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Green Homes Service (update)

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 20-Nov-07 07:05:20 PM

Yesterday, Gordon Brown announced several new climate change policy initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, including a new Green Homes Service (GHS) which will be run by the Energy Savings Trust.

I've been attempting to piece together what this new service will provide as it wasn't clear yesterday... it's not much clearer today either, but here's what I've found...

Philip Sellwood - Energy Savings Trust Chief Executive - has a blog, the Carbon Challenge.  Today, he posted a small morsel about the GHS (Greener Homes are in sight!) which points to a connection with the Energy Performance Certificate:

[The Green Homes Service] will also give the Energy Saving Trust a chance to utilise the much maligned Energy Performance Certificates to help individual households connect up with grants, loans and financial packages to get work done on individual houses to improve their energy efficiency rating and longer term help to reduce maintenance and on-going costs.

OK so it doesn't give much away about the mechanics of the proposition, but there's more...

The Eco-cop

Also, yesterday, Hilary Benn - Environment Secretary - held a webchat in which he was asked:

Charlie.Winder: If this government is committed to climate change issues why has the roll out of hips not been completed as yet so that we are doing more Energy Performance Certificates on the whole of the housing market so that we reduce carbon inefficiencies in homes

Hilary replies: Because we are phasing them in, Charlie. And the new Green Homes Service I was talking about a moment ago will contact people selling homes that get low ratings on their EPCs to offer advice on how it can be improved.

Transcript: Hilary Benn webchat.

Though I accept we don't know of the finer details yet, two questions:

  1. Whatever happened to the privacy safeguards (remember the term 'eco-snoopers'?)
  2. Who wants a job as an environment cop?

I really don't know what to make of this ATM - Like I say, the devil's in the detail but there are clearly going to be commercial interests at work here; and where there are commercial interests chasing grants (and monthly targets), there is usually misery in one form or another.

Believe it or not, "free-market economics" is not the universal panacea to all of society's problems - Witness the mess created by the privatised educators of DEAs, for evidence of what free-market economics can do to innocent people!


On the subject of knocking on the doors of lowly-rated homes: Well, I heard war-like analogies from Gordon Brown yesterday, which was encouraging given that climate change is supposed to be the biggest threat to mankind.

A war-like fight for our lives deserves a single-minded war-like coming together of communities - Just like during the blackouts of the Second World War when a neighbour (or official) warned of light escaping from windows at night.

So yeah, we have to accept there has to be some stick with the carrot.

It's just that commercial marketing opportunity to sell us more stuff, I don't like... and don't even talk to me about hooking people up with more loans.

Should the taxpayer pay for this?

Lemme put it like this: We are the taxpayers. We are fighting for our lives...

...does the armed forces take out second mortgages on its assets with Northern Rock?

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