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by Jen Biederman on 02/16/2009
WorldChanging.com Articles: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Better Future.
Cavity wall and loft insulation will be available for all suitable homes, with plans to retrofit 400,000 homes a year by 2015. Financial incentives for householders will also be available for low-carbon technologies such as solar panels, biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps, paid for by a levy on utility companies.
The government wants a quarter of homes (7m) to benefit from the schemes by 2020, extending to all UK households by 2030.
The strategy could help cut household carbon emissions by a third by 2020, part of its target to reduce overall UK emissions by 80% by 2050. Currently, homes account for 27% of the UK's carbon emissions through heating and power.
The plans were welcomed in principle by green groups and energy campaigners, though many were still concerned by the lack urgency in the proposals - which might only begin in 2012 - or detail on how the majority of the plans will be funded.
"We know the scale of the challenge: wasted energy is costing families on average £300 a year, and more than a quarter of all our emissions are from our homes. Energy efficiency and low-carbon energy are the fairest routes to curbing emissions, saving money for families, improving our energy security and insulating us from volatile fossil fuel prices."
Under the proposals, a Renewable Heating Incentive would tax utility companies and then use the money to build up smaller-scale energy networks. A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said the levy, intended to start in 2011, would not affect today's household bills. "We have to consult on how it will work and, in fact, our proposals would have little impact on prices for many years, apart from cutting billing for those who take up the offer of help."
In addition, householders could be paid for any electricity they feed into the national grid from their power-generating facilities.
Personally Speaking: I am very excited to see the UK and the rest of the world jump on the energy saving/Green Living bandwagon. Each individual person contributing what they can to the cause is what will actually make the kind of difference we need to see. Props to you London! ~Jen
Jen Biederman is a Customer Service and Communications Specialist for Renewable Choice Energy.