In the past, energy efficiency has been the Cinderella of sustainable energy with governments ploughing vast sums of money into big projects like wind, wave and even nuclear power. Somehow, the less glamorous world of insulation and energy saving devices for the home haven’t attracted the same amount of funding, despite having the potential to save huge amounts of energy and cut living costs for the householder. For example If everyone in the UK switched all their remaining traditional inefficient light bulbs to energy saving light bulbs, the electricity saved in just one year would run the UK’s street lighting for over 5 years or provide electricity for every house in London for 11 months. (Energy efficient light bulbs)
That looks set to change with the new Green Deal. This is an innovative financing mechanism that lets people pay for energy-efficiency improvements through savings on their energy bills.
Green Deal launches in January 2013 and applies to both the domestic and non-domestic sector. It will replace current policies such as the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP).
The government has appointed a Green Deal Registration and Oversight Body. Part of their role is to register the organisations that are approved to deliver the Green Deal – Advisors, Providers and Installers. For more information in England and Wales, call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.
The ECO (Energy Company Obligation)
The ECO for the big six energy suppliers is also being launched in early 2013. It is in three parts:
Affordable Warmth Obligation
To provide heating and hot water saving measures, insulation, glazing and microgeneration technologies (except PV) to low-income and vulnerable households (but social housing tenants are not eligible for affordable warmth).
Carbon Saving Obligation
To provide funding to insulate solid-walled properties (internal and external wall insulation) and those with ‘hard-to-treat’ cavity walls.
This is not means-tested but can be used in conjunction with the Green Deal. The aim is to provide enough support to make these relatively expensive measures cost-effective.
Carbon Saving Communities Obligation
To provide insulation and glazing measures to people living in the bottom 15% of the UK’s most deprived areas. It is expected that this element of ECO will particularly benefit the social housing sector.
Through ECO, the government aims to help 230,000 low-income households or those in low-income areas. Of the expected investment by suppliers of £1.3bn per year, there will be a 75:25 split between the carbon and affordable warmth obligations
See this link for more information: Green deal and ECO