To provide a nationwide network of shops providing a Green Homes Service by 2011. It will invest more than £100m in the service.
What will the service include?
The service will:
· offer a green home health check – essentially an MOT for your home – providing advice on energy saving, water saving. Waste reduction and recycling and green travel options.
· connect people with offers from energy companies for discounted or free energy saving products such as cavity wall and loft insulation and offer a range of other financial packages through programmes such as Warm Front.
· offer a range of financial support packages to householders.
· contact people buying and selling homes with poor energy ratings to connect them with grants. Loans and financial packages to get the work done to improve the rating on their homes.
· pilot a premium service for a green home makeover.
Is this service already available in some areas?
The Energy Saving Trust has 49 advice centres across the UK that currently provide a reactive service. When people contact them the centre staff can identify suitable home energy saving measures, recommend suitably qualified trades people, and advise on grants available to help towards the costs of insulation and other measures. There is also a free-phone number 0800 512 012 to provide home energy efficiency advice.
How many people has the service helped?
There are 500 members of staff who have advised 5.8 million customers since 1996. This advice has saved customer £124m on energy bills and more than 23m tonnes of C02.
How will the service change?
From April 1 2008, it will be a proactive service going to people's doors and offering advise on more than energy efficiency – travel, water efficiency and waste reduction.
How much could I save if I had my home insulated?
Cavity wall insulation, which cuts the amount of energy needed to heat a home, could reduce heating costs by 15% or up to £120 year. The work costs around £500, but you may be eligible for grants to help cover the costs. Loft insulation, which acts as a blanket, trapping rising heat from the floors below, could save a further £110 per year and cost around £370 to have fitted. If everyone in the UK had loft insulation to a depth of 270mm, almost £400m could be saved in heating bills every year.
Double glazing prevents heat loss through windows, so will lead to savings on fuel bills.
How much C02 emissions comes from things we do in the home?
Some 7.9% of C02 gases come from residential and commercial buildings. Things like leaving lights on unnecessarily or overfilling the kettle all waste energy and result in needless carbon dioxide emissions. Simple things such as fitting energy-saving bulbs, can use 75% less power.
Will the Green Homes Service help householders install renewable energy?
Renewable energy technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, and biomass heaters are becoming increasingly popular. The new carbon emissions reduction target (CERT) has incentives for energy companies to innovate, encouraging them to install more renewable energy. Up to 150,000 homes could be generating their own renewable energy by 2011.
How much does a micro wind turbine cost and how much electricity does it generate?
According to the Energy Saving Trust, the costs for a wind turbine begin at £1,500 plus VAT for a 1kW turbine. If the turbine is grid connected, money can be earned for exporting excess electricity, although the rate at which energy companies buy exported electricity is lower than the rate at which they sell electricity.
The amount of energy and carbon that roof-mounted micro wind turbines (1 to 1.5kW) can save depends a lot on several things including the size of turbine, location, wind speed, nearby buildings and the local landscape. At the moment there is not enough data from existing micro wind turbine installations to provide a figure of how much energy and carbon could typically be saved.
How much does a 2kWp solar photovoltaic system cost and what savings will it achieve?
According to the Energy Saving Trust, they cost from between £10,000 to £18,000 and could save one third off electricity bills