Chris Huhne: Green Deal to create a new industry.

Green Deal to boost eco upgrades

Published:  23 September, 2010

LIVERPOOL: Energy secretary Chris Huhne has promised to deliver a re-fit industry with energy companies paying for eco-upgrades paid through fuel bills.

Speaking at the Liberal Democrat conference, Mr Huhne said the Green Deal could create a whole new industry, "not just the 26 000 people working in insulation now, but up to 250 000 jobs in every part of the country, working on 26 million homes."

He confirmed that the Green Deal plan will extend to commercial premises and said councils would be able to use the mechanism on an area wide basis.

"Going into commercial premises too, so that small businesses also save money. Local councils will be able to promote the renewal of whole neighbourhoods, bringing energy savings, purchasing power and local jobs to every community across the country," he said.

The plan, which builds on a strategy already being implemented by the Labour government, will see the upgrades paid for by the private sector up front and paid back by homeowners, with the private borrowing likely to be underwritten in some way by the government.

The UK Green Building Council responded immediately to the speech, saying the Green Deal could drive a "refurbishment revolution in the UK."

The body said it had managed to cut the fuel bills on one estate by over 70% through a comprehensive eco refurbishment, which could be rolled out more widely under the proposed Green Deal.

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