By Louise Gray
Energy experts to visit every home to help them go green
Teams of energy advisers will visit every home in the country over the next two decades in an effort to make all the buildings in Britain carbon neutral.
Launching a consultation on the scheme, Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said teams of energy advisers would go around “house by house, street by street” to advise people how to improve their homes.
Loans would then be made available to pay for the new technologies, that can cost thousands of pounds.
It is not yet decided how the massive programme will be funded but it is expected a large amount of money will come from a levy on energy companies that will ultimately be passed onto consumers. An innovative “pay as you save” scheme will link any loan for home improvements to the house rather than the person so that when a family move the repayment passes to the next owner. This would mean people are more willing to invest in expensive technologies like a wood chip boiler.
Mr Miliband said the heat and energy package […] save millions of tonnes of carbon emissions so that every home is carbon neutral by 2050.
[…] he said. “Every home must be able to access the help and technology it needs, whether it be the installation of a ground or air source heat pump, solar heating, solid wall insulation, or access to a district heating scheme.
“Most importantly, I want to ensure that help to meet the costs is available to people house by house, street by street, and that lower-income families do not miss out.!”
Environmentalists welcomed the package but criticised the delay that means most of the initiatives will negin until 2012.
The Local Government Association said consumers should not have to pay. Instead the organisation called on energy companies to fork out from massive annual profits.
By Claudine Beaumont
Google introduces power meter software to reduce electricity use
Search giant Google is developing new monitoring tools to help families reduce the amount of electricity they are using.
The Google PowerMeter software will analyse the consumption information captured by “smart meters”, and translate it into easy-to-understand information to help people see where they could cut back.
Users will be able to monitor the PowerMeter through their computers and other web-enabled devices using a special widget embedded on their personalised iGoogle homepage.
There are currently around 40 million smart meters in use around the world, although energy companies plan to install some 100 million more in the next few years, according to Google.
Mr Lu [a member of Google’s engineering team] Google’s mission was to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
He said the company was working on new ways to provide consumers and utilities with real-time energy information,