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The UK’s Green Deal program set to help millions of Britons deal with rising energy prices

Worry sweeps across Britain as five of the “Big 6” energy companies declare their gas and electricity prices will have significantly risen by the end of 2012. With Christmas approaching and temperatures dropping in the UK, this news is hitting families and property-owners hard. The UK government, however, is set to launch its scheme, The Green Deal, in January of 2013, which should go some way in alleviating these energy worries.

Fuel poverty in the UK is rising, meaning that a large amount of households are spending over 10% of their annual income on energy bills. This can only mean one thing; that their homes are draughty, energy inefficient, and extremely hard to heat. The Green Deal will focus on improving these property-failings and helping property owners finance them through the ‘Green Deal Loan’. Accredited Green Deal Providers will offer low cost finance packages to consumers upgrading their homes under the Green Deal. What is important to remember here, is that the loan will be attached to the property, not the person. Further, the Green Deal improvements will be paid through monthly instalments that are added on to a property owner’s energy bills. The Green Deal ‘golden rule’ is that these charges will never be allowed to be more than the money saved on energy bills; so the property owner really experiences no financial strain.

Returning to the extremely worrying increase in energy costs, it can now be seen why this scheme should be welcomed with open arms come early 2013. These rises are not small and will affect families significantly. Compared to 2011, it can be seen that the average annual bills for British Gas customers have risen by 22%. Further, a shocking 3 million EDF Energy customers will experience an average rise of 11% on their bills from 7th December 2012.

The kinds of green home-improvements that will be undertaken as part of this scheme will be things such as Green Deal Double Glazing, Green Deal Insulation and Green Deal Boilers. Double glazing could save a bill-payer around £165 a year on your energy bills.

The Green Deal is a major British scheme that incorporates both the environmental and economic concerns of the country. It is not going to be a speedy process but will hopefully establish itself over the next few decades, helping the government reach its carbon emissions reduction target of 80% by 2050. Perhaps if it proves itself to be a success other countries will get on board with Green Deal thinking!

Photo from Shutterstock

Written by Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride.


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