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Green improvement plans 'a missed opportunity'

The government's decision to scrap its plans to make green projects a mandatory part of any home improvement by UK property owners looking to receive subsidies on the work is a "missed opportunity", it has been claimed.

Andrew Eagles, managing director at Sustainable Homes, said there are 200,000 loft conversions, extensions and garage conversions which take place at homes across the UK each year and if each of these projects had required the owner to also carry out green works on their property then a substantial carbon saving could have been made.

Furthermore, these energy efficiency measures would have been a boon to those carrying them out also, as the additional cost of undertaking the work could have been made back over time through lower energy bills.

Mr Eagles noted that having Brits carry out energy-efficient improvements at a time when they are already planning an overhaul of their home is an excellent idea and the project could have gone a long way towards helping the government to achieve its aim of a 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020.

However, just because these additions are no longer set to be mandatory does not mean people can make savings both on their bills and their carbon output by having such improvements carried out.

Mr Eagles commented: "The majority of energy use in the home is space heating. Start with the fabric, so improve insulation in lofts and ceiling. Reduce drafts through walls, around doors and windows. Potentially improve the boiler, become more water efficient, understand heating controls and use them."

According to a Downing Street insider, a consultation on how best to promote green improvements is set to get underway in the near future.

The unnamed source told BBC News it will examine technical changes to building regulations in order to have a greater focus on energy efficiency in the home. 

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