government refurbs green home programme

Microgeneration and home energy audits to benefit from extension of Carbon Emission Reduction Target scheme

Providers of insulation, green refurbishment services, microgeneration technologies and energy efficiency advice were all celebrating yesterday, after the government announced a major overhaul of its flagship green home initiative.

The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, which requires energy firms to invest in efficiency improvements for domestic customers, is to be extended after the government increased the emissions reduction target the utilities have to meet by 20 per cent.

The range of services energy firms can provide through the scheme has also been expanded to include home energy advice and onsite energy audits, while the amount they can spend on more high-tech energy saving efforts such as microgeneration and solid wall insulation has been increased from six to 10 per cent of the total invested.

However, the government's plans to ban incandescent bulbs means that direct mailouts of low-energy light bulbs will no longer be able to count towards energy firms Cert obligations from the start of next year.

Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock said that improvements in home energy efficiency would play a critical role in meeting the UK's emission reduction targets, while also "making a real difference to householder's energy bills".

The changes to Cert were announced on the same day as the government released new details on its Community Energy Saving Programme (Cesp), which is to be introduced in the autumn and aims to provide "whole-house" energy-saving makeovers to around 90,000 homes in 100 of the UK's poorest areas.

The government said that energy generators will be obliged to take part in the scheme and work with local authorities to roll out green home refurbishments. It added that the scheme will deliver average savings of £330 a year to those households taking part while delivering carbon savings of nearly 2.9 million tonnes of CO2 by the end of 2012.

According to DECC, the extension of the Cert scheme and launch of Cesp will take the total invested by energy firms in domestic efficiency improvements to £3.5bn by the start of 2013.

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