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New home eco-upgrade loans please RIBA

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The Royal Institute of British Architects has welcomed a government announcement to provide ‘affordable’ loans for 7 million homes to have eco-upgrades by 2020

The loans, part of the Green Homes, Warmer Homes strategy, will be linked to the house itself so the money can be repaid over a long time.

Pay As You Save is designed to help people overcome the burden of paying to make their homes more environmentally friendly.

Ruth Reed, president of the institute, said: ‘We need bold and decisive moves from government if we are to meet carbon targets. Today’s announcement is a welcome step in improving the energy performance of our existing housing stock, which accounts for 28 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions.

‘In the RIBA’s manifesto we call for four million homes to be retrofitted within the lifetime of the next Parliament. This announcement indicates that the government has recognised the size of this challenge, and has sought to seize the opportunities that a major retrofit programme can bring, both in terms of significant carbon reduction and in the potential for job creation. We hope this receives cross party support.’

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said the move might create as many as 65,000 jobs.

Postscript

Commenting on the Government’s announcement today, Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Greg Clark said:

‘These plans for home energy efficiency are the same as the Conservatives’ Green Deal, announced more than a year ago.

‘If Labour had followed our advice sooner people could be helped out of fuel poverty now. Instead under Labour’s plans most householders will have to wait until 2015 before they can feel the benefits.

‘Yet again in energy policy it is the Conservatives who have come up with the practical measures to help Britain’s householders, and who are showing the energy, leadership and values the country needs.’

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