Insulation grants for residents
HUNDREDS of homes in Bristol are to be given insulation to cut their energy bills after the city scooped a £2 million funding boost.
Around 600 households will be offered work including loft and cavity wall insulation under Bristol's new City Deal with the government.
The announcement, by Energy Secretary Ed Davey, paves the way for a massive government drive to make Britain's homes more energy-efficient.
From January, people will be able to borrow money for insulation work – and repay it over future years using the savings in their heating bills.
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The scheme is called the Green Deal, and replaces previous initiatives that gave grants to needy households.
In the meantime, Bristol was one of seven cities across the United Kingdom to receive a share of the £12-million windfall. The city council plans to "deliver energy efficient measures" to more than 600 households, including 100 who are classed as living in fuel poverty.
In some cases, households will be offered low-interest loans, similar to those that will be used under the Green Deal, others will get grants.
Trained assessors will visit homes to suggest work that could be carried out.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey told the Post: "I genuinely think it is a really radical idea."
Under the Green Deal, there will be an interest charge of between six to eight per cent, Mr Davey said, while the charge made for improvements will stay with a property when it is sold for the new owners to take on.
Fears have been raised about companies cashing in on the scheme and 'cold calling' households to offer finance packages. But Mr Davey insisted: "We have been clear that we want to make sure the Green Deal has a strong consumer protection built in."