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Government launches new green homes advice centre

The government has launched a ‘one-stop shop’ service today to help people make their homes greener.

Unveiled by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn (pictured), the Green Homes Service will offer a single point of contact for people to find out more on things like home energy audits as well as advice on how to save water, reduce waste and making their travel greener.

Benn said: ‘When it comes to cutting your carbon footprint, the old adage ‘there’s no place like home’ really is true. We need to make this as easy as possible for people to do. There’s a lot of help out there in the form of grants, advice, but it’s hard to know where to start.

‘The Green Homes Service will cut through the confusion by providing a one-stop shop, including a green MOT for your home, and a green home makeover.’

The new service will:

• Offer a green home health check providing advice on energy saving as standard but also on water saving, waste reduction and recycling;

• Connect people with offers from energy companies for discounted or free energy-saving products such as cavity wall and loft insulation;

• Offer a range of financial support packages to householders;

• Contact people buying and selling homes with poor energy ratings to connect them with grants, loans and financial packages to get the work done to improve the rating on their homes; and

• Pilot a premium service for a green home makeover using trusted suppliers and minimising hassle for the householder.

The service will be launched on 1 April 2008, when the Energy Saving Trust will begin to offer advice on green saving measures.

By 2011 a more proactive Green Homes Service will be rolled out nationwide, backed by £100 million of government funding.

Housing minister Yvette Cooper said: ‘Home buyers and sellers are now getting energy information on their homes, but they need advice and support on how to use that information to cut their fuel bills and get a better rating on their homes for the future.

'The Green Homes Service is a great way to link home owners with the grants, loans and financial packages that can help them cut the carbon emissions from their homes.’

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