A consultation is underway for a new project that would affect homeowners installing new boilers, windows and even conservatories. It has so far been called the ‘green tax’ and would give local councils the power to enforce insulation on homes.
This would bump up the initial costs you’d have to pay to insulate your home, but would help to keep your home warmer.
If these new regulations are approved, they could come into force as early as April 2014.
New boilers are bought by homeowners and tenants to make properties more energy efficient, in an effort to reduce duel fuel bills and cut carbon emissions. New combi boilers can reduce bills by up to £300 annually, making the payback as little as five years.
Under the new scheme, homeowners unable to afford the upfront costs would be able to borrow through the Government’s Green Deal. The loan would then be attached to the property and payments made through energy bill savings. But this would limit your annual savings, especially in the first few years.
These measures, which are under consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), would be made mandatory. That is, unless the property is already performing at a high efficiency level.
Tom Yeo, Conservative MP and chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, has criticised the proposed plans and said: “If people are spending their own money on a new boiler compulsory intrusion is not appropriate.
“Encouragement or information about the scheme is justified, but it should be made an absolute requirement to have builders inside your home.”
But the scheme was backed by a DCLG spokesman, who says they’ve included these insulation measures as they’re the cheapest available for properties – both in the initial monetary value and in paying back through energy savings.
The spokesman said: “This is a consultation and we have highlighted potential problems to encourage responses on how this may affect the public.”
The Green Deal, which will incorporate home improvements such as boilers and double glazing, will launch in October with a £14bn war chest. The aim is to help insulate all British homes in 20 years.
Under the Green Deal, homeowners will be able to borrow up to £10,000 to carry out energy efficiency improvements such as the installation of boiler, which will be paid back in energy bill savings, over a time period of 25 years.