Alternative Energy

Published on December 14th, 2012 | by Scott Cooney


The UK steps up green living a notch: the biggest home improvement scheme since WWII

The UK government has taken control of the quickly spiralling environmental situation that grips the country with “the biggest home-improvement scheme since WWII”. Similar to PACE Programs in the U.S., the UK government initiative known as The Green Deal aims to make properties more energy efficient, which will, of course, make them more environmentally friendly. The scheme also hopes to reduce property owners’ bill-spending significantly, which is how the home improvements will be financed. Property owners will actually pay for these improvements through their energy bills in monthly installments. But here’s the really clever part: the money they spend on improvements will only ever be allowed to equate to, or be less than, the money they save on their energy bills. Therefore, everybody wins, including the increasingly vulnerable environment.

The UK government has set itself a target to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by the year 2050; so you can see where the logic for such a major scheme comes from.  Many houses and business buildings across the UK are inefficient and simply cannot retain heat without using a wasteful amount of energy. The Green Deal hopes to fix this problem by taking measures such as installing Green Deal Boilers, Green Deal Double Glazing and Green Deal Insulation. The government has thought out a fairly intricate system which will involve the need for installers, providers and assessors to undergo a Green Deal Accreditation system.

For example, a Green Deal assessor will be someone that is trained to a Green Deal standard to visit a property and survey it for its inefficiencies. The assessor will then advise the property owners on which measures to take to increase their home’s energy efficiency. With fuel poverty on the rise in Britain, there really couldn’t be a better time for this scheme to kick off.

The Green Deal will have its official launch on 28th January 2013, when the first property owners to show interest will even have the chance to receive cash rewards of up to £1000. It seems the government is really eager to get the scheme under way.

However, there have been some doubts about the money that will actually be saved by property owners, with many sceptical about the benefits to be gained from participating in the Green Deal. What people seem to be forgetting is that they will be getting these usually unaffordable home improvements without having to face any upfront costs. The improvements will not only make their homes more comfortable, but significantly increase their value. Here’s hoping it really is as simple as it seems!

You might also like: Clean Energy Victory Bonds

Energy efficiency photo from Shutterstock

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About the Author

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. Find Scott on

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