meet the Green Deal’s golden rule that lower bills through the energy savings will more than cover the loan repayments. An example of this is solid wall insulation which traditionally has been an expensive option.

Given that there are over 60,000 homes with inadequate loft insulation and 92,000 with solid walls in Suffolk alone, we desperately need a simple, cost-effective way to improve the thermal standard of our homes.

Having not heard his new album I can’t predict whether the Starman’s latest offering will hit or miss. Likewise, only time will tell if the Green Deal makes the difference needed to counteract this generation’s energy addiction.

For more information

Householders and businesses can take advantage of Suffolk’s Green Deal offer along with an early bird cashback subject to eligibility.

Call 0800 02 88 938 or visit www.greensuffolk.org/
greendeal or call the national Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 or visit www.gov.uk/greendeal

Peter Gudde is Environmental Management Officer for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, where he has worked since 1993

 

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