Huhne unveils plans to ‘insulate the economy’

By Rebecca Burns

Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne has revealed plans to “insulate the economy” in an attempt to bolster the economy and save the environment.

In a speech at the Economist UK Energy Summit this morning, the minister pledged £90 billion in a new domestic scheme aimed at revamping 14 million of the country’s most energy-inefficient homes.

The scheme is part of a ‘Green Deal’ which aims to reduce carbon emissions and create thousands of new jobs.

Mr Huhne said energy saving is “the cheapest way of closing the gap between demand and supply” but that it is the “Cinderella of the energy ball”.

He criticised current energy policy, saying “we may as well be burning £50 notes outside our front doors”.

“With professional marketing from trusted brands, we ought to make energy efficiency as attractive as broadband or satellite TV,” Mr Huhne added.

The Green Deal will allow each project to claim up to £6,500 towards the cost of better insulation, lowering carbon emissions and reducing energy bills for the householder.

The cost of the work can be claimed back through consequent reductions in energy bills, relieving the householder of any financial burden.

The legislation will be put before the Commons in the autumn and will be the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s first bill under the coalition government.